Song Lyric Sunday — Rich Girl

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams is once again going with a suggestion from Paula of Light Motifs II. The theme is songs that mention Money, Gold, Silver, or Rich. I have selected the song “Rich Girl” from Daryl Hall & John Oates.

“Rich Girl” debuted on the Billboard Top 40 on February 5, 1977, at number 38 and it was the first of Hall & Oates six number-one singles on the Billboard Top 100. The single originally appeared on the 1976 album Bigger Than Both of Us and propelled the duo to superstardom.

The song’s lyrics were about a spoiled girl who could rely on her parents’ money to do whatever she wanted. The song was rumored to have been about the then-scandalous newspaper heiress Patty Hearst. But the character in the song was actually based upon the spoiled heir to a fast food fortune who had dated Sara Allen, Daryl Hall’s longtime girlfriend. Her stories of him inspired Hall to write the song, but he had to change the main character to a girl, since he was the one who would be singing it.

Hall later revealed in an interview that the guy he wrote this song about was Victor Walker. Victor’s father owned The Walker Bros. Original Pancake House chain and also owned 15 KFC franchises. When I lived in the Chicago suburb of Northbrook back in the early 80s, The Walker Bros. Original Pancake House in Highland Park was one of my favorite places to go for Sunday breakfast with my family.

Anyway, Hall said Walker came to their apartment acting very strange, and Daryl realized that he could get away with it, since his father would pay to make his problems go away.

Hall was shocked when he found out that the infamous serial killer, David “Son Of Sam” Berkowitz, claimed to have been inspired to murder by this song. But that was unlikely, since the song was released after Berkowitz started his killing spree. Still, it was very disturbing for Hall and Oates to have their song associated with Berkowitz, and they made reference to this in their 1980 song “Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear the Voices)” from their Voices album in the lyrics: “Charlie liked The Beatles, Sam he liked Rich Girl.”

Here are the lyrics to “Rich Girl.”

You're a rich girl, and you've gone too far
Cause you know it don't matter anyway
You can rely on the old man's money
You can rely on the old man's money
It's a bitch girl, but it's gone too far
Cause you know it don't matter anyway
Say money, money won't get you too far, get you too far

And don't you know, don't you know
That it's wrong to take what he's giving you
So far gone on your own
But you can get along if you try to be strong
But you'll never be strong cause

You're a rich girl (rich girl), and you've gone too far
Cause you know it don't matter anyway (rich girl)
You can rely on the old man's money
You can rely on the old man's money
It's a bitch girl (rich girl) and it's gone too far
Cause you know it don't matter anyway (rich girl)
Say money, money won't get you too far, get you too far

High and dry, out of the rain
It's so easy to hurt others when you can't feel pain
And don't you know that a love can't grow
Cause there's too much to give
Cause you'd rather live for the thrill of it all, oh

You're a rich girl (rich girl), and you've gone too far
Cause you know it don't matter anyway (rich girl)
You can rely on the old man's money
You can rely on the old man's money
It's a bitch girl (rich girl), and it's gone too far
Cause you know it don't matter anyway (rich girl)
Say money, but it won't get you too far
Say money, but it won't get you too far
Say money, but it won't get you too far, get you too far

And you say you can rely on the old man's money
You can rely on the old man's money
You're a rich girl (rich girl), a rich girl
Oh, you're a rich, bitch girl (rich girl) yeah
Say money, but it won't get you too far
Oh, give it to me baby....

Thursday Inspiration — Windy

Today’s Thursday Inspiration prompt from Jim Adams has given us the photo above, the word “wind,” and/or a song by Billy Squire. Jim generally focus his Thursday Inspiration prompt on a song by a recording artist, and it inspired me to think of the 1967 song “Windy,” by the Association.

When this song came out, I was dating a girl named Wendy. The song was a mega hit and was playing on the radio all the time. I loved the song, and I loved Wendy, and because of the name of the song and the lyrics, I started calling Wendy “Windy.” She didn’t appreciate that and it may have precipitated our break up.

“Windy” was written by Ruthann Friedman, a singer/songwriter entrenched in the San Francisco and Los Angeles music scene in the ’60s. She became friends with Beach Boys lyricist Van Dyke Parks, who introduced her to The Association, the first to record the song. Although Friedman had written the song about a boy, The Association turned “Windy” into a girl.

