Song Lyric Sunday — Midnight Rambler

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams gave us “Dawn, Noon, Dusk, Midnight, Nocturnal, and Diurnal.” My first thought was to go with Chicago’s “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” But then the The Rolling Stones’ song “Midnight Rambler” popped into my head. It was a tough choice because I really like both songs, but finally decided to go with the Stones.

“Midnight Rambler is a blues/rock song written by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. The song was released on The Rolling Stones’ 1969 album Let It Bleed, which happens to be my favorite Stones album.

The inspiration for the song is thought to be the case of the Boston Strangler. Thirteen women were found dead in and around Boston from 1962-1964. Most of the victims had been sexually assaulted, strangled, and were found with their nylon stockings tied in a bow around their necks.

While the lyrics do not directly relate to the specifics of the case, Jagger implies it when he sings, “Well you heard about the Boston…” before an instrumental stab cuts him off. The singer in the song calls himself the “midnight rambler,” and he seems to relish his notoriety in the same way that many real-life serial killers seem to.

When performing the song, Jagger takes on the persona of a killer who is stalking his victim. He would create a morbid atmosphere when he takes on the role of the killer, spastically whipping the floor toward the end of the song as the audience would scream along.

Here are the lyrics to “Midnight Rambler.”

Did you hear about the midnight rambler
Everybody got to go
Did you hear about the midnight rambler
The one that shut the kitchen door
He don’t give a hoot of warning
Wrapped up in a black cat cloak
He don’t go in the light of the morning
He split the time the cock’rel crows

Talkin’ about the midnight gambler
The one you never seen before
Talkin’ about the midnight gambler
Did you see him jump the garden wall
Sighin’ down the wind so sadly
Listen and you’ll hear him moan
Talkin’ about the midnight gambler
Everybody got to go
Yeah

Did you hear about the midnight rambler
Well, honey, it’s no rock ‘n’ roll show
Well, I’m talkin’ about the midnight gambler
Yeah, the one you never seen before

(Don’t you do that)

Well you heard about the Boston,
It’s not one of those
Well, talkin’ ’bout the midnight, sh,
The one that closed the bedroom door
I’m called the hit-and-run raper in anger
The knife-sharpened tippie-toe…
Or just the shoot ’em dead, brainbell jangler
You know, the one you never seen before

So if you ever meet the midnight rambler
Coming down your marble hall
Well he’s pouncing like a proud black panther
Well, you can say I, I told you so
Well, don’t you listen for the midnight rambler
Play it easy, as you go
I’m gonna smash down all your plate glass windows
Put a fist, put a fist through your steel-plated door

Did you hear about the midnight rambler
He’ll leave his footprints up and down your hall
And did you hear about the midnight gambler
And did you see me make my midnight call

And if you ever catch the midnight rambler
I’ll steal your mistress from under your nose
I’ll go easy with your cold fanged anger
I’ll stick my knife right down your throat, baby and it hurts!

Song Lyric Sunday — Mama Said

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams is honoring Mother’s Day by giving us the theme of “Mom/Mother/Flowers.” As I thought about about the topic, the classic 1961 song by the Shirelles, “Mama Said” came to mind.

The Shirelles, an American girl group, was notable for their rhythm and blues, doo-wop, and soul music. They were very popular in the early 1960s, with seven top 20 hits. “Mama Said” was written by Luther Dixon and Willie Denson. It became a hit on both the pop and R&B charts, reaching number 4 and number 2, respectively. Billboard named the song number 44 on its list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.

“Mama Said” is about a girl who sees all her friends getting married and is frustrated that she doesn’t have her own man. But her mother reassures her that someday she’ll find a man who will look at her with loving eyes.

The group members of The Shirelles were Shirley Owens, Doris Coley, Beverly Lee and Micki Harris. They were one of the great girl groups.

There have been numerous covers of “Mama Said,” including versions by American Spring, Melanie, Dusty Springfield, The Stereos, and Dionne Bromfield. The song also inspired Van Morrison’s “Days Like This.”

Here are the lyrics to the song.

Mama said there’ll be days like this
There’ll be days like this, my mama said
(Mama said, mama said)

Mama said there’ll be days like this
There’ll be days like this, my mama said

I went walkin’ the other day, yeah
Everything was goin’ fine
And then I met a little boy named Billy-Joe
And then I almost lost my mind

Come on, mama said there’ll be days like this
There’ll be days like this, my mama said
(Mama said, mama said)
Oh, mama said there’ll be days like this
There’ll be days like this, my mama said

My eyes were wide open
All that I could see, yeah
The chapel bells were tollin’
For everybody but me
But I don’t worry ’cause

Mama said there’ll be days like this
There’ll be days like this, my mama said
(Mama said, mama said)
Mama said there’ll be days like this
There’ll be days like this, my mama said

