Song Lyric Sunday — It Takes Two

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams asked us to come up with songs by duets, songs where two performers sing in unison and have equal importance to the piece. The song I chose for this prompt is a duet performed by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston, “It Takes Two.”

“It Takes Two” was written by longtime Marvin Gaye collaborator William “Mickey” Stevenson, and Sylvia Moy. The song was centered on a romantic lyric that depicted many things in life (dreams, love, wishes, etc.) being better with two people instead of one. It was produced by Stevenson, Kim Weston’s husband, and was released in December 1966 from the album Take Two. The song peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Pop charts and number 4 on Billboard’s Soul Singles chart in January 1967. “It Takes Two” was also Gaye’s first major hit in the UK, where it peaked at number 16 on the British singles charts in the spring of that same year.

Shortly after the album Take Two was released in August 1966, but before the single “It Takes Two” was released the following December, Kim Weston left Motown in a dispute over royalties. Weston’s replacement as Gaye’s duet partner was Tammi Terrell, who recorded several successful hit singles with Gaye during the late 1960s.

There have been several covers of the song, the most notable being this one from Rod Stewart and Tina Turner in 1990.

Here are the lyrics to “It Takes Two.”

One can have a dream, baby
Two can make a dream so real
One can talk about being in love
Two can see how it really feels

One can wish upon a star
Two can make a wish come true, yeah
One can stand alone in the dark
Two can make a light shine through

It takes two, baby
It takes two, baby,
Me and you
You know it takes two

It takes two, baby
It takes two, baby
Make a dream come true
It just takes two

One can have a broken heart
Living in misery
Two can really ease the pain
Like a perfect remedy
One can be alone in a bar,
Like an island he’s all alone
Two can make just any place
Seem just like bein’ at home

It takes two, baby
It takes two, baby
Me and you
It just takes two
It takes two, baby
It takes two, baby,
To make a dream come true
It just take two

Just takes two
Just takes two

One can go out to a movie
Looking for a special treat
Two can make that single movie
Something really kind of sweet
And one can take a walk in the moonlight
Thinking that’s it’s really nice
But two lovers walking hand in hand
Is like adding just a pinch of spice

It takes two, baby
It takes two, baby
Me and you
Just takes two
It takes two, baby
It takes two, baby
To make a dream come true

Song Lyric Sunday — Tom, Dick, and Harry

Jim Adams asked us to look for songs “that are written or sung by someone named Tom, Dick, or Harry or a song that includes one of these names in the lyrics” for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday. So how could I possibly pass up thinking about my favorite folk rock duo, Tommy and Dickie Smothers, aka “The Smothers Brothers”?

The Smothers Brothers are American folk singers, musicians, and comedians. Tommy played acoustic guitar and Dick played the string bass. Their shtick when singing usually led to comedic arguments between the siblings. Tommy’s signature line was, “Mom always liked you best!” Tommy (the elder of the two) acted “slow,” while Dick, the straight man, acted “superior.”

According to Wikipedia, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the brothers frequently appeared on television variety shows and issued several popular record albums of their stage performances. Their own television variety show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, became one of the most controversial American TV programs of the Vietnam War era. Despite popular success, the brothers’ penchant for material that was critical of the political mainstream and sympathetic to the emerging counterculture led to their firing by the CBS network in 1969. Naturally, I was a big Smothers Brothers fan.

The Smothers Brothers song I chose to feature in this post is their rather unique rendition of “They Call the Wind Mariah,” which is an American popular song with lyrics written by Alan J. Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe for their 1951 Broadway musical, Paint Your Wagon. The song is a beautiful ballad of lonely prospectors hungering for their women in the California gold rush days.

