Song Lyric Sunday — I Feel Good

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams is getting all touchy-feely on us by giving us the theme of “touch” and “feel.” Well, I feel good about my choice, which is James Brown’s “I Got You) I Feel Good.”

“I Got You (I Feel Good) was a song by the American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer, and bandleader, James Brown. It was first recorded for the album Out of Sight and then released in an alternate take as a single in 1965. The song was Brown’s highest charting song, reaching number 3 on the Billboard hot 100 and number 1 on the R&B charts in 1965. It became Brown’s signature song and gave him his famous catch phrase, “I Feel Good.”

Brown was the progenitor of a genre of music that become known as “funk.” He was often referred to as the “Godfather of Soul” and “Soul Brother No. 1.”

The song is about a man exulting in how good he feels (“nice, like sugar and spice”) now that he is with the one he loves. It’s a great example of a funk song with lyrics. It’s not poetry, but Brown’s series of single-syllable words are accented to hit the beats and support the song’s rhythm.

When I was in college at the University of Maryland, whenever James Brown performed at the Howard Theater in Washington, DC, I’d go to see his shows. He was an amazing performer who set the stage for a whole generation of black musicians and performers.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

Wo! I feel good, I knew that I would, now
I feel good, I knew that I would, now
So good, so good, I got you

Wo! I feel nice, like sugar and spice
I feel nice, like sugar and spice
So nice, so nice, I got you

When I hold you in my arms
I know that I can do no wrong
and when I hold you in my arms
My love won’t do you no harm

and I feel nice, like sugar and spice
I feel nice, like sugar and spice
So nice, so nice, I got you

When I hold you in my arms
I know that I can’t do no wrong
and when I hold you in my arms
My love can’t do me no harm

and I feel nice, like sugar and spice
I feel nice, like sugar and spice
So nice, so nice, well I got you

Wo! I feel good, I knew that I would, now
I feel good, I knew that I would
So good, so good, ’cause I got you
So good, so good, ’cause I got you
So good, so good, ’cause I got you

Hey! Oh yeah-a…

Song Lyric Sunday — Promises

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has challenged us to come up with songs about promises, vows, and oaths. For some reason I found this harder than I thought it would be, but I finally remembered this interesting little song sung by Eric Clapton titled “Promises.”

“Promises” was a single performed by Eric Clapton. It was written by songwriters Richard Feldman and Roger Linn, and was released in September 1978 from Clapton’s studio album Backless. In the U.S., “Promises” reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and number six on the Adult Contemporary chart.

The song’s tune is lightweight and upbeat, which belies what the song is about. It’s actually a kind of heartbreaking tale of a man who comes to a long-overdue conclusion that the woman he loves and has always wanted to be with will never accept his love. In order to protect himself, he has become indifferent to what she does. Recognizing this, he ends the relationship for his own good. Until or unless there comes a time when she can see it the way he has always done so, he is giving up in order to move on.

Here are the song’s lyrics.

I don’t care if you never come home
I don’t mind if you just keep on rowin’ away on a distant sea
‘Cause I don’t love you and you don’t love me

You cause a commotion when you come to town
You give ’em a smile and they melt
And your lovers and friends is all good and fine
But I don’t like yours and you don’t like mine

La la la la la la
La la la la la la la la

I don’t care what you do at night
Oh, I don’t care how you get you delights
We’ll leave it alone and just let it be
I don’t love you and you don’t love me

I got a problem, can you relate
I got a woman callin’ love hate
We made a vow we’d always be friends
How could we know that promises end

La la la la la la
La la la la la la la la

I tried to love for years upon years
You refuse to take me for real
It’s time you saw what I want you to see
I’d still love you if you’d just love me

I got a problem, can you relate
I got a woman callin’ love hate
We made a vow we’d always be friends
How could we know that promises end

La la la la la la
La la la la la la la la
La la la la la la
La la la la la la la la
Wohoo, la la la la la la la

Song Lyric Sunday — Gimme Some Lovin’

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has given us “Give,” “Get,” “Take,” “Receive,” and “Send” for the theme. I reached way back to 1966 for the song “Gimme Some Lovin’” by the British rock band, the Spencer Davis Group.

Written by Steve Winwood, Spencer Davis, and Muff Winwood, Steve’s older brother, “Gimme Some Lovin’” reached number two in the U.K. and number seven in the U.S. Steve Winwood was just 17 years old when he wrote this song and it was pretty much written on the fly. It was one of the first songs he wrote and when the band went to the studio, they banged it out on the first or second take. Bassist Muff Winwood said, “Steve had been singing, ‘Gimme some lovin’” — just yelling anything. It took about an hour to write, then down the pub for lunch.”

“Gimme Some Lovin’” is one of the most covered songs of all time, having been recorded by The Blues Brothers, Olivia Newton-John, Ike and Tina Turner, Chicago, Queen, The Supremes, The Four Tops, Traffic, The Grateful Dead, and Hanson.

The song is not really about a man asking his woman to give him love as it is about a band performing on stage and looking to get some lovin’ from the audience.

