Friday, July 25, 2014

Tunes for the Month: July

July's playlist is a mix of a few things. I started out with some old school songs from when I was in junior high. Some of the ones on the list last month got me thinking about this so I included some of what I loved back in seventh grade. Next, I included a bunch off Divided and United. We watched Lincoln earlier this month and it reminded me how much I love it. I've mentioned it before, but it's an album of civil war songs kind of reworked by contemporary artists. It's folksy and twangy and awesome. Anyway, I never included it on a playlist because we don't own it, but now that I'm doing Spotify it worked out. Lastly, I browsed Peyton's iTunes for some different, unique stuff.

1. All Star- Smash Mouth
Somebody once asked, could I spare some change for gas
I need to get myself away from this place
I said, Yep, what a concept
I could use a little fuel myself
And we could all use a little change
Well, the years start coming and they don't stop coming
Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running
Didn't make sense not to live for fun
Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb
So much to do, so much to see
So what's wrong with taking the back streets
You'll never know if you don't go
You'll never shine if you don't glow

This one is just fun and feels like Summer when I was barely a teenager. 

2. Believe- Cher
Do you believe in life after love
I can feel something inside me say
I really don't think you're strong enough no
Do you believe in life after love
I can feel something inside me say
I really don't think you're strong enough no

Oh, Cher! It sort of cracks me up that she's on here. I remember, as I do with most of these toward the beginning of this list, lying in my bed at our Meadowbrook house listening to Y101 on the radio and falling asleep. 

3. Kiss Me- Sixpence None the Richer
Kiss me out on the bearded barley
Nightly, beside the green, green grass
Swing, swing, swing the spinning step
You wear those shoes and I will wear that dress
Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor, lift your open hand
Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance
Silver moon's sparkling
So kiss me
Kiss me down by the broken tree house
Swing me upon its hanging tire
Bring, bring, bring your flowered hat
We'll take the trail marked on your father's map
Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor, lift your open hand
Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance
Silver moon's sparkling
So kiss me

This is almost too saccharine. But it's pretty in a way that something you loved when you were thirteen is. I remember thinking how haunting the music was and how beautiful the lyrics. 

4. Semi-Charmed Life- Third Eye Blind
I believe in the sand beneath my toes
The beach gives a feeling, an earthy feeling
I believe in the faith that grows
And the four right chords can make me cry
When I'm with you I feel like I could die
And that would be all right, all right

I didn't realize how raunchy this song is until I went back and read the lyrics. Lots of drugs and sex. It's so upbeat, but dark lyrically. I don't think I realized it back then. Peyton and I saw them (long after they were cool) so that's neat, too. 

5. MMMBop- Hanson
You have so many relationships in this life,
But only one or two will last.
You go through all the pain and strife,
Then you turn your back and they're gone so fast.
Oh yeah. They're gone so fast.
Oh, so hold on to the ones who really care,
In the end they'll be the only ones there.
When you get old and start losing your hair,
Can you tell me who will still care?
Can you tell me who will still care? Oh care.

Pretty much the opposite of raunchy sex and drug music. Such bubblegum bullshit, but a part of me still loves it. 

6. You're Still the One- Shania Twain

When I first saw you, I saw love
And the first time you touched me, I felt love
And after all this time, you're still the one I love
Looks like we've made it
Look how far we've come my baby
We mighta took the long way
We knew we'd get there someday
They said, "I bet they'll never make it"
But just look at us holding on
We're still together still going strong

And this is the the part where I tell you that I sat on the roof and listened to this on repeat on my DISCMAN and convinced myself that my fourteen year old boyfriend and my fourteen year old self would "make it". Like forever. So incredibly dumb sounding now, but at the time I felt it so strongly. When Ellis was hear earlier this Summer we talked about him- the first boy I ever loved- and I was so glad to still have someone in my life who remembers those days so vividly. 

7. Marching Through Georgia- Old Crow Medicine Show
Bring the good old bugle, boys, we'll sing another song
Sing it with a spirit that will start the world along
Sing it as we used to sing it, 50,000 strong
While we were marching through Georgia.
Yes and there were Union men who wept with joyful tears,
When they saw the honored flag they had not seen for years;
Hardly could they be restrained from breaking forth in cheers,
While we were marching through Georgia.
"Sherman's dashing Yankee boys will never reach the coast!"
So the saucy rebels said and 'twas a handsome boast
Had they not forgot, alas! to reckon with the Host
While we were marching through Georgia.