I hope you enjoy the Smothers Brothers cover of the song.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

Mariah Mariah They call the wind Mariah
Way out here they got a name for rain and wind and fire
The rain is Tess , the fire’s Joe, and they call the wind Mariah
Mariah blows the stars around, sends the clouds a’flyin?
Mariah makes the mountain sound, like folks were up there dyin’
Mar-i-ah, MARIAH !, they call the wind Mar-i-ah
Before I knew Mariah’s name and heard her wail and whining
I had a girl and she had me and the sun was always shining
But then one day I left my girl
I left her far behind me, and now I’m lost so god darn lost
not even God can find me
Mar-i-ah, MARIAH !, they call the wind Mar-i-ah
Out here they got a name for rain wind and fire only
But When you’re lost and all alone there ain’t no word but lonely
I’m a lost and lonely man without a star to guide me
Mariah, blow my love to me, I need my girl beside me
Mar-i-ah, Mariah,
They call the wind Mar-i-ah.
Mariah, Mariah blow my love to me

Song Lyric Sunday — And In The End

80A69B27-D003-4F86-969E-80ACA8702C0AFor this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams gave us Bottom/End/Middle/Side/Top as the theme. The song that came to mind for me was “The End” from the Beatles eleventh studio album, Abbey Road, which was released in September 1969.

Personally, I don’t care what anyone else says. In my opinion, Abbey Road is the best of all of the Beatles albums. To me, it is pure musical and lyrical genius.

“The End” was composed by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. It features one of the few drum solos recorded by Ringo Starr. It was the last song recorded collectively by all four Beatles. While it was initially intended to be the final track on Abbey Road, it ended up being followed by “Her Majesty.” Still, it is the final song in the suite of songs on “side two” of the album, which consists mostly of a medley of song fragments edited together to form a single piece. “The End” starts over the end of “Carry That Weight.”

The line, “And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make,” one of my personal favorite lines in all of rock music, was essentially the Beatles closing statement. It was the last lyric on the last album they recorded. Let It Be was the last album they released, but it was actually recorded earlier than Abbey Road. It was the end of the band and they knew it, though it wasn’t spoken. The love they collected from everybody was the same intense love that they invested in the band’s work. “The End” was the Beatles’ last message of love.

Here are the lyrics to “The End.”

Oh yeah, all right
Are you going to be in my dreams
Tonight?

[Drum solo]

[Guitar solos]

And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love
You make

Song Lyric Sunday — La Te Da

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has given us more of a sound than a word. That sound is “la.” For the first time since I’ve been responding to the Song Lyric Sunday prompt, first when Helen Vahdati was hosting it, and since Jim took it over, I’m featuring the same artist two weeks in a row. Last week the theme was “crazy,” and I chose Van Morrison’s song “Crazy Love.” This week I’m choosing Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl,” not only because it’s a great song, but because “la” appears in it 66 times!

“Brown Eyed Girl” was written and performed by Van Morrison as a track on his first solo album, Blowin’ Your Mind! It was released as a single in June 1967 and spent sixteen weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 10.

The song was originally titled “Brown-Skinned Girl,” and it was about an interracial relationship, but Morrison changed it to “Brown Eyed Girl” when he recorded it in order to make it more palatable for radio stations. Morrison remarked of the title change, “That was just a mistake. It was a kind of Jamaican song. Calypso. It just slipped my mind that I changed the title.”

Some stations banned the song anyway for the line, “Making love in the green grass.” A radio-edit of the song was released which removed the lyrics, “Making love in the green grass,” and replaced them with an overdub of “Laughin’ and a-runnin’, hey hey” from a previous verse to make it more radio-friendly.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

Hey where did we go
Days when the rains came
Down in the hollow
Playin’ a new game
Laughin’ and a-runnin’ hey, hey
Skippin’ and a-jumpin’
In the misty morning fog with
Our hearts a thumpin’ and you
My brown eyed girl
You’re my brown eyed girl

Whatever happened
To Tuesday and so slow
Going down the old mine
With a transistor radio
Standing in the sunlight laughing
Hiding behind a rainbow’s wall
Slippin’ and slidin’
All along the water fall, with you
My brown eyed girl
You’re my brown eyed girl

Do you remember when we used to sing
Sha la la la la la la la la la la te da
Just like that
Sha la la la la la la la la la la te da, la te da

So hard to find my way
Now that I’m all on my own
I saw you just the other day
My how you have grown
Cast my memory back there, Lord
Sometime I’m overcome thinking ’bout
Making love in the green grass
Behind the stadium with you
My brown eyed girl
You’re my brown eyed girl

Do you remember when we used to sing
Sha la la la la la la la la la la te da (lying in the green grass)
Sha la la la la la la la la la la te da (bit, bit, bit, bit, bit, bit)
Sha la la la la la la la la la la te da (sha la la la la la)
Sha la la la la la la la la la la te da