Song Lyric Sunday — Fool on the Hill

Jim Adams continues filling in for Helen Vahdati’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt. His theme this week is hills and mountains. My song choice for this theme is The Beatles “The Fool on the Hill.”

The song was written and sung by Paul McCartney and recorded in 1967 as a track on The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour album. It wasn’t a hit for The Beatles, but a 1968 cover version by Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 went to number 6 in the U.S.

The story behind this song is a very strange event that occurred once to Paul McCartney and his friend Alistair Taylor when they both walking McCartney’s dog together one morning. They saw a man on a hill behind them, though there had been nobody there only a couple of seconds before, when they passed. That man told them what a great view of London there was from the top of the hill. When the two friends looked back a few seconds later, though, the man was gone, although it was impossible for him to hide anywhere.

McCartney said that the song was about a man who is considered a fool by others, but whose foolish demeanor is actually an indication of wisdom. He said, “I think I was writing about someone like Maharishi. His detractors called him a fool. Because of his giggle he wasn’t taken too seriously. It was this idea of a fool on the hill, a guru in a cave, I was attracted to.”

Here are the song’s lyrics:

Day after day, alone on the hill
The man with the foolish grin is keeping perfectly still
But nobody wants to know him
They can see that he’s just a fool
And he never gives an answer

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

Well on the way, head in a cloud
The man of a thousand voices talking perfectly loud
But nobody ever hears him
Or the sound he appears to make
And he never seems to notice

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

And nobody seems to like him
They can tell what he wants to do
And he never shows his feelings

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

He never listens to them
He knows that they’re the fools
They don’t like him

The fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

And in case you’re interested, here is the Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 cover of “The Fool on the Hill.”

Song Lyric Sunday — Down By The River

Jim Adam, who is filling in for Helen Vahdati in the Song Lyric Sunday prompt gave us “River/Stream/Creek/Brook” as this week’s theme. I have no doubt that this song by Neil Young, “Down By The River,” will be chosen by quite a few bloggers this week.

The song was written by Neil Young and was released on his 1969 album with Crazy Horse, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.

The song’s refrain, “Down by the river/I shot my baby/Down by the river,” suggests that the song is about a murder. But according to Young, it’s not. “It’s about blowing your thing with a chick. See,” he said, “now in the beginning, it’s ‘I’ll be on your side, you be on mine.’ It could be anything. Then the chick thing comes in. Then at the end it’s a whole other thing. It’s a plea…a desperation cry.”

But at a live concert in New Orleans, Young introduced the song by saying, “I’d like to sing you a song about a guy who had a lot of trouble controlling himself. He let the dark side side come thru a little too bright.” Then, Young goes on to the describe the murder, the killer’s arrest and, finally, the guilt he feels as he realizes what he’s done.

Some fans believe that the song is really a metaphor for some addictive drug. The notion is that it’s about banishing this addiction.

An interesting side note is that, according to the liner notes to his 1977 Greatest Hits album, Decade, Young said that he wrote this song, as well as “Cinnamon Girl” and “Cowgirl In The Sand,” in one day while sick with a high fever.

Here are the song’s lyrics.

Be on my side. I’ll be on your side, baby.
There is no reason for you to hide.
It’s so hard for me staying here all alone,
When you could be taking me for a ride.

She could drag me over the rainbow,
Send me away.

Down by the river,
I shot my baby.
Down by the river.

Dead, ooh, ooh, shot her dead, ooh.

You take my hand, I’ll take your hand.
Together we may get away.
This much madness is too much sorrow.
It’s impossible to make it today.

She could drag me over the rainbow,
Send me away.

Down by the river,
I shot my baby.
Down by the river.

Dead, dead, ooh, ooh, shot her dead, shot her dead.

Be on my side. I’ll be on your side.
There is no reason for you to hide.
It’s so hard for me staying here all alone,
When you could be taking me for a ride.

She could drag me over the rainbow,
Send me away.

Down by the river,
I shot my baby.
Down by the river.

Down by the river,
I shot my baby.
Down by the river.

Down by the river,
I shot my baby.
Down by the river.

Song Lyric Sunday — Beyond The Sea

Jim Adams is once again our gracious host for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday. The theme he chose is “Ocean/Sea/Lake/Bay.” And the song I chose is the Bobby Darin recording of “Beyond The Sea.”

“Beyond The Sea” was written by Albert Lasry, Charles Trenet, and Jack Lawrence. It was originally released by Trenet in 1946 as a French song titled “La Mer,” which means “the sea.” Trenet had composed “La Mer” as an homage to the changing moods of the sea. For the English version, Lawrence added the word “Beyond” to the song’s title, turning it into a love song.

Bobby Darin’s version was released in late 1959, and is regarded as the best known rendition. It reached number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 15 on the U.S. R&B chart. Darin died at the age of 37 following a heart operation in Los Angeles.

