Song Lyric Sunday — Rock and Roll Heaven

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has given us a theme built around tribute songs written in memory of someone. I was going to used Dion’s “Abraham, Martin and John,” Don McClean’s “American Pie,” or The Eagles’ “James Dean,” but I’d already use all of them for previous Song Lyric Sunday posts. So I decided to go with The Righteous Brothers’ rendition of “Rock and Roll Heaven.”

“Rock and Roll Heaven” was written by Alan O’Day and Johnny Stevenson and was first recorded by the band Climax in 1973. But it was popularized by The Righteous Brothers when released in 1974 and reached number three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

The song was a written originally as a tribute to several deceased singers, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding. In The Righteous Brothers’ single, Jim Morrison of the Doors, Jim Croce, and Bobby Darin were incorporated. Over the years, though, it has been rewritten a number of times to include other singers, including Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Roy Orbison, Jackie Wilson, Ricky Nelson, Dennis Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Cass Elliot, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

The Righteous Brothers were the duo of Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley. They were one of the biggest acts of the mid-Sixties, but in 1968 Hatfield and Medley split to pursue solo careers.

In 1974, the duo got back together, signing a deal with the songwriting/production team of Brian Potter and Dennis Lambert. Potter and Lambert thought “Rock And Roll Heaven” would be the perfect song for The Righteous Brothers comeback, so they had the duo record the song they day after signing them.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

[Chorus]
If you believe in forever
Then life is just a one-night stand
If there’s a rock and roll heaven
Well you know they’ve got a hell of a band, band, band

Jimmy gave us rainbows
And Janis took a piece of our hearts
And Otis brought us all to the dock of a bay
Sing a song to light my fire
Remember Jim that way
They’ve all found another place
Another place to play

[Chorus]

Remember bad bad Leroy Brown
Hey Jimmy touched us with that song
Time won’t change a friend we came to know
And Bobby gave us Mack the Knife
Well look out, he’s back in town
They’ll all be there together
When they meet in one big show

[Chorus]

There’s a spotlight waiting
No matter who you are
Cause everybody’s got a song to sing
Everyone’s a star
(Everybody’s got to be a star)

[Chorus: x3]

Song Lyric Sunday — Hey Joe

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt, Jim Adams is giving us the theme words of Bomb, Gun, Knife, and Weapon. The song I chose is “Hey Joe” from Jimi Hendrix.

“Hey Joe” was an American song from the 1960s that has become a rock standard and has been performed in many musical styles by hundreds of different artists. Billy Roberts claimed authorship and performed “Hey Joe” regularly in the late 1950s and early 1960s, without copyrighting it. In 1962, Roberts registered “Hey Joe” for copyright in the U.S.

But I have only heard the Jimi Hendrix version, which he recorded in 1966. It became a hit in the United Kingdom, entering the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart in January 1967 and peaking at number 6. The single was released in the U.S. in May 1967, but failed to chart. Nevertheless, “Hey Joe” as recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience remains the best-known version of the song.

The song is structured as a conversation between two men, with “Joe” explaining to the other that he caught his woman cheating and plans to kill her. They talk again, and Joe explains that he did indeed shoot her, and is headed to Mexico.

Hendrix played the “Hey Joe” live for the first time at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. It was the first time the Jimi Hendrix Experience performed in America. It was also the last song Hendrix performed at the Woodstock festival in 1969 and as such, it was also the final song of the whole festival.

Here are the lyrics to “Hey Joe.”

Hey Joe, where you goin’ with that gun in your hand
Hey Joe, I said where you goin’ with that gun in your hand
I’m goin’ down to shoot my old lady
You know I caught her messin’ ’round with another man
Yeah, I’m goin’ down to shoot my old lady
You know I caught her messin’ ’round with another man

Huh! And that ain’t cool
Hey hoe, I heard you shot your mama down
You shot her down now
Hey Joe, I heard you shot your lady down
You shot her down in the ground yeah!
Yeah!

Yes, I did, I shot her
You know I caught her messin’ round messin’ round town
Huh, yes I did I shot her
You know I caught my old lady messin’ ’round town
And I gave her the gun
And I shot her
Alright
Shoot her one more time again baby!
Yeah!
Oh dig it
Oh alright

Hey Joe
Where you gonna run to now where you gonna go
Hey Joe, I said
Where you gonna run to now where you gonna go
I’m goin’ way down south
Way down to mexico way
Alright
I’m goin’ way down South
Way down where I can be free

Ain’t no one gonna find me
Ain’t no hangman gonna
He ain’t gonna put a rope around me
You better believe it right now
I gotta go now
Hey, Joe
You better run on down
Goodbye everybody
Hey, hey Joe

Here, for those of you who are interested, is the recording of the song by Billy Roberts.

