Song Lyric Sunday – Minutes/Hours/Days/Weeks/Months

My contribution to this week’s Song Lyric Sunday (prompt: Minutes/Hours/Days/Weeks/Months)

 

At the age of 17, I discovered Carole King – a prolific American singer-songwriter – via her Tapestry album.
She was not, however, a one-hit wonder for me.

I collected her albums over the years, their dust jackets now worn and faded. I devoured each and every one…most likely wearing out the phonograph needle in the process.

Carole King’s 4th album Rhymes & Reasons was released in 1972. It climbed to the No. 2 spot on the Billboard 200 chart.

One of the songs on this album – Gotta Get Through Another Day – still resonates all these years later…although from an entirely different perspective….

 

 

Gotta Get Through Another Day

 

by Carole King

It’s a gray, gray gloomy day
A strange and moody blues day
Gotta get through, gotta get through another day

Corn yellow silk and golden sunlight I remember
As we walked together, you and I
Love like a sweet flaming glow inside
Now has been denied
And I’ve cried till I can’t remember why

I gotta get through, gotta get through some way
Gotta get through, gotta get through another day

Will Tuesday be “good news” day
Or another “paying dues” day
It’s a strange and moody blues day
Anyway

Some say that time brings a better understanding
Of the rhyme and reason to it all
Still the flame keeps burning through the lonely night
It’s just not all right
And I wonder if I’ll make it till you call

I gotta get through, gotta get through some way
It’s a gray, gray gloomy day
A strange and moody blues day
Gotta get through, gotta get through another day
I gotta get through another day.

 

 

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday – School/Books/Learning

My contribution to this week’s Song Lyric Sunday (prompt: School/Books/Learning) will focus on the learning…

Beth Nielsen Chapman, an American singer/songwriter, wrote Life Holds On for her self titled album released in 1990. I discovered her music by chance – often hearing it on the radio. It remains on my list of all time favorite albums!

She plays both guitar and piano throughout this album; keyboards only on Life Holds On.

Many of her songs have been recorded by artists such as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Tanya Tucker, Trisha Yearwood and Martina McBride. She co-wrote This Kiss with Faith Hill, who recorded it as well. Elton John began performed her song Sand and Water in 1997. Her most recent album Hearts of Glass was released in 2018.

 

 

Life Holds On

 

by Beth Nielsen Chapman

I was swinging on the swings when I was a little girl
Trying to get a handle on the big, wide world
When I noticed all the grass in the cracks in the concrete
I said, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way around anything”

Life holds on
Given the slightest chance
For the weak and the strong
Life holds on

There was a third grade boy that we knew in school
He was found face down in a swimming pool
And as they worked on that kid every minute was an hour
And when his eyes fluttered open we could feel that power

Life holds on
Given the slightest chance
For the weak and the strong
Life holds on
Life holds on

Life holds on

Sirens screaming down my street
Fading as they go
Whining somewhere far away
To someone I don’t know
Still, I say a little prayer
There’s always hope
Life holds on.

Through the window in the kitchen I can see outside
My kids taking turns coming down the slide
I try not to worry as they grow a little every day
No, I’ve just got to believe they’re gonna find their way.

Life holds on
Given the slightest chance
For the weak and the strong
Life holds on
Life holds on
Life holds on
Life holds on

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday – Animal

My contribution to this week’s Song Lyric Sunday (prompt: Animal)

Rickie Lee Jones wrote The Horses with Walter Becker (of Steely Dan). It appears on the album Flying Cowboys (1989) and was written about her daughter Charlotte Rose. The song was also featured in the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire.

A sweet song of a mother’s fierce love…it could be any mother’s…or father’s…message to a child.

 

 

The Horses

by Rickie Lee Jones
& Walter Becker

We will fly

Way up high
Where the cold wind blows
Or in the sun
Laughing having fun
With the people that she knows
And if the situation
Should keep us separated
You know the world won’t fall apart
And you will free the beautiful bird
That’s caught inside your heart
Can’t you hear her?
Oh she cries so loud
Casts her wild note
Over water and cloud

That’s the way it’s gonna be, little darlin’
We’ll be riding on the horses, yeah
Way up in the sky, little darlin’
And if you fall I’ll pick you up, pick you up

You will grow
And until you go
I’ll be right there by your side
And even then
Whisper the wind
And she will carry up your ride
I hear all the people of the world
In one bird’s lonely cry
See them trying every way they know how
To make their spirit fly
Can’t you see him?
He’s down on the ground
He has a broken wing
Looking all around

That’s the way it’s gonna be, little darlin’
You go riding on the horses, yeah
Way up in the sky, little darlin’
And if you fall I’ll pick you up, pick you up

That’s the way it’s gonna be, little darlin’
You go riding on the horses, yeah
Way up in the sky, little darlin’
And if you fall I’ll pick you up, pick you up
And if you fall I’ll pick you up, pick you up
And if you fall I’ll pick you up, pick you up

I’ll pick you up darlin’ if you fall
Don’t worry ’bout a thing little girl
Because I was young myself not so long ago
And when I was young
When I was young
And when I was young, oh I was a wild, wild one.

