Song Lyric Sunday (5 July 2020) – Superlatives

Last week, Jim over at A Unique Title For Me set a theme of heat (my selection). This week, he gives us the theme of superlatives.

Last weel I presented a blinding reggae track. If you can take it, I have another for you this week. But this week, I’m gonna take the temperature right down to ultra-chilled. This is a sub-genre known as Lovers’ Rock, and hopefully you’ll see why. As I started to collect reggae music, this one appeared on several compilations, and publishers obviously thought this track was pallatable to the music-buying public.

This song was written by The Corporation, a group of four guys who were responsible, collectively, for several of The Jackson’s hits such as I Want You Back and ABC. It was first perfomed by Michael, who used it as a B-side in 1972. My version, however, is a cover by Jamaican singer Sugar Minott, from 1981. It was a surprise hit in the UK, reaching #4. See what you think of Good Thing Going.

Ooh.. see that girl
She does something to my chemistry
And when I’m close I’m sure
She raise my temperature by three degrees
Every day everyday
In every way she makes my motor purr
And I reciprocate my life I dedicate to loving her

For we’ve got a good thing goin’
A real good thing goin’, yes, that girl and me
And I don’t have to ask
I know that it’s gonna last, eternally

Understanding whenever handing in the alibis
For you know what to do
Where you’ve been
So what’s the use in telling lies?

For we’ve got a good thing goin’
A real good thing goin’, yes, that girl and me
We’ve got it good, so let’s get it on
Let’s get it on, let’s get it on girl

So we’ve got a good thing goin’
A real good thing goin’, yes, that girl and me
And I don’t have to ask
I know that it’s gonna last, eternally

Yeah baby we’ve got it
We’ve got it good, we’ve got it good
So, so let’s get it on

So we’ve got a good thing goin’
A real good thing goin’, yes, that girl and me
And I don’t have to ask
I know that it’s gonna last, eternally

Yes we’ve got a good thing goin’
A real good thing goin’, yes, that girl and me..

The Corporation

Song Lyric Sunday (28 June 2020) – Temperature

Last week, Jim (NewEpicAuthor at A Unique Title For Me) set a theme of the names Mary or Marie (my selection). This week, he gives us the theme of temperature.

I’m going back to my home territory this week, this is one of my top reggae tracks – one of my favourite tracks from one of my favourite bands.

Aswad are a band from west London, UK, who started playing together in the mid-1970s. They originally played quite hardcore reggae but mellowed over the years to produce music with more popular appeal, even topping the UK chart in 1988. Funny, I have always thought that their early work is their best.

Bubbling was released in 1985, a couple of years before they hit the big time. In fact, far from going to the top of the charts, this track only reached #95. What a difference a few years make.

Two of the original band still play together as Aswad, mainly in the London area. Brinsley Forde, the lead vocalist and singer on this track, has a solo career. I still hear about all of them from time to time via a Facebook group (mainly made up of people like me, who still have a foot in the Eighties).

I know a place where we can go
Sweet music plays, turn the lights down low
Operator, play the music that we love so well,
Everyone is feeling irie far as I can tell.

The music takes control until the broad daylght
And I know that we can rock it ‘cos the time is right
Say, won’t you come on over, come on and dance little sista?
Now we could smoke a spliff, maybe have a drink or two
Cos there’s nothin’ I’d like better than to spend some time with you
So won’t you come on over, give me your answer

I and I feel like bubbling
You’re the one to bubble with me
I and I feel like jumping
how’s about you jumping with me.

I’m in a-waiting for your reply
I’m ready and waiting, my hopes are high
We’ve got what it takes and we’ve got all we need
So put on your coat, let the good vibes flow.

And when you hear the music there’ll be no regret
Stand up and listen to the music, we’re not ready yet
You and me now sista, dancing in the corner,
So tell me are you feeling like I’m feeling too?
There’s nothing I’d like better than to be here with you
Oh my little sista, dancing here together

[chorus]

oh, won’t you dance with me?

Aswad

Song Lyric Sunday (21 June 2020) – Marie or Mary

Last week, Jim (NewEpicAuthor, A Unique Title For Me) set the boys’ names of Jack or John (my selection). This week, he gives us the girls’ names of Marie, Maria or Mary.

Another name prompt, this week I thought I’d go with the performer. This, of course, allows me to choose any of their songs, and I thought given the ongoing climate, another fiery song. Probably the ultimate protest song, but with a twist.

Ultimate? Because this song ranked #14 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. And has been recorded by hundreds of artists over the years. It is almost always used in the context of protest, and one of its first roles was as an anti-Viet Nam war song.