Here we go. All the Civil War stuff. This one was popular with the Union veterans after the war. It's very upbeat and exactly what you'd think of a lively marching tune. 

8. Dear Old Flag- Vince Gill

For the dear old Flag I die,
Said the wounded drummer boy;
Mother, press your lips to mine;
O, they bring me peace and joy!
'Tis the last time on earth
I shall ever see your face
Mother take me to your heart,
Let me die in your embrace.
For the dear old Flag I die,
Mother, dry your weeping eye;
For the honor of our land
And the dear old Flag I die,
Do not mourn, my mother, dear,
Every pang will soon be o'er;
For I hear the angel band
Calling from their starry shore;
Now I see their banners wave
In the light of perfect day,
though 'tis hard to part with you,
Yet I would not wish to stay.

This one is the exact opposite. So sad and almost dirge-like. Of course Vince Gill (of "Go Rest High on That Mountain" fame) makes it all the more so. Holy Hell, his voice makes me weep. Added to that I assume the little drummer boy is only like a young teenager and I can't help but think of Baby Graves. 

9. Just Before the Battle Mother/Farewell Mother- Steve Earle/Dirk Powell
Just before the battle, mother,
I am thinking most of you,
While upon the field we're watching
With the enemy in view.
Comrades brave are 'round me lying,
Filled with thoughts of home and God
For well they know that on the morrow,
Some will sleep beneath the sod.
Farewell, mother, you may never
Press me to your heart again,
But, oh, you'll not forget me, mother,
If I'm numbered with the slain.

One interesting thing about all these to me is how much they focus on the men's mothers (rather than wives). Peyton and I talked about it and I think one reason was, again, because they were so young. In Lincoln, we saw the First Lady (played by Sally Field) nearly lose her mind with worry that her oldest son would enlist and be killed in the war (she had already lost one child). It's so hard to put myself in those women's place and think about the reality of their stories. 

10. The Fall of Charleston- Shovels and Rope
And from the “Sacred City,” this valiant warlike throng;
Skedaddled in confusion, although thirty thousand strong—
Without a shot, without a blow, or least sign of resistance,
And leaving their poor friends behind, with the “Yankees” for assistance! 
 With a whack, rowdy-dow,
How are you, Southern chivalry?
Whack, rowdy-dow,
Your race is nearly run! 
And again o’er Sumter’s battered walls, the Stars and Stripes do fly,
While the chivalry of Sixty-one in the “Last ditch” died;—
With Sherman, Grant and Porter too, to lead our men to glory,
We’ll squash poor Jeff’s confederacy, and then get “Hunkydory!”

This one is downright goofy to me. All the crazy words and the way this band sings it is very twangy. I guess it has a bit of a bluegrass feel to it. 

11. Tenting on the Old Campground- John Doe

We're tenting tonight on the old camp ground,
Give us a song to cheer
Our weary hearts, a song of home
And friends we love so dear.
The lone wife kneels and prays with a sigh
That God his watch will keep
O'er the dear one away and the little dears nigh,
In the trundle bed fast asleep.

Another one that really has you sympathizing with the solidiers as you tap your feet to the infectious beat. 

12. Day of Liberty- Carolina Chocolate Drops
Nicodemus the slave was of African birth
he was bought for a bag full of gold.
he was reckoned as part of the salt of the Earth
he died years ago, very old
Was his last sad request, so we laid him away
in the trunk of an old hollow tree
"Wake me up" was his charge 
"at the first break of day, wake me up for the great Jubilee."
Fellas, don't you see the light?
The day of liberty's coming, coming
Almost gone, the gloomy night
The day of liberty's coming
"High Ho!" we gladly sing
Loud, loud our voices ring
Good news, the Lord He bring

Now let my people go!

Probably my favorite of these are the ones that were written perspective of slaves. They feel so, so joyous and I also wonder about all the emotions that ran high leading up to the "day of liberty". 

