Song Lyric Sunday — Take It Easy

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt, Helen Vahdati selected “drive/driving” as the theme. I’m a big fan of both Jackson Browne and of the Eagles, so choosing the song “Take it Easy,” written by Browne and the Eagles’ Glenn Frey, was an easy choice for me.

“Take It Easy” was the Eagles’ first single, released in May 1972. Frey sang lead vocals. It peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also was the opening track on the band’s debut album, Eagles. Jackson Browne later recorded the song as the lead track on his second album, For Everyman, in 1973. He also released it as a single.

Browne started writing this song for his first album, but he didn’t know how to finish it. At the time, he was living in an apartment in Los Angeles, and his upstairs neighbor was Glenn Frey, who needed songs for his new band, the Eagles. Frey heard Browne working on the song and told Jackson that he thought it was great. Browne said he was having trouble completing the track, and played what he had of it. Browne then played the unfinished second verse that begins with “Well, I’m a-standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona…,” and Frey finished the verse with “Such a fine sight to see. It’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me.”

Browne turned the song over to Frey, who finished writing it and recorded it with the Eagles. Frey says that Browne did most of the work on the song and was very generous in sharing the writing credit. He described Browne’s unfinished version of the song as a “package without the ribbon.”

I’m including the Eagles’ version as well as Jackson Browne’s in this post.

Here are the song’s lyrics:

Well, I’m running down the road
tryin’ to loosen my load
I’ve got seven women on
my mind,
Four that wanna own me,
Two that wanna stone me,
One says she’s a friend of mine

Take It easy, take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels
drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can
don’t even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand
and take it easy

Well, I’m a standing on a corner
in Winslow, Arizona
and such a fine sight to see
It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed
Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me
Come on, baby, don’t say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love is
gonna save me
We may lose and we may win though
we will never be here again
so open up, I’m climbin’ in,
so take it easy

Well I’m running down the road trying to loosen
my load, got a world of trouble on my mind
lookin’ for a lover who won’t blow my
cover, she’s so hard to find

Take it easy, take it easy
don’t let the sound of your own
wheels make you crazy
come on baby, don’t say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love is
gonna save me, oh oh oh
Oh we got it easy
We oughta take it easy

Song Lyric Sunday — A Case of You

Helen Vahdati’s theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt is “drink.” There are tons of songs about drinking, drinkers, and drunks. But the song I came up with is one I would describe as being a little out of the way. Unless you happen to be a Joni Mitchell fan, like I am. If so, then you know her song, “A Case of You,” from her 1971 album Blue.

“A Case of You” is a melancholy song about a failed relationship and the hurt that remains afterwards. Mitchell supposedly wrote this song after her breakup with Graham Nash, although some claim that it’s about Leonard Cohen. In either case, it’s the quintessential after-the-fact love song. She understands that you have to feel love deeply enough to mourn its passing.

Here are the song’s lyrics.

Just before our love got lost you said,
“I am as constant as a northern star.”
And I said, “Constantly in the darkness.
Where’s that at? If you want me I’ll be in the bar.”

On the back of a cartoon coaster
In the blue TV screen light
I drew a map of Canada, oh Canada
With your face sketched on it twice

Oh, you are in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter and you taste so sweet
Oh, I could drink a case of you, darling
And I’d still be on my feet
I’d still be on my feet

Oh, I am a lonely painter
I live in a box of paints
I’m frightened by the devil
And I’m drawn to those ones that ain’t afraid
I remember that time you told me
“Love is touching souls”
Well surely you touched mine
‘Cause part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time

Oh, you’re in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter and so sweet
Oh I could drink a case of you
I could drink a case of you, darling
And I’d still be on my feet
I’d still be on my feet

I met a woman
She had a mouth like yours
She knew your life
She knew your devils and your deeds
And she said, “Go to him, stay with him if you can
But be prepared to bleed”

Oh, you are in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter and you taste so sweet
Oh, I could drink a case of you, darling
And I’d still be on my feet
I’d still be on my feet.

Song Lyric Sunday — Takin’ It to the Streets

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Helen Vahdati chose “street.” My first inclination was to go with “On the Street Where You Live,” the Lerner and Loewe song from the 1956 Broadway musical “My Fair Lady.” But then I chose to go in a different direction and decided upon “Takin’ It to the Streets,” by the Doobie Brothers.