In addition to being one of Darin’s most popular pop standards, “Beyond The Sea” was also the title for the movie about Bobby Darin’s life starring Kevin Spacey as the singer. Spacey performed most of the music for the movie himself.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

Somewhere beyond the sea
Somewhere waitin’ for me
My lover stands on golden sands
And watches the ships that go sailin’

Somewhere beyond the sea
She’s there watchin’ for me
If I could fly like birds on high
Then straight to her arms, I’d go sailin’

It’s far beyond a star
It’s near beyond the moon
I know beyond a doubt
My heart will lead me there soon

We’ll meet beyond the shore
We’ll kiss just as before
Happy we’ll be beyond the sea
And never again I’ll go sailin’

I know beyond a doubt, ah!
My heart will lead me there soon

We’ll meet, I know we’ll meet beyond the shore
We’ll kiss just as before
Happy we’ll be beyond the sea
And never again I’ll go sailin’

No more sailin’
So long, sailin’
Bye bye, sailin’
Move on out, captain

Song Lyric Sunday — No Can Do

Jim Adams continues to host Song Lyric Sunday while Helen Vahdati is dealing with some health issues. This week’s theme is simply the word “no.” And, as a longtime fan of the glam-rock duo, Daryl Hall & John Oates, the song “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” immediately came to mind.

The song was written by Daryl Hall and John Oates, and co-written by Sara Allen. It was released in 1981 as the second single from their tenth studio album, Private Eyes. It became their fourth number one hit single on the Billboard Top 100. It hit number one on the R&B charts as well.

“I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” was a phrase Daryl Hall used when he was pressured to go along with the crowd against his wishes. After a recording session for the Private Eyes album, Hall, Oates, and engineer Neil Kernon improvised this song. Hall and his girlfriend, Sara Allen, fleshed our the lyrics.

John Oates said that what might sound like a guy telling off his significant other is actually “about the the music business.” He explained that it’s about not being pushed around by big labels, managers, and agents and being told what to do, and being true to yourself creatively. Calling it “typical of a lot of the lyrics we’ve written over the years,” Oates said, “It seems like it’s about one thing, but it’s really not. What we have always tried to do, and if we have any kind of philosophy for our lyrics over the years, it was to try to take a universal subject and somehow make it seem personal so that people could relate to it as if it was a personal thing.”

I found this explanation for the song interesting because I had always interpreted the song to be about a man not willing to make a commitment to a woman. Whether leaving his wife for his mistress, or marrying a girlfriend he just doesn’t want to marry. Either that or it was that his wife or girlfriend wanted him to do something really kinky and despite loving her, it just wasn’t something he was interested in. What do you think?

Here are the song’s lyrics.

Easy, ready, willing, overtime
Where does it stop
Where do you dare me
To draw the line
You’ve got the body
Now you want my soul
Don’t even think about it
Say, no go
I, I-I, I ‘ll do anything
That you want me to do
Yeah, I, I-I, I’ll do almost anything
That you want me too, ooh
Yeah

But I can’t go for that, nooo
(No)
No can do
I can’t go for that, nooo
(No)
No can do
I can’t go for that, nooo
(No)
No can do
I can’t go for that
Can’t go for that
Can’t go for that
Can’t go for that

I can go for being twice as nice
I can go for just repeating
The same old lines
Use the body
Now you want my soul
Ooh, forget about it
Now say, no go

I, I-I, I ‘ll do anything
That you want me to do
Yeah, I, I-I, I’ll do almost anything
That you want me too, ooh
Yeah

But I can’t go for that, nooo
(No)
No can do
I can’t go for that, nooo
(No)
No can do
I can’t go for that, nooo
(No)
No can do
I can’t go for that
Can’t go for that
Can’t go for that
Can’t go for that, yeah

[Instrumental Interlude]

Yeah, I, I-I, I ‘ll do anything
That you want me to do
Yeah, I, I-I, I’ll do almost anything
That you want me too, ooh
Yeah

But I can’t go for that, nooo
(No)
No can do
I can’t go for that, nooo
(No)
No can do
I can’t go for that, nooo
(No)
No can do
I can’t go for that
Can’t go for that
Can’t go for that
Can’t go for that, yeah..

Song Lyric Sunday — Sad Love

Jim Adams continues to guest host Song Lyric Sunday in Helen Vahdati’s absence. The theme for this week is “crying/sadness.” My song selection is taken from one of my all-time favorite albums, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs from Derek and the Dominos. The song is “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad.”

Derek and the Dominos was English–American blues rock band formed in the spring of 1970 by Eric Clapton, Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle, and Jim Gordon, who had all previously played together in Delaney & Bonnie and Friends.

The album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, is full of songs about heartbreak and unrequited love. Many were inspired by George Harrison’s wife, Pattie. Clapton was having an affair with her and was tormented because he was good friends with George. Eventually, Clapton and Pattie started living together and got married. George was never too upset because he had lost interest in Pattie, and he remained good friends with Clapton. In the end, Pattie and Eric got a divorce and moved on with their lives.

The song “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad”  was written by Clapton and Whitlock and was released as a track on the Layla album, although never as a single.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

Got to find me a way
To take me back to yesterday.
How can I ever hope to forget you?

Won’t you show me a place
Where I can hide my lonely face?
I know you’re going to break my heart if I let you.

[Chorus:]
Why does love got to be so sad?
Why does love got to be so sad?
Why does love got to be so sad?
Why does love got to be so sad?

Like a moth to a flame,
Like a song without a name,
I’ve never been the same since I met you.

Like a bird on the wing,
I’ve got a brand new song to sing,
I can’t keep from singing about you.

[Chorus]

I’m beginning to see
What a fool you’ve made of me.
I might have to break the law when I find you.

Stop running away;
I’ve got a better game to play,
You know I can’t go on living without you.

[Chorus]