Monday, 1 April 2013

A Song Lyrics - A to Z Challenge


So much more than moons and Junes
  • A song for each of the following decades beginning with A
  • A lyric snippet from at least one of those songs to set you thinking... and commenting!

1960s:      Alfie – Dionne Warwick in US and Cilla Black in UK

1970s:      American Pie – Don McLean

1980s:      Another Day in  Paradise – Phil Collins

1990s:      Angels – Robbie Williams



American Pie

When Don McLean wrote American Pie he was telling the social history of the 60s as he saw it.

‘...the day the music died...’ was the death of both Buddy Holly and 1950s innocence.

‘...sergeants played a marching tune...’ the Beatles' arrival in the US with Sergeant Pepper,

‘...the half-time air was sweet perfume...’ that'll be the drugs!

‘...the flames climbed high into the night...’ said to be about the US Altamont Speedway Concert when the Stones played on while a fan was being stabbed to death.

I was unaware of any transition from innocence to drugs. I was just a kid. Life was life and I didn’t have time to analyse.

Were you aware of this transition or did your parents/grandparents tell you about it!!?
Or was it not like that where you grew up?

Another Day in Paradise

Phil Collins wrote this song after seeing homeless people sleeping on the streets in cardboard boxes.

'She calls out to the man in the street,
Sir, can you help me?
It's cold and I've nowhere to sleep...'

...He walks on, doesn't look back.
He pretends he can't hear her...'

I'd like to say that I've never done that but I have, when I visit London, rushing off to the theatre, expensive tickets in my bag. I'm embarrassed, scared, not sure what is the best way to help.

What do you do when you see homeless people begging on the streets?
Will money given just be spent on drugs?


And I could have added:

'What's it all about, Alfie...' I never did find an answer to that question, and as for '...through it all she offers me protection...' yes, I do believe that we have Guardian Angels but that's for a whole different blog post.

If you have a favourite song from one of these decades that says something to you, something more than just ‘moons and Junes’, then let me know, along with your blog link if you have one, and I’ll include it if I can.

94 comments:

  1. Hi Rosalind
    A good start
    Keep posting
    Good Wishes
    I posted mine
    The other day
    Keep in touch
    Best
    Phil

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    1. Thanks Phil, hope you have a good month.

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  2. Thanks for calming me yesterday!
    Great post for A. I remember them all.
    Transition, I was born later and never spoke to grand parents about it.
    Homeless people, I'd rather give to the charities that are better placed to help them than me. The soup kitchen for example.
    Looking forward to the rest.
    xx

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    1. You're welcome, Lynne. I agree with you about the money to homeless charities.

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  3. Nice idea! Short and sweet and good memories!

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  4. Hi Ros .. love the new look - it's great (sometime I must do mine!) ...

    Great selections and I like the little discourse you've given us as back ground ..

    Amazing where the inspiration comes from ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary I'm glad you liked it.

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  5. I love Another Day in Paradise. In fact you may have just prompted me to go and find an old album out!

    Have a great A to Z Rosalind :)

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    1. This is where my head's been for weeks while I've been preparing these. I'm going to miss running through lists of old songs.

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  6. This promises to continue to be an interesting theme. I did not know the meaning behind the lyrics in "American Pie." And as for the questions about homelessness...I think charity can possibly be a good thing even if it is "misused." But that being said, I also know I am in no position to help every homeless person there is, even though I wish I could. It would be difficult for me to just walk past someone in need; I dread the day I find out what that feels like. Hopefully I can at least offer them a smile or a kind word! ??

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    1. It is a difficult situation and I'm not sure a kind word is what they're hoping for sadly.

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  7. You selected great songs representative of each decade. American Pie was my favorite. I knew about Buddy Holly, but you mentioned other facts that I hadn't heard before. Once when we were at a nice steak restaurant in the city, a man asked if he could have our leftovers. Then our boys handed him our doggie bag. It's possible that he still sold it for drugs, but we thought it was worth a try.

    Julie

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    1. Isn't it sad how many hungry people there are in the world.

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  8. American Pie is one of my favourite songs and I knew it contained a lot more behind the lyrics. Never knew anything about drugs until maybe my twenties. Don't really see many homeless here but on holiday in Santa Monica you couldn't walk down the street but see many and I found it a bit scary. Great post Ros.

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    1. I'm glad that at least around Glasgow there are not so many homeless. I'm afraid they're in Leicester.

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  9. That analysis of American Pie was fascinating! As for homeless people begging on the streets, I don't believe that I have a right to judge others or dictate how they should live their lives / spend their money so if I have spare change I always give it (along with directions to the nearest soup kitchen / Salvation Army centre / food shelter / Street Pastor if they wish to know).