This song was originally a Bob Dylan tune, written in 1963. Dylan recorded the first version himself, and the song featured on his album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. Since then, the song has been covered many times, and my twist is that I am presenting one of those covers today, from 1966. In fact, I always preferred this version to Dylan’s – and very few covers sound better than the original.

I’ve heard snippets from Peter, Paul and Mary over the years (lots of their music was released before I was born), but it was only quite recently that I bought some of their albums. They were a New York folk trio, formed in 1961, comprising Paul Stookey, Peter Yarrow, and Mary Travers. I always loved Mary’s crystal-clear voice, and this song is one that I remember from childhood.

This rendition of Blowin’ in the Wind, by Peter, Paul and Mary reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, kept off #1 by Stevie Wonder. Funnily enough, Stevie Wonder also covered this song, although I didn’t think it was very good.

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they’re forever banned?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Yes, and how many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes, and how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn’t see?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Yes, and how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, and how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, and how many deaths will it take ’til he knows
That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Song Lyric Sunday (14 June 2020) – Jack or John

Last week, Jim (NewEpicAuthor, A Unique Title For Me) set a theme of size (my selection). This week, he gives us the theme of the names Jack or John.

I bet several of us will choose this one today, but it seems appropriate at the moment.

I’ve presented Marvin Gaye a few times before on Song Lyric Sunday and I can’t really do any better, so here is another song of his. It was written by Dick Hollis, in response to the assassinations of Martin Luter King Jr and Bobby Kennedy, in close succession in the spring/summer of 1968. The song itself is about the icons for social change, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and John F Kennedy, and was first recorded by folk singer Dion, with whom it reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Marvin recorded a version in 1970, which reached #9 in the UK. It was not released as a single in the USA but later appeared on the album What’s Going On, in 1971. This is Abraham, Martin and John.

Has anyone here seen my old friend Abraham?
Can you tell me whe he’s gone?
Oh, he freed a lot of people
but it seems the good die young, yeah.
I just looked around and he was gone.

Hmmm

Has anyone here seen my old friend John?
Can you tell me whe he’s gone?
You know, he freed a lot of people
but it seems the good die young, yeah.
I just looked around and he was gone.

Oh yeah

Has anyone here seen my old friend Martin?
Can you tell me whe he’s gone?
He freed a lot of people
but it seems the good die young, yeah.
I just looked around and he was gone.

[Insrumental]

Has anyone here seen my friend Bobby?
Can you tell me whe he’s gone?
You know, he freed a lot of people
but the good, they die young, yeah.
I just looked around and he was gone.

Oh, I just looked around and they were gone, oh yes.

Dick Hollis

Song Lyric Sunday (7 June 2020) – Size

Last week, Jim over at A Unique Title For Me set a theme of spices (my selection). This week, he gives us the theme of size.

I got myself a Google speaker in the middle of last year, plus a Spotify subscription at Christmas, and I have to say I quite like the combination. Especially as I’m going to bed, I can tell it to play music by so-and-so, then instruct it to turn itself off after a set time.

Today I thought I’d present a song by one of my favourite night-time artists, Otis Redding. In fact this song dates from 1932, way before Otis, and was originally written by Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly and Harry M Woods, and originally performed by the Ray Noble Orchestra, with Val Rosing on vocals.

But Otis’s version, in 1966, is about the best-known. It was very “bluesy”, with Otis being backed by Booker T and the MGs. It peaked at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100, and came in at #204 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. This is Try a little Tenderness.

Oh, she may be weary
Young girls they do get weary
Wearing that same old shaggy dress, yeah yeah
But when she gets weary
Try a little tenderness, yeah yeah

You know she’s waiting
Just anticipating
For things that she’ll never, never, never, never possess, yeah yeah
But while she’s there waiting, without them
Try a little tenderness (that’s all you gotta do)

It’s not just sentimental, no, no, no
She has her grief and care, yeah yeah yeah
But the soft words, they are spoke so gentle, yeah
It makes it easier, easier to bear, yeah

You won’t regret it, no, no
Some girls they don’t forget it
Love is their only happiness, yeah
But it’s all so easy
All you gotta do is try, try a little tenderness, yeah
All you gotta do is, man, hold her where you want her

Squeeze her, don’t tease her, never leave her
Get to her, try, try
Just try a little tenderness, ooh yeah yeah yeah
You got to know how to love her, man, you’ll be surprised, man
You’ve got to squeeze her, don’t tease her, never leave
You’ve got to hold her and rub her softly
Try a little tenderness, ooh yeah yeah yeah
You’ve got to rub her gentle man, all you gotta do, no no
You’ve got to love her, squeeze her, don’t tease her
Gotta try nah nah nah, try
Try a little tenderness, yeah, watch her groove
You’ve gotta to know what to do, man
Take this advice

Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly, Harry M Woods