13. Richmond Is a Hard Road to Travel- Chris Thile, Michael Daves
Then said Lincoln unto Pope,
"You can make the trip, I hope
I will save the Universal Yankee nation,
To make sure of no defeat, I'll leave no lines of retreat,
And issue a famous proclamation."
But that same dreaded Jackson, this fellow laid his whacks
And made him, by compulsion, a seceder,
And Pope took rapid flight from Manassas' second fight,
'Twas his very last appearance as a leader.
Then pull off your coat and roll up your sleeve,
For Stonewall is a hard road to travel;
Pope did his very best, but was evidently sold,
For Richmond is a hard road to travel, I am told!

I mainly just liked the tune of this one. Although, it is one GIANT history lesson.

14. Kingdom Come- Pokey LaFarge
Say Brothers have you seen the master
with the mustache on his face?
Go along the road some time this morning
like he was goin' to leave this place.
He seen the smoke way up on the river
where the Lincoln gunboats lay
He took his hat and left so suddenly
I 'spect he's runninh away
The master's run, ha ha!
And we will stay, ho ho! 
It must be now that Kingdom's coming
In the year of Jubilo!
He's six foot one way, two foot the other, 
and he weigh three hundred pounds
His coat so big he couldn't pay the tailor
and it won't go halfway round.
He drilled so much they called him Cap'n
and he got so dreadful tanned
I spect he'll try to fool them Yankee
to think he's contraband
The master's run, ha ha!
And we will stay, ho ho! 
It must be now that Kingdom's coming
In the year of Jubilo!
Now folks feel so lonesome
living in the log house on the lawn
They move their things into master's parlor
to keep it while he's gone
There's wine and and cider in the kitchen
and and you and me'll have us some
I suppose they'll all be confiscated 
when the Lincoln soldiers come

Another one of the slave songs. I loved the story told in this one. The master of the plantation runs off when he realizes the Yankees are coming and the slaves move on into his house. These songs are so lively and again, my mind goes to the very real emotions surrounding the "year of Jubilo". 

15. At the Bottom of Everything- Bright Eyes
We must take all of the medicines too expensive now to sell
Set fire to the preacher who is promising us Hell
And in the ear of every anarchist that sleeps but doesn't dream
We must sing, we must sing, we must sing

Moving on, a little Bright Eyes. Just trying to get down to the bottom of everything. Even if it means setting fire to preachers and singing to anarchists. No, but really. 

16. Atlantic City- Bruce Springsteen

Everything dies, baby that's a fact,
But maybe everything that dies, someday comes back.
Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty,
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City.

Honestly, the whole song is a bit of a downer (as is often the case with The Boss). But I love the chorus and the hop in it.

17. An Attempt to Tip the Scales- Bright Eyes
Did you expect it all to stop
At the wave of your hand?
Like the sun's just gonna drop
If it's night you demand
Well, in the dark we are just air
So the house might dissolve
Once we are gone, who is gonna care
If we were ever here at all?
Well, summer is gonna come and it's
Gonna cloud our eyes again
There is not need to focus
When there is nothing that's worth seeing

So introspective and deep wondering who will care if we're gone and such. Mainly, I liked the tune, but it is a very interesting piece and I do often love the imagery in a Bright Eyes song and this one doesn't disappoint

18. Auld Lang Syne- Sufjan Stevens
Should old acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We'll take a cup of kindness yet
For auld lang syne
I love it so I added it to the list. 

19. Authority Song- John Melloncamp
So I call up my preacher
I say, "Give me strength for Round 5"
He said , "You don't need no strength, you need to grow up son"
I said, "Growing up leads to growing old and then to dying
And dying to me don't sound like all that much fun"
So I said
I fight authority, authority always wins
Well, I fight authority, authority always wins
Well, I've been doing it since I was a young kid, I come out grinnin'
Well, I fight authority, authority always wins

John Cougar on rebellion. Feels like 1998 and this playlist is coming full circle. Love this song.

20. Awake My Soul- Mumford and Sons
How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don't know
My weakness I feel I must finally show
In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love, you invest your life
In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
And where you invest your love, you invest your life
Awake my soul, awake my soul
Awake my soul
For you were made to meet your maker

Mumford speaking the truth- "where you invest your love, you invest your life". 

Seems like a good place to finish out the list. 


Tacy said...

I've been listening to the country station this Summer quite a bit. It is more upbeat than other stations, which I like. I have seen Lincoln, so I'm going to check out the songs on your list. Sounds intriguing.

Rebecca said...

The first half of this playlist definitely takes me back to middle school! I was a huge fan of Shania Twain!