Song Lyric Sunday — Pleasant Valley

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams (via Paula Light) has given us Delightful, Pleasant, and Sweet. I’m going with the first song that came to mind, even though my guess is that a lot of others will select this song as well: “Pleasant Valley Sunday.”

“Pleasant Valley Sunday” was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin. The Monkees recorded the song in June of 1967 and released it a month later. The single peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was featured in the second season of the Monkees’ television series. The song also appeared on the fourth Monkees album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd, in November 1967.

The song was inspired by a street named Pleasant Valley Way in the Manhattan suburb of West Orange, New Jersey, where Goffin and King lived at the time. The two wrote the song about their dissatisfaction with life in the suburbs.

According to Carole King’s autobiography, her then-husband Goffin disliked their suburban life and wrote lyrics to document this feeling. The lyrics were a social commentary on status symbols, creature comforts, life in suburbia, and “keeping up with the Joneses.”

The tempo and some of the lyrics in the Monkees recording of the song were fairly different from King’s original 1966 demo recording, which is presented here.

Interestingly, I was working in midtown Manhattan and lived in West Orange from the late 70s to the mid 80s, only about a quarter of a mile west of Pleasant Valley Way. I actually thought life in that New Jersey suburban community was, indeed, quite pleasant.

Here are the Lyrics to “Pleasant Valley Sunday.”

The local rock group down the street
Is trying hard to learn their song
They serenade the weekend squire
Who just came out to mow his lawn

Another pleasant valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Rows of houses that are all the same
And no one seems to care

See Mrs. Gray, she’s proud today
Because her roses are in bloom
And Mr. Green, he’s so serene
He’s got a TV in every room

Another pleasant valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land
Mothers complain about how hard life is
And the kids just don’t understand

Creature comfort goals, they only numb my soul
And make it hard for me to see
(Ah ah ah) ah thoughts all seem to stray to places far away
I need a change of scenery

Ta ta ta ta, ta ta ta ta
Ta ta ta ta, ta ta ta ta

Another pleasant valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Another pleasant valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land

Another pleasant valley Sunday (a pleasant valley Sunday)
Another pleasant valley Sunday (a pleasant valley Sunday)
Another pleasant valley Sunday (a pleasant valley Sunday)
Another pleasant valley Sunday (a pleasant valley Sunday)
Another pleasant valley Sunday (a pleasant valley Sunday)

FOWC with Fandango — Exception

FOWCWelcome to September 19, 2021 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “exception.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.

Weekend Writing Prompt — Ramshackle

“My great granddaddy built that place by hand in his youth,” Billy said, pointing to the ramshackle log cabin. “It was once a thing of beauty, but, between neglect and the ravages of time, it’s crumbling.”

“Is it beyond repair?” Sara asked.

“I think it’s a teardown,” Billy said.

“That’s so symptomatic of what’s wrong with society,” Sara said. “Rather than trying to hold onto the past, we choose to raze it and build something new in its place. That’s such a shame.”

Billy swallowed hard and said, “Fine, I’ll do my best to salvage the place.

(Exactly 97 words)

Written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt, where the word is “ramshackle.”

Also for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (between), Word of the Day Challenge (symptomatic), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (swallow).

SoCS — Puzzle

My mother used to have these huge jigsaw puzzles spread out on our dining room tabletop and she would spend countless hours putting them together. Then, once she successfully finished with her puzzle, she’d toss all of the pieces back into the box and put the box on shelves that were already crammed full of other completed puzzle boxes in a closet in the basement of our house. I don’t think she ever did any one puzzle twice.

My wife is into crossword puzzles. There are two of them each day in our daily newspaper and she spends a good portion of each morning working on them. And she does them with a pen!

I never had patience for jigsaw puzzles and I’d rather spend my mornings on WordPress than working on crossword puzzles. But I do enjoy reading mystery novels and watching detective shows on TV. I always try to figure out the puzzle of the crime or to solve the mystery before the protagonist of the book or the main character in the show can. I’m thrilled when I can do that, but then I think that maybe the solutions to these puzzles were too easy and would have been obvious to anyone paying attention, which makes me feel disappointed.

Yeah, I know. That’s kind of puzzling.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, where she gives us the word “puzzle.”