Song Lyric Sunday — What, Me Worry?

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, I’m honored that Jim Adams took my suggestion for a theme using the words Concern, Fear, Fret, Worry. There’s a lot to be concerned about, to fret about, and to fear these day, but I don’t want you to worry ‘bout a thing.

“Don’t You Worry ‘bout a Thing” was a single by Stevie Wonder from his 1973 album Innervisions. It reached number 16 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart, number 10 on the Cash Box chart, and number 2 on the R&B chart.

In this song, Stevie Wonder encourages his lady to be fearless in exploring all life has to offer because he’ll always be by her side. Although he claims to speak fluent Spanish in the intro, saying “Todo está bien chévere” (“Everything’s really great” or “Everything’s cool”), Wonder didn’t really know the language.

The Spanish lyric was inspired by a Puerto Rican woman that Wonder met in a record store. He said that he remember the night he was going to do this song and he just so happened to meet this girl named Rain. And she was beautiful. She worked at this record shop. Wonder said, “And I’m like saying to her, hey, you know, it’s amazing. You know, she sings. You know, she’s Puerto Rican. I say, yeah, OK, well, you know, I’m doing a little thing and like a little something called ‘Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing.’ What can I – I mean, give me something, something. I’ll let you come to the studio if you have anything to say. I’ll say some things, and it will be a wonderful day. And she said, ‘todo esta bien chevere.’ And that’s how I got that in a song. And, you know, we fell in love, and it was a beautiful thing.”

The night before Donald Trump was elected President in 2016, Wonder appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and expressed his disdain for Trump. Colbert asked the singer to perform this tune to allay the fears of liberal voters. Unfortunately, Trump won that election and the worst of the liberal fears were realized.

Here are the lyrics to “Don’t You Worry ‘bout a Thing.”

Eee eee!
Watch this y’all
Comprende señora

See here mama, uh, you understand that? (No)
Well, uh, like, huh, I understand how you can’t
I been to you know Paris, Beirut, you know, I mean
Iraq, Iran, Eurasia, you know
I speak very, very, um, fluent Spanish
Todo ‘stá bien chévere’, you understand that?
Chévere, bien chévere
It’s alright mama, ’cause I got my shakers moving…

Everybody’s got a thing
But some don’t know how to handle it
Always reachin’ out in vain
Just taking the things not worth having but

Don’t you worry ’bout a thing
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing, mama
‘Cause I’ll be standing on the side
When you check it out

They say your style of life’s a drag
And that you must go other places
But just don’t you feel too bad
When you get fooled by smiling faces but

Don’t you worry ’bout a thing
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing, mama
‘Cause I’ll be standing on the side
When you check it out

When you get it off your trip
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing

Bam bambam bambam bambam
Bambambambam bambambambam
Bam bambam bambam bambam
Bambambambam bambambambam

Don’t you worry ’bout a thing
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing, mama
‘Cause I’ll be standing on the side
When you check it out

When you get it off your trip
Everybody needs a change
A chance to check out the new
But you’re the only one to see
The changes you take yourself through but

Don’t you worry ’bout a thing
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing, pretty mama
‘Cause I’ll be standing in the wings
When you check it out
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing
Yeah
Bam bambam bambam bambam
Bambambambam bambambambam
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing, sugar
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing, mama
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing
Don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t worry
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing, sugar
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing

Song Lyric Sunday — Goodbye Cruel World

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams looked to Melanie B Cee of Sparks From a Combustible Mind, who suggest that we find songs that feature lyrics of Entertainment, Circus, or Show. I decided to reach way back to 1961 and give you the circus themed song, “Goodbye Cruel World,” from James Darren.

“Goodbye Cruel World” was written by Gloria Shayne and recorded by James Darren, an American television and film actor, television director, and singer. Darren was a teenage heartthrob who came to fame in the 1959 California surfing film, Gidget, starring Sandra Dee. Darren played, Moondoggie, the leading man, and he also sang the movie’s title track.

Darren recorded a string of 60s pop hits, the biggest of which was “Goodbye Cruel World,” which sold over one million copies. The song was his first top ten hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number three.

“Goodbye Cruel World” was about a man whose heart was broken by a “mean fickle woman.” His plan was to join the circus as a brokenhearted clown. He did not mind being shot out of a cannon, and planned to tell the world that she “made a crying clown” out of him. Ah, nothing like those deep, heartfelt lyrics from the early 60s pop songs, am I right?