 

Song Lyric Sunday – Occupation

My contribution to this weeks’s Song Lyric Sunday (prompt: Occupation):

I recently discovered Woman’s Work, a song written and performed by Tracy Chapman…from her third album “Matters of the Heart” released in 1992.

She sang this song at the Farm Aid concert in Texas that same year; the only woman and the only black musician to perform.

Below is a video which serves as a backdrop illustration of this powerful song.
As relevant today – over 20 years later – as it was then.

 

Woman’s Work

by Tracy Chapman

Early in the morning she rises
The woman’s work is never done
And it’s not because she doesn’t try
She’s fighting a battle with no one on her side

She rises up in the morning
And she works ’til way past dusk
The woman better slow down
Or she’s gonna come down hard

Early in the morning she rises
The woman’s work is never done

Song Lyric Sunday – Music Memories

Tonight is the 91st Academy Awards. My ballot is printed. Ready to be filled in.

Full disclosure: I love the Oscars. I write the date on my calendar as soon as it is announced. Back in the days of 3 networks, I was glued to the TV screen for the entire broadcast. I remember watching when “The Sound of Music” won; being also impressed I had managed to stay awake until 12:30 AM!

There may have been a few years I missed it, away at college with no television. Or later, ensconced in early parenthood fatigue and exhaustion. But not many.

My contribution to this week’s Song Lyric Sunday (prompt: Harmony/Melody/Music) honors the 1973 Academy Award winner for Best Song.

“The Way We Were” performed by Barbra Streisand – the ultimate professional of harmony, melody and music. It was the title song from the movie of the same name.

The Way We Were

Lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman
Music by Marvin Hamlisch

Memories light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories of the way we were
Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another for the way we were

Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we?
Could we?

Memories may be beautiful and yet
What’s too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
So it’s the laughter we will remember
Whenever we remember
The way we were
The way we were

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday …rivers each day…

...it’s too late, baby, now it’s too late…

Say what? I’m picking out bananas at the grocery store. My ears pick up the overhead piped in music. I squint upwards into the fluorescent lights as if looking for the source.
Seriously?

And then again the next week…

you just call out my name

…while wheeling my cart to the checkout line. I freeze. Not knowing whether to laugh, cry, protest or just sing along. Hard to wrap my head around the fact that Carole King is now muzak. I sigh, feel my age and start tapping my foot. Damn.

Forty eight years ago today – February 10, 1971 – Carole King released Tapestry. The day after her 29th birthday.

The 61st Grammy awards air tonight. In 1972, during the 14th Grammy awards, Tapestry won 4 awards:

Record of the Year: “It’s Too Late”
Album of the Year: “Tapestry”
Song of the Year: “You’ve Got a Friend”
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female: Carole King for “Tapestry”

I memorized Tapestry. Every word. Every note. I can even sing every song. My untrained voice somehow able to follow hers. Never mind that it is one of the best selling albums of all time. Never mind about that. She was there right beside me. And millions of young people like me.  She knew us. Heard us. Understood us. Gave voice to what we perhaps were unable to articulate…yet.

12 songs. A young woman. A piano. Accompanists.
Simple songs of friendship, longing, loss, hope, love and joy.

I was 17. Seventeen is not easy. Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend?

That summer, 3 special girlfriends  – Patty, Wendy and Eleanor – and I played that album hundreds of times. Sang. Danced. Laughed. It wove the confusing emotions of our lives into lyrics we could understand. And often be comforted by.

Alone in my room, I’d drop the needle belting out the lyrics one song after the other. Knowing beforehand what came next.

When the title song fades out….He’s come to take me back… I’m poised for…Looking out on the morning rain….

Flip back to side one. …That you’re beautiful as you feel…wait for it…Way over yonder

[Song lyric Sunday’s theme today is River/Stream/Crook/Brook]

Way Over Yonder (from Tapestry)
Words and music by: Carole King

Way over yonder is a place that I know
Where I can find shelter from hunger and cold
And the sweet tasting good life is easily found
Way over yonder — that’s where I’m bound

I know when I get there, the first thing I’ll see
Is the sun shining golden — shining right down on me
Then trouble’s gonna lose me — worry leave me behind
And I’ll stand up proudly in true peace of mind

Way over yonder is a place I have seen
In a garden of wisdom from some long ago dream 

Maybe tomorrow I’ll find my way
To the land where the honey runs in rivers each day
And the sweet tasting good life is so easily found
Way over yonder — that’s where I’m bound
Way over yonder — that’s where I’m bound

Almost 50 years later.
Still fresh.
Still relevant.

Still a great song.

Still a great album.