Song Lyric Sunday — Rhythm of the Rain

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Helen Vahdati picked “listen.” I’m reaching way back to my freshman year in high school for my song choice, “Rhythm of the Rain” by the Cascades.

The song, recorded by The Cascades, was released in November 1962. It was written by Cascades band member John Claude Gummoe. “Rhythm of the Rain” reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in March 1963 and number 1 on Billboards Easy Listening chart. Billboard ranked the record as the number 4 song of 1963.

The song is about a man whose lover has left him. The falling rain reminds him what a fool he has been. He asks the rain for answers, but ultimately he wishes it would just go away and let him cry alone.

Gummoe said that he wrote “Rhythm of the Rain” over a period of time, but the lyrics began while he was serving in the U.S. Navy. The ship he was on was sailing in the North Pacific and it was raining heavily and the seas were tossing. He felt like the rhythmic sound of the rain was talking to him.

Dozens of artists have covered this song, including Lawrence Welk, Bobby Darin, Johnny Rivers, Dan Fogelberg, Jan & Dean, Neil Sedaka, and Jerry Jeff Walker. A huge worldwide hit, BMI named “Rhythm of the Rain” the ninth most performed song of the 20th century.

Sadly, the Cascades turned out to be a one-hit wonder, as neither of their two follow-up songs charted and the group broke up in 1967.

Here are the lyrics to the song:

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
Telling me just what a fool I’ve been
I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain
And let me be alone again

The only girl I care about has gone away
Looking for a brand new start
But little does she know that when she left that day
Along with her she took my heart

Rain please tell me now does that seem fair
For her to steal my heart away when she don’t care?
I can’t love another when my hearts somewhere far away

The only girl I care about has gone away
Looking for a brand new start
But little does she know that when she left that day
Along with her she took my heart

Rain won’t you tell her that I love her so
Please ask the sun to set her heart aglow
Rain in her heart and let the love we knew start to grow

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
Telling me just what a fool I’ve been
I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain
And let me be alone again

Oh, listen to the falling rain
Pitter patter, pitter patter
Oh, oh, oh, listen to the falling rain
Pitter patter, pitter patter

Song Lyric Sunday — Soul Man

Helen Vahdati chose “soul” as her theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt. No doubt that I’m not the only blogger who will pick “Soul Man” as their song choice.

“Soul Man” was written and composed by Isaac Hayes and David Porter in 1967. It was originally recorded by the soul duo of Sam & Dave (Sam Moore and Dave Prater). The song reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the US in 1967.

Isaac Hayes said that he got the idea for the song from watching the riots in Detroit on TV. It was said that if you put the word “soul” on the door of your business establishment, the rioters wouldn’t burn it. The word “soul” became a galvanizing kind of thing for African Americans, according to Hayes, and it had an effect of unity, it was said with a lot of pride.

Hayes said, “Why not write a tune called ‘Soul Man’? All you had to do was write about your personal experiences, because all African Americans in this country at the time had similar experiences. But we realized that in addition to being an African American experience, it was a human experience, and therefore it crossed over and became very commercial.”

When this song was written, there was no clear definition of a “Soul Man.” After Isaac Hayes came up with the title, David Porter wrote the rest of the lyrics based on what he thought a Soul Man would be like.

In November 1978, Dan Akroyd and John Belushi, calling themselves the “Blues Brothers,” performed the song as the “cold opener” of an episode of Saturday Night Live. It was later released as a single, which reached number 14 in February 1979.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

Comin’ to you on a dusty road
Good lovin’, I got a truck load
And when ya get it, huh, ya got some
So don’t worry, ’cause I’m comin’

I’m a soul man, wow
I’m a soul man
I’m a soul man, woah, heh
I’m a soul man
And that ain’t all, huh

Gots what I got the hard way
And I’ll make it better each and every day
So honey, don’t you fret, huh
‘Cause you ain’t seen uh, nothin’ yet

I’m a soul man, oh road
I’m a soul man, play it Steve
I’m a soul man, ha
I’m a soul man, oh

I was brought up on a side street, yes maam
I learned how to love before I could eat
I was educated from good stock
When I start lovin’, oh I can’t stop

I’m a soul man
I’m a soul man
I’m a soul man, yeah
I’m a soul man, look

Grab a rope and I’ll pull you in
Give you hope and be your only boyfriend
Yeah (yeah) yeah (yeah), uh

I’m talking about a
Soul man, I’m a
Soul man, and you
Soul man, aah
Soul man, hold on
Soul man, I’m a
Soul man, and you a
Soul man, and you’re a
Soul man, hold on

Song Lyric Sunday —Piece of My Heart

Helen Vahdati’s theme for today’s Song Lyric Sunday is “take/taking.” The song that popped into my head as soon as I saw that theme was “Piece of my Heart” from Big Brother and the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin singing lead vocals.

“Piece of My Heart” was written by by Jerry Ragovoy and Bert Berns, and was originally recorded by Erma Franklin, Aretha Franklin’s younger sister, in 1967. It became a much bigger hit when Big Brother and the Holding Company covered it in 1968 on the band’s album, Cheap Thrills. The single made it to number 12 on the US pop charts and is Janis Joplin’s signature song, along side (arguably) “Me and Bobby McGee,” written by Kris Kristofferson, which was released in 1971 after Joplin’s death in 1970.