Although Ruthann Friedman won’t reveal the identity of “Windy,” she said that she was sitting on her bed in the apartment on the first floor of David Crosby’s house in Beverly Glenn. There was a fellow who came to visit and was sitting there staring at her. She felt that he was going to suck the life out of her, so she started to fantasize about what kind of a guy she would like to be with, and that was Windy, a fantasy guy. The song took her about 20 minutes to write. She was 25 at the time.

In a 2014 Ruthann Friedman said that she later came to understand the true meaning of the song. She said, “These days, looking back at myself in my mid to late 20s, I finally realized I was talking about me in that song, and how I wanted to be.”

Song Lyric Sunday — Hair

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt, Jim Adams’ is, once again, going with a suggestion from Paula Light of Light Motifs II. Paula gave us the theme words Head, Hat, Hair, and Scarf. For my choice I’m going with the song “Hair,” my personal theme song from when I was a hippie and had a head of hair, long, beautiful hair.

“Hair” was the title song to the 1967 musical, Hair, and the 1979 film adaptation of the musical. The song “Hair,” like the rest of the songs in the show, has lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, and music by Galt MacDermot. The song is basically an ode to long hair, at a time when men had just begun to wear it long again, during the hippie era, which is what this musical is about.

In the musical, the song was performed by Claude, Berger, and the Tribe. They sang, “Give me a head with hair,” “as long as God can grow it,” and listed what they want in a head of hair and their uses for it.

Later the song takes the tune of “The Star-Spangled Banner” with the Tribe singing, “Oh say can you see/ My eyes if you can/Then my hair’s too short!” Claude and Berger’s religious references continue with many a “Hallelujah” as they consciously compare their hair to Jesus’s, and if Mary loved her son, “why don’t my mother love me?” The song shows the Tribe’s enthusiasm and pride for their hair as well as comparing Claude to a Jesus figure.

The song was a major hit for the Cowsills in 1969, although their version cuts out most of the religion-themed lyrics, changing “long as God can grow it” to “long as I can grow it,” and removing some other verses. The Cowsills’ version reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100. It was kept out of the number-one spot by another song from the Hair cast album, “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” by The 5th Dimension.

Here are the lyrics to “Hair.”

She asks me why
I'm just a hairy guy
I'm hairy noon and night
Hair that's a fright
I'm hairy high and low
Don't ask me why
Don't know
It's not for lack of bread
Like the Grateful Dead
Darling

Gimme head with hair
Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen

Give me down to there hair
Shoulder length or longer
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

Let it fly in the breeze
And get caught in the trees
Give a home to the fleas in my hair
A home for fleas
A hive for buzzing bees
A nest for birds
There ain't no words
For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder
Of my

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy
Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty
Oily, greasy, fleecy
Shining, gleaming, streaming
Flaxen, waxen
Knotted, polka-dotted
Twisted, beaded, braided
Powdered, flowered, and confettied
Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!

Oh say can you see
My eyes if you can
Then my hair's too short

Down to here
Down to there
Down to where
Down to where
It stops by itself

They'll be ga ga at the go go
When they see me in my toga
My toga made of blond
Brilliantined
Biblical hair

My hair like Jesus wore it
Hallelujah I adore it
Hallelujah Mary loved her son
Why don't my mother love me?

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

And here is the Cowsills’ cover of “Hair.”

Song Lyric Sunday — On Your Feet!

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams once again looks to Paula Light (Light Motifs II) for inspiration. And Paula gave us Socks, Shoes, Boots, and Feet to work with. I decided to go with Paul Simon’s “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.”

“Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” was written and recorded by the American singer-songwriter Paul Simon. It was the fourth single from his 1986 studio album, Graceland. The song features guest vocals from the South African male choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Paul Simon traveled to South Africa in 1985 and recorded with various local musicians, gathering tracks that would be used on the Graceland album. While he was there, he met with the leader of a vocal group called Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and he flew them to London to record the song “Homeless.”

Simon and the group bonded at these sessions, and when Paul was finishing the album in New York, he brought them in to back him on his “Saturday Night Live” appearance on May 10, 1986.