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    1. That's a very practical approach. I don't know where the soup kitchens are in Leicester but I'm sure there are some.

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  10. What a great way of looking at songs - they often mean much more than the surface lyrics would suggest.

    A song from the late 60s, that means something to me - Let's Spend the Night Together - by the Rolling Stones. I was just 19, in my first year at university, and met this man at a party ... (no, I didn't marry him, he turned out to be a cad, but oh that wonderful meeting-for-the-first-time feeling! That doesn't go away.)

    It's neither deep nor meaningful. But still has me dancing round the kitchen.

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    1. What a tantalising memory. I shall add it to my L post!!

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  11. Interesting to learn more about the lyrics of American Pie - as I love that song. enjoyable post - thanks for sharing.

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  12. Great idea for a post Rosalind and love the fact that you mentioned one of my favourite films too - Alfie. For some of my later posts I will be doing something similar with some of my own songs - there will be audio, lyrics and a bit of background as to why I wrote them. Good luck with the rest of the challenge.

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    1. I adored Alfie I saw it over and over until I was almost word perfect!

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  13. American Pie is my favourite of all three. It was my song in the seventies. It still is. I find it endlessly fascinating to listen to the lyrics. Great choices, Ros!

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    1. Glad I hit on one of your favourites. Hope tomorrow hits the same spot.

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  14. Love this post, Rosalind! I once performed a dance recital to "American Pie", but was too young to understand the significance behind the lyrics. In saying that, I'm thrilled that your theme is on lyrical significance. So refreshing in this auto-tuned world we live in today. Looking forward to the rest of your posts :)

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it. I am a bit obsessed with sing lyrics.

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  15. Great post Ros, I love 'Another Day In Paradise' even though it makes me want to weep knowing the reason behind it. Homelessness is a blight which shouldn't exist in this day and age.

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    1. I know what you mean, Maria. It's got an amazing melody and that drum intro... Wow!

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  16. Ros
    Immediately, I learned something. I've always wondered what the heck the words of American Pie were referring to. Interesting.
    We're off on another April adventure.

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  17. Love American Pie.... though it always makes me hungry!!

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    1. It's not that kind of pie. It's the way he saw the US culture divided up... I think!

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  18. I guess it shows my age but I wouldn't recognise Angels if I heard it; the others though are imprinted on my memory. I must confess to not every having thought about what was behind them. I can see you are going to widen my musical knowledge this year.

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    1. I have to admit to having a little help with the 1990s from Daughter. Glad you remembered the others.

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  19. I was definitely aware of what Don McLean was singing about and was right there during certain transitions. I guess living through it makes a difference. :)

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    1. Sounds exciting. I had quite a sheltered life here in Leicester.

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  20. I can see this is *definitely* going to be a thought-provoking blog this month! Great start.

    Your "moons and Junes" - did you use that deliberately? It reminds me of "Both Sides, Now" - Joni Mitchell. A good "B" word! ;)

    I recognize some of your "A" songs. A long way off, at "T," I like Tapestry by Carole King.

    Good luck with your month!

    Best,
    Barbara

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    1. Yes, that's where I got it from. Some great lyrics in that song.

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  21. I never knew what the words referred to in American Pie, but I loved it as well as Don McLean. Just goes to show, the youth will only accept something when they're ready.
    http://francene-wordstitcher.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. I have to admit that I didn't know exactly what it meant until I prepared for this A to Z.

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  22. I love song lyrics; they're so powerful.

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  23. Rosalind, I love your theme! Music is a huge part of my life, so I will definitely be back for the rest of the alphabet!

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    1. Looking forward to seeing you again.

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  24. I like the song American Pie - and I knew that at least part of it referred to the death of Buddy Holly. I think one of the saddest parts of that song is 'I can't remember if I cried, when I read about his widowed bride' - which comes just before the 'but something touched me deep inside, the day the music died' bit.

    I didn't know about The Beatles reference though.

    Chippy

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    1. Yes, I love that bit too but I was trying not to overload the post with too many quotes.

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  25. Three great tunes. I love them all but the last speaks the most strongly to me these days. It is so much about waking up to see what is really around us instead of walking in a bubble.
    Thanks Rosalind!

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    1. It is a particularly powerful song, isn't it.

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  26. This is a interesting topic...thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment. Happy A-Z challente.

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  27. Oh I like your A-Z themes! For me, American Pie was the best - I knew about the Buddy Holly connection, but not the others.

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    1. Me neither.mi read about it for this challenge :-)

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  28. I loved the song American Pie but at the time, I was a young teen and totally oblivious to what it was referring to. I just loved the music and often sang along to it!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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    1. I love singing along to songs too.