Here are the lyrics to “Goodbye Cruel World.”

(Goodbye cruel world)
(Goodbye cruel world)

Oh, goodbye cruel world, I’m off to join the circus
Gonna be a broken-hearted clown
Paint my face with a good-for-nothin’ smile
’cause a mean, fickle woman turned my whole world upside down

(Goodbye cruel world)

Farewell to love, I’m off to join the circus
Gotta find a way to hide my tears
Bet I’ll have them rolling in the aisle
And I’ll forget that woman if it takes a hundred years

Oh oh oh, step right up and take a look at a fool
He’s got a heart as stubborn as a mule
C’mon everybody, he’s good for a laugh
And no one could tell his heart is broken in half

Well, the joke’s on me, I’m off to join the circus
Oh, Mr. Barnum, save a place for me
Shoot me out of a cannon, I don’t care
Let the people point at me and stare
I’ll tell the world that woman, wherever she may be
That mean, fickle woman made a cryin’ clown outta me

(Goodbye cruel world)

Shoot me out of a cannon, I don’t care
Let the people point at me and stare
I’ll tell the world that woman, wherever she may be
That mean, fickle woman made a cryin’ clown outta me

Goodbye cruel world
Goodbye cruel world

Goodbye cruel world
Goodbye cruel world

Song Lyric Sunday — I Don’t Care Anymore

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams has once again tapped Amy Braun’s suggestion for songs that feature lyrics of Anger, Frustration, Furious, Irritated, Mad, Provoked, and Revenge. My selection this week is Phil Collins’ song of angry, bitterness, and frustration, “I Don’t Care Anymore.”

“I Don’t Care Anymore” was written, performed, and produced by English drummer Phil Collins. It was the third single from Collins’ 1982 solo album, Hello, I Must Be Going! It was released as a single in early 1983 and is one of the Collins’ most recognizable songs. The song earned Collins his first Grammy Award nomination for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance in 1984.

“I Don’t Care Anymore” is a rather dark song with angry lyrics directed at Collins’ failed first marriage to Andrea Bertorelli. In the song, Collins takes out his frustrations over their split and ultimate divorce.

Andrea couldn’t stand it when her ex-husband released songs laying bare their relationship troubles. Her side of the story was that Collins had a “short fuse and preference for arguing,” and that he left to tour right after their second child was in 1976, choosing his career over his family.

She added, “When I asked him to stop talking and writing songs about our relationship, he said he had ‘the artistic licence to write about whatever he wanted.’ Basically he was making too much money out of his divorce to worry about my feelings or his children’s feelings.”

Meanwhile, Collins told Rolling Stone that he was getting letters from her lawyers asking for unbelievable things. This made him bitter and he was resigned to put it behind him. In this song, he makes it clear that even though he’s being dragged through the mud, he doesn’t care anymore. When he wrote this song he had already begun dating Jill Tavelman, who would become his second wife.

Here are the lyrics to “I Don’t Care Anymore.”

Well you can tell everyone I’m a down disgrace
Drag my name all over the place
I don’t care anymore
You can tell everybody ’bout the state I’m in
You won’t catch me crying ’cause I just can’t win
I don’t care anymore, I don’t care anymore

I don’t care what you say
I don’t play the same games you play

‘Cause I’ve been talking to the people that you call your friends
And it seems to me there’s a means to and end
They don’t care anymore
And as for me I can sit here and bide my time
I got nothing to lose if I speak my mind
I don’t care anymore, I don’t care no more

I don’t care what you say
We never played by the same rules anyway

I won’t be there anymore
Get out of my way
Let me by
I got better things to do with my time
I don’t care anymore, I don’t care anymore
I don’t care anymore, I don’t care anymore

Well, I don’t care now what you say
‘Cause every day I’m feeling fine with myself
And I don’t care now what you say
Hey, I’ll do alright by myself
‘Cause I know

‘Cause I remember all the times I tried so hard
And you laughed in my face ’cause you held all the cards
I don’t care anymore

And I really ain’t bothered what you think of me
‘Cause all I want of you is just a let me be
I don’t care anymore, d’you hear? I don’t care no more

I don’t care what you say
I never did believe you much anyway

I won’t be there no more
So get out of my way
Let me by
I got better things to do with my time
I don’t care anymore
D’you hear? I don’t care anymore
I don’t care no more
You listening? I don’t care no more
No more!

You know I don’t care anymore!
Don’t care no more! No more, no more, no more
Don’t care, no more, no more, no more, no more, no more, no more, no more
No more, no more, no more, no more, no more, no more


Sources: Wikipedia and Songfacts.