Paul Simon said that the songs on the album Graceland, including this one were not at all political. He considered writing political songs for Graceland, but decided against it, since he wasn’t very good at it and the point of the project was to bring the sound of South Africa to the world, not its politics.

Simon said that he worked very hard to lace the lyrics around the tracks, which was tricky since there was so much going on in the rhythms. The result on this song was a lot of clever wordplay and an abstract story about a rich girl in New York City and her suitors. A clue that there might not be too deep a meaning here is in the line, “and I could say ‘ooo ooo ooo’ as if everybody knows what I’m talking about.”

Simon felt that this song was one of his best musical achievements. He said the song suited his voice very well.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo sing in Zulu on this song. Their refrain roughly translates to: “It’s not usual but in our days we see those things happen. They are women, they can take care of themselves.”

Here are the lyrics to Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.”

(A-wa) O kodwa you zo-nge li-sa namhlange 
(A-wa a-wa) Si-bona kwenze ka kanjani
(A-wa a-wa) Amanto mbazane ayeza
She's a rich girl
She don't try to hide it
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes

He's a poor boy
Empty as a pocket
Empty as a pocket with nothing to lose
Sing Ta na na
Ta na na na

She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes
She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes

People say she's crazy
She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes
Well that's one way to lose these
Walking blues
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes

She was physically forgotten
Then she slipped into my pocket
With my car keys
She said you've taken me for granted
Because I please you
Wearing these diamonds

And I could say Oo oo oo
As if everybody knows
What I'm talking about
As if everybody would know
Exactly what I was talking about
Talking about diamonds on the soles of her shoes

She makes the sign of a teaspoon
He makes the sign of a wave
The poor boy changes clothes
And puts on after-shave
To compensate for his ordinary shoes

And she said honey take me dancing
But they ended up by sleeping
In a doorway
By the bodegas and the lights on
Upper Broadway
Wearing diamonds on the soles of their shoes

And I could say Oo oo oo
As if everybody here would know
What I was talking about
I mean everybody here would know exactly
What I was talking about
Talking about diamonds

People say I'm crazy
I got diamonds on the soles of my shoes
Well that's one way to lose
These walking blues
Diamonds on the soles of our shoes

Thursday Inspiration — Bad, Bad, Bad

For this week’s Thursday Inspiration prompt from Jim Adams, he gave us the graphic below and the word “bad” to inspire us.

What came to mind for me as soon as I saw his prompt was the George Thorogood song, “Bad to the Bone.”

This song by George Thorogood and the Destroyers was released in 1982 on the album of the same name. The phrase “bad to the bone” means there isn’t a bit of good in the man. Thorogood’s song was based on the Bo Diddley blues song “I’m A Man.” Thorogood was influenced by the blues, and Diddley was one of his heroes. Thorogood’s version has a much heavier guitar sound, which replaces the harmonica in Diddley’s recording.

Here are the lyrics.

On the day I was born
The nurses all gathered 'round
And they gazed in wide wonder
At the joy they had found
The head nurse spoke up
And she said leave this one alone
She could tell right away
That I was bad to the bone

Bad to the bone
Bad to the bone
B-B-B-B-Bad
B-B-B-B-Bad
B-B-B-B-Bad
Bad to the bone

I broke a thousand hearts
Before I met you
I'll break a thousand more, baby
Before I am through
I wanna be yours pretty baby
Yours and yours alone
I'm here to tell ya honey
That I'm bad to the bone
Bad to the bone
B-B-B-Bad
B-B-B-Bad
B-B-B-Bad
Bad to the bone

I make a rich woman beg
I'll make a good woman steal
I'll make an old woman blush
And make a young girl squeal
I wanna be yours pretty baby
Yours and yours alone
I'm here to tell ya honey
That I'm bad to the bone
B-B-B-B-Bad
B-B-B-B-Bad
B-B-B-B-Bad
Bad to the bone

Now when I walk the streets
Kings and Queens step aside
Every woman I meet
They all stay satisfied
I wanna tell ya pretty baby
Well ya see I make my own
I'm here to tell ya honey
That I'm bad to the bone
Bad to the bone
B-B-B-B-Bad
B-B-B-Bad
B-B-B-Bad
(Hoo) bad to the bone