Here are the lyrics to the song:

Well my temperature’s rising and my feet are on the floor
Twenty people knocking ‘cos they’re wanting some more
Let me in baby, I don’t know what you’ve got
But you’d better take it easy, this place is hot

I’m so glad we made it, I’m so glad we made it
You’ve gotta gimme some lovin’ (gimme some lovin’)
Gimme some lovin’ (gimme gimme some lovin’), gimme some lovin’ every day

Well I feel so good, everything is sounding hot
Better take it easy ‘cos the place is on fire
Been a hard day and I don’t know what to do
Wait a minute baby, it could happen to you

I’m so glad we made it, I’m so glad we made it
You’ve gotta gimme some lovin’ (gimme some lovin’)
Gimme some lovin’ (gimme gimme some lovin’), gimme some lovin’ every day

Well I feel so good, everybody’s getting high
Better take it easy ‘cos the place is on fire
Been a hard day and nothing went too good
Now I’m gonna relax honey, everybody should

I’m so glad we made it, I’m so glad we made it
You’ve gotta gimme some lovin’ (gimme some lovin’)
Gimme some lovin’ (gimme gimme some lovin’), gimme some lovin’ every day

Gimme some lovin’ (gimme some lovin’) I need it
(Gimme gimme some lovin’) I need it
Ooh, gimme some lovin’, every day, every day

Song Lyric Sunday — Southern Man

The directions Jim Adams gave us for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday were simply directions: north, south, east, and west. The song I chose might be a bit of a bending of a strict interpretation of the rules, but since this is my blog, I can bend the rules if I want to. I chose “Southern Man” by Neil Young.

“Southern Man” was a track on Neil Young’s 1970 album After the Gold Rush. The song was about racism in the American South, with oblique to references to slavery and the Ku Klux Klan. Young claimed the song was more about the civil rights movement than the South, but many southerners didn’t appreciate the negative generalization.

In his autobiography, Young apologized for the song, writing, “I don’t like my words when I listen to it. They are accusatory and condescending, not fully thought out, and too easy to misconstrue.”

The southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd wrote “Sweet Home Alabama” as a response to “Southern Man.” Young is mentioned in the line, “I hope Neil Young will remember, a Southern man don’t need him around anyhow.” The members of Lynyrd Skynyrd were actually big fans of Young. “Sweet Home Alabama” was meant as a good-natured answer to “Southern Man” as well as to Young’s song, “Alabama,” from his 1972 album, Harvest.

Here are the lyrics to “Southern Man.”

Southern man, better keep your head.
Don’t forget what your good book said.
Southern change gonna come at last.
Now your crosses are burning fast.

Southern man.

I saw cotton and I saw black.
Tall white mansions and little shacks.
Southern man, when will you pay them back?

I heard screamin’ and bullwhips cracking.
How long? How long?

Southern man, better keep your head.
Don’t forget what your good book said.
Southern change gonna come at last.
Now your crosses are burning fast.

Southern man.

Lily Belle, your hair is golden brown.
I’ve seen your black man comin’ round.
Swear by God, I’m gonna cut him down!

I heard screamin’ and bullwhips cracking.
How long? How long?

As a bonus this week, here’s Neil Young’s “Alabama” with lyrics.

And as a second bonus, here’s Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”

Song Lyric Sunday — Listen Boy

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams is all about communicating, giving us “Listen,” “Hear,” “Talk,” and “Speak,” as the theme words. I thought a great song about communicating would be Billy Joel’s “Tell Her About It.”

“Tell Her About It” was written and performed by American singer/songwriter Billy Joel, from his 1983 album, An Innocent Man. Intended as an homage to the Motown Sound, the song reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in September 1983.

“Tell Her About It” has an early ’60s sound to it that was reinforced by the official video, which shows the group “BJ and the Affordables” appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1963. In the song, the singer encourages a young man to tell the woman he loves how he feels about her before it’s too late and he loses her.

Billy Joel explained in an interview that the song was inspired by Christie Brinkley, who he met in 1982, married in 1985, and divorced in 1994. He said that she was the first person he could ever just talk to, and they would spend hours just talking, and that formed the basis for “Tell Her About It.” She was also his inspiration for another big hit from that same album, “Uptown Girl.”

Here are the lyrics to the song:

Listen boy
Don’t want to see you let a good thing
Slip away
You know I don’t like watching
Anybody make the same mistakes
I made

She’s a real nice girl
And she’s always there for you
But a nice girl wouldn’t tell you what you should do

Listen boy
I’m sure that you think you got it all
Under control

You don’t want somebody telling you
The way to stay in someone’s soul

You’re a big boy now
You’ll never let her go
But that’s just the kind of thing
She ought to know

Tell her about it
Tell her everything you feel
Give her every reason to accept
That you’re for real

Tell her about it
Tell her all your crazy dreams
Let her know you need her
Let her know how much she means

Listen boy
It’s not automatically a certain guarantee
To insure yourself
You’ve got to provide communication constantly

When you love someone
You’re always insecure
And there’s only one good way
To reassure

Tell her about it
Let her know how much you care
When she can’t be with you
Tell her you wish you were there
Tell her about it
Every day before you leave
Pay her some attention
Give her something to believe

Cause now and then
She’ll get to worrying
Just because you haven’t spoken
For so long
Though you may not have done anything
Will that be a consolation when she’s gone

Listen boy
It’s good information from a man
Who’s made mistakes
Just a word or two that she gets from you
Could be the difference that it makes

She’s a trusting soul
She’s put her trust in you
But a girl like that won’t tell you
What you should do

Tell her about it
Tell her everything you feel
Give her every reason
To accept that you’re for real
Tell her about it
Tell her all your crazy dreams
Let her know you need her
Let her know how much she means

Tell her about it
Tell her how you feel right now
Tell her about it
The girl don’t want to wait too long
You got to tell her about it
Tell her now and you won’t go wrong
You got to tell her about it
Before it gets too late
You got to tell her about it
You know the girl don’t want
To wait – you got to
Tell her about it