“Takin’ It to the Streets” was the first single by the band after Michael McDonald joined The Doobie Brothers. McDonald wrote the song and sang lead. It peaked at number 13 in the U.S. in 1976.

McDonald joined the group when guitarist Tom Johnson fell ill. The words were partly inspired by an essay McDonald’s sister wrote, hence the lyrics, “Take this message to my brother.”

Some consider “Takin’ It to the Streets” to be a protest song, but to me it seems to be more about the day-to-day situations we all find ourselves in at some point. It’s a message that we’re all in the same boat and there’s no such thing as a hole in your end of the boat. Hence, we need to get it together and do something constructive. I find it particularly relevant in our world today. Especially the lines “You, telling me the things you’re gonna do for me / I ain’t blind and I don’t like what I think I see.”

Here are the song’s lyrics:

You don’t know me but I’m your brother
I was raised here in this living hell
You don’t know my kind in your world
Fairly soon the time will tell
You, telling me the things you’re gonna do for me
I ain’t blind and I don’t like what I think I see
Takin’ it to the streets
Takin’ it to the streets
Takin’ it to the streets
Takin’ it to the streets

Take this message to my brother
You will find him everywhere
Wherever people live together
Tied in poverty’s despair
You, telling me the things you’re gonna do for me
I ain’t blind and I don’t like what I think I see

Takin’ it to the streets
Takin’ it to the streets
Takin’ it to the streets
Takin’ it to the streets

Song Lyric Sunday — Careless Talk

I actually had trouble coming up with a song for today’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt from Helen Vahdati. The theme she chose was “speak.” Sounds simple enough, right? But I just couldn’t come up with something until I thought to myself, “what do people do when they speak?” And then it came to me. They talk. Duh!

One of Billy Joel’s best albums, in my opinion, is his 1983 album, An Innocent Man. And one of the tracks on that album is “Careless Talk.”

Many of the songs on Joel’s An Innocent Man album were released as singles, and “Careless Talk” was on the B-side of “Uptown Girl.” It’s not very widely known except to serious Billy Joel fans like me.

“Careless Talk” was sung in the smooth baritone style of the late Sam Cooke and it was all about gossip, most likely inspired by the many tabloid articles at the time that appeared about Billy and Christie Brinkley.

Here are the lyrics to “Careless Talk.”

Careless talk
That’s what you heard about me
Jealous talk
That’s what I heard about you
Everybody’s telling lies
I don’t even know why
Why can’t people
Find something better to do

Careless talk
I don’t believe what they say
I heard them talk
They say you’ve been putting me down

In the shadows on the phone
They won’t leave us alone
They’ve been talking
Ever since you came around

Careless talk
Telling you I’m doing wrong
Jealous talk
Follows wherever you go

I’m aware of what you heard
Every terrible word
Everybody’s making believe that they know
All of the intimate things
That we might have said

In the heat of a passionate moment
In a conversation shared
For the ears of nobody else
There are some things they will never hear
There are secrets I’ll never tell
Careless talk
Going around on the street
Jealous talk
I know how bad it can be

Let them stand where they fall
They don’t know us at all
All that talking won’t make a difference to me

Song Lyric Sunday — Give Me a Break

Today’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt from Helen Vahdati is the word “break.” This was an almost overwhelming assignment. There are so many songs about heartbreak, breaking up, breaking ties with someone, breaking away, or breaking something, that it’s hard to find one song to choose. But find one I did. Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart.”

Written by Neil Young, the song, which was the third track on his album After the Gold Rush, was released as a single in October 1970. It became Young’s first top 40 hit as a solo artist, peaking at number 33 in the U.S.

The song was rumored to be about Steven Stills, who allegedly alienated his bandmates by referring to them as his “back-up singers” on stage. But Young later admitted it was about one of his other bandmates, Graham Nash, who was heartbroken after breaking up with Joni Mitchell.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

When you were young
and on your own
How did it feel
to be alone?
I was always thinking
of games that I was playing.
Trying to make
the best of my time.

But only love
can break your heart
Try to be sure
right from the start
Yes only love
can break your heart
What if your world
should fall apart?

I have a friend
I’ve never seen
He hides his head
inside a dream
Someone should call him
and see if he can come out.
Try to lose
the down that he’s found.

But only love
can break your heart
Try to be sure
right from the start
Yes only love
can break your heart
What if your world
should fall apart?

I have a friend
I’ve never seen
He hides his head
inside a dream
Yes, only love
can break your heart
Yes, only love
can break your heart