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  29. You always have such great ideas for A-Z! I used to love dancing to the song Brown Sugar when I was at uni. It's probably also about drugs, but that didn't occur to me then. ~Miriam

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    1. I suppose it was another drug song. Sorry, could have included that for B but it's already gone up as I'm reading this. Let me know if there are any others you'd like mentioning.

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  30. Love American Pie! Of course, I was a wee child when it came out. LOL!

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  31. Oh man. I have never heard of these songs...*bows head in shame* Thanks for giving me something to listen to! Cool theme :)

    Sam
    Writing Through College

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    1. Sounds like you're more of a 21st century music lover then, right?

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  32. I lived through those years but had no idea what they referred to, but then I was in England living a very different life so I am not sure when I first heard these songs. Around that time I discovered Andy Williams who was popular over there. I confess I never listen to music and ask what it means unless the lyrics are totally obscure. MacArthur Park was one it took me years to decipher.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

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    1. I love Andy Williams. I still have one of his LPs! That dates me!

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  33. Dealing with homeless people is a real dilemma. I think it's best to get them a meal instead of giving them money that might end up in booze or drugs. I have a cousin who used to give them contact numbers of organisations that can help.

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    1. My friend says she always goes into town with fruit in her bag for them.

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  34. Hi Rosalind.
    I L-O-V-E your theme! And I know all these songs.
    Alfie is one of my all-time favourite songs... such a poignant melody!
    Another Day In Paradise is on my list of songs that I intend teaching my choir.

    http://writer-in-transit.co.za/

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    1. Thank you. Would love to hear your choir singing that!

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  35. Hi Rosalind,
    Really like your theme, I'm a music tragic so I'll be following your posts.
    When Phil Collins released that song it changed the way I treat the homeless. I think of the woman in that song every time I see a homeless person. I give them food or at the very least I meet their eye and say hello. I dont have enough money to give it away but I will always buy a piece of fruit or a cup of coffee.
    Sometimes it can be confronting but I figure they get so much hostility from the majority the least I can do is acknowledge that they exist.

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    1. A music tragic is a new phrase for me. I'm guessing it's good, right?

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    2. It's great!!! So many songs and so little time.

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  36. I loved American Pie and didn't know any of that!

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    1. You're not the only one! I read up about it!

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  37. Phil Collins makes me melt! Come visit us at http://citymusecountrymuse2012.blogspot.com/ where we are doing an original poem every day for the A-Z challenge and to celebrate National Poetry Month!

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    1. He is rather dishy. I like the sound of your challenge. I'll pop over.

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  38. Oh wow. How could we ever forget Don McLean's American Pie? My husband and I still sing that song at the oddest moments. Thanks for sharing.

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  39. How fun...I now need to hear all these songs~
    What a great idea :D

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  40. I had no idea what all those verses in American Pie meant. Thanks I'm enlightened now! My parents told me about the 60s a little bit, but I think they were mostly mortified by all the craziness that went on.

    As far as the homeless, over here in the U.S. they advise not to give people on the streets money, it can be dangerous, instead donate to the Red Cross or local homeless shelter. We lived in downtown Philadelphia for two years and it was heartbreaking to see all the people on the street.

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    1. It wasn't all crazy. Truly it wasn't!

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  41. Great post! Always loved Another day in Paradise, and always, I've been caught in the quandary when faced with a beggar. I never know what to do, sometimes I give in. But never without wondering where the money would land. Sigh.
    http://skaypisms.blogspot.com/

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    1. Maybe you should try what my friend does. I mentioned it above. She takes fruit in her bag when she goes to town.

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  42. What an awesome theme! American Pie one of my all time favorite songs!!
    Connie
    I'm visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge
    Peanut Butter and Whine

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  43. Stopping by from the A-to-Z challenge blog hop! Great theme! Another Day in Paradise always reminds me of high school. I remember hearing American Pie when I was in elementary school when school levies were on the ballot. I got confused by the line "Drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry."

    Jen

    http://jen-hemmingandhawing.blogspot.com/

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    1. I always wondered about that line too :-)

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  44. I'm so fried, i got nothin' - but I really dig this topic! :-)

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    1. Oh, Mima, your turn of phrase creases me up!

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  45. I never really knew the story behind those songs. Now they have a whole new meaning.
    Thanks for sharing!
    :)

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  46. I gave £5.00 to someone recently who said he needed money to eat. About an hour later I saw him reeling out of a pub and staggering down the middle of the road. It's put me off giving to people. I'm just going to buy cat/dog food and put it in the supermarket charity bins for the pet rescue centres in future.

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  47. Yes, that Phil Collins song is a good one. Good choice for the A-Z.

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  48. As you will find out later, if you stop by, I traveled cross country from Princeton to San Diego in 1972 in a VW Bug with a guy I never met before (from an ad) and American Pie followed us across this entire nation.

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