The song is essentially about a lovelorn woman so enraptured by her man that she’s willing to break off yet another piece of her heart if only he will take it. Joplin showed off her extraordinary vocal dexterity on the song, which was right in her wheelhouse in terms of dynamics and subject matter.

Here are the song’s lyrics.

Oh, come on, come on, come on, come on!

Didn’t I make you feel like you were the only man – yeah!
An’ didn’t I give you nearly everything that a woman possibly can ?
Honey, you know I did!
And each time I tell myself that I, well I think I’ve had enough,
But I’m gonna show you, baby, that a woman can be tough.

I want you to come on, come on, come on, come on and take it,
Take it!
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby!
Oh, oh, break it!
Break another little bit of my heart now, darling, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Oh, oh, have a!
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby,
You know you got it if it makes you feel good,
Oh, yes indeed.

You’re out on the streets looking good,
And baby deep down in your heart I guess you know that it ain’t right,
Never, never, never, never, never, never hear me when I cry at night,
Babe, and I cry all the time!
But each time I tell myself that I, well I can’t stand the pain,
But when you hold me in your arms, I’ll sing it once again.

I’ll say come on, come on, come on, come on and take it!
Take it!
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby.
Oh, oh, break it!
Break another little bit of my heart now, darling, yeah,
Oh, oh, have a!
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby,
You know you got it, child, if it makes you feel good.

I need you to come on, come on, come on, come on and take it,
Take it!
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby!
Oh, oh, break it!
Break another little bit of my heart, now darling, yeah, c’mon now.
Oh, oh, have a
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby.
You know you got it – whoahhhhh!!

Take it!
Take it! Take another little piece of my heart now, baby,
Oh, oh, break it!
Break another little bit of my heart, now darling, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
Oh, oh, have a
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby, hey,
You know you got it, child, if it makes you feel good.

Song Lyric Sunday — Shelter

This week’s theme for Helen Vahdati’s Song Lyric Sunday is “give/giving.” Though there are tons of songs that came to mind, the song I ended up choosing is The Rolling Stones classic song, “Gimme Shelter.”

“Gimme Shelter” is the opening track of the 1969 album Let It Bleed. The song was written by The Rolling Stones’ lead vocalist Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, the band’s primary songwriting team. The Stones didn’t release this song as a single, so it never charted.

After the first verse is sung by Jagger, gospel singer Merry Clayton enters. It was a late night recording session and Clayton, who was pregnant at the time, got the call at the last minute when the song’s producer, Jack Nitzsche, decided the song needed a female vocalist. Clayton showed up with curlers in her hair and wearing silk pajamas. Jagger explained to her that she’d be singing the line, “Rape, murder, it’s just a shot away.”

She did a take of her line, then decided to “blow them out of this room” on the next take. This time, she delivered a chilling vocal an octave higher, her voice cracking on “murder.” And then she went home and went back to bed.

“Gimme Shelter” is about the political and social unrest at the time. There was the war in Vietnam, race riots, and Charles Manson. Mick Jagger sings of needing shelter from this “storm.” He said, “That song was written during the Vietnam War and so it’s very much about the awareness that war is always present; it was very present in life at that point.“

Here are the song’s lyrics.

Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade awayWar, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

Ooh, see the fire is sweepin’
Our very street today
Burns like a red coal carpet
Mad bull lost your way

War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

Rape, murder!
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
Rape, murder!
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
Rape, murder!
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

The floods is threat’ning
My very life today
Gimme, gimme shelter
Or I’m gonna fade away

War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

I tell you love, sister, it’s just a kiss away
It’s just a kiss away
It’s just a kiss away
It’s just a kiss away
It’s just a kiss away
Kiss away, kiss away

Song Lyric Sunday — Tracks of My Tears

My first inclination when I saw that Helen Vahdati’s Song Lyric Sunday theme this week was “lost,” was to go with the Righteous Brothers’ song, “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” But then I remembered a song about love lost from my early college days after the girl of my dreams jilted me. That song is “The Tracks of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

Written by Smokey Robinson, Pete Moore, and Marv Tarplin, and released on Motown’s Tamla label, it was a 1965 R&B hit for The Miracles, reaching number 2 on the Billboard R&B chart, and number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The song is about a guy who is trying to put on a brave face even though he’s completely torn apart inside from needing somebody who isn’t there anymore. It illustrates how someone attempts to hide the sadness of a lost love with a smile.

Here are the lyrics to “The Tracks of My Tears.”

People say I’m the life of the party
Because I tell a joke or two
Although I might be laughing loud and hearty
Deep inside I’m blue

So take a good look at my face
You’ll see my smile looks out of place
If you look closer, it’s easy to trace
The tracks of my tears
I need you, need you

Since you left me if you see me with another girl
Seeming like I’m having fun
Although she may be cute
She’s just a substitute
Because you’re the permanent one

So take a good look at my face
You’ll see my smile looks out of place
If you look a little bit closer, it’s easy to trace
The tracks of my tears
I need you, need you

Outside I’m masquerading
Inside my hope is fading
Just a clown oh yeah
Since you put me down
My smile is my make up
I wear since my break up with you

So baby take a good look at my face
You’ll see my smile looks out of place
Yeah just look closer, it’s easy to trace
The tracks of my tears, baby, baby

Baby take a good look at my face
You’ll see my smile looks out of place
Oh look a little bit closer, it’s easy to trace
The tracks of my tears