And then she said
Someone would look at me
Like I’m lookin’ at you
One day
Then I might find
I don’t want you any old way
So, don’t worry, ’cause

Mama said there’ll be days like this
There’ll be days like this, my mama said
(Mama said, mama said)
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Mama said there’ll be days like this
There’ll be days like this, my mama said
Oh, yeah
(Mama said, mama said)
Don’t worry, yeah, don’t worry, now, yeah, eah, eah, eah
Don’t worry, worry, now, now, now
Don’t you worry

Song Lyric Sunday — Ouch

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, the Marquis de Sade, I mean Jim Adams, has gone sadistic. His theme is “Hurt/Pain/Agony/Suffer.” To me, all of those words apply to many of us who have experienced a love gone bad. We feel hurt, we experience at least emotional pain, we suffer, and we agonize. And for me, the song that epitomizes such pain is the 1965 recording from Little Anthony & the Imperials, “Hurt So Bad.”

The Little Anthony & the Imperials song was written by Teddy Randazzo, Bobby Weinstein, and Bobby Hart. The song reached number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 and it has become one of Little Anthony & the Imperials’ best-known songs, one which has inspired numerous cover versions.

“Hurt So Bad” is a song about a man who feels intense pain when he sees his former love. According to mutual friends, she is doing quite well without him. And even though she caused him so much pain, he still begs her to come back to him, saying, “You loved me before/Please love me again.”

Here are the lyrics to the song.

I know you
Don’t know what I’m goin’ through
Standing here
Looking at you

Well, let me tell you that it
(Hurt) Hurts so bad (hurts so bad)
It makes me feel so sad (hurts so bad)
It makes me hurt so bad
To see you again

Like needles and pins, people say
You’ve been making out okay
She’s in love, don’t stand in her way

Well, let me tell you that it
(Hurt) Hurts so bad (hurts so bad)
It makes me feel so sad (hurts so bad)
It’s gonna hurt so bad
If you walk away

Why don’t you stay and let me make it up to you
(Stay) I’ll do anything you want me to
You loved me before
Please love me again
I can’t let you go back to him

Please don’t go, please don’t go
Oh, hurts so bad
Come back, it hurts so bad
Don’t make it hurt so bad
I’m beggin’ you please

Song Lyric Sunday — Blues Power

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has given us the themes of “Boogie/Rock/Rolling Stone.” Jim is right, there is a plethora of songs to choose from. But the song I decided to go with is Eric Clapton’s “Blues Power.”

“Blues Power” was the second solo single by Clapton, off his 1970 debut studio album Eric Clapton. Written by Clapton and Leon Russell, the song wasn’t met with much critical acclaim and the single never charted. Some critics complained that it was neither blues nor rock, but I always thought it was a catchy little ditty that grabbed me. It’s an uplifting song where Clapton seems to be letting his soul out, with his passion for blues showing throughout the song.

Here are the song’s lyrics.

Bet you didn’t think I knew how to rock ‘n’ roll.
Oh, I got the boogie-woogie right down in my very soul.
There ain’t no need for me to be a wallflower,
‘Cause now I’m living on blues power.

I knew all the time but now I’m gonna let you know:
I’m gonna keep on rocking, no matter if it’s fast or slow.
Ain’t gonna stop until the twenty-fifth hour,
‘Cause now I’m living on blues power.

Bet you didn’t think I knew how to rock ‘n’ roll.
Oh, I got the boogie-woogie right down in my very soul.
There ain’t no need for me to be a wallflower,
‘Cause now I’m living on blues power.

Talking to you, now.
The boogie’s gonna pull me through.
Keep on, keep on, keep on keeping on.
Keep on keeping on, keep on keeping on.

Song Lyric Sunday — When the Weather is Hot

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has given us the theme of seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. The song I chose is Mungo Jerry’s “In the Summertime.”

“In the Summertime” was the debut single by British rock band Mungo Jerry. Written by its lead singer, Ray Dorset, it celebrated the carefree days of summer. In 1970, it reached number one in charts around the world, eventually selling 30 million copies. Other than “In the Summertime,” though, Mungo Jerry never again charted in the U.S.

Dorset, who was influenced by American beach movies that he watched growing up, called the song, “the teenage dream.” He penned the song in 1968 when he was working for Timex in the UK. The band was just getting started and music was more of a hobby at the time. Dorest says that the famous melody just popped into his head one day, and the next day he wrote the lyrics very quickly.

“It’s got no chorus; all it’s got is a melody that goes over and over again with a set of lyrics that conjure up a celebration of life,” he said. “Especially if you’re a young person: it’s a great day, you’ve managed to get a car — preferably with the top off — you’re cruising around, and if you’re a guy, you’re picking up girls.”

A little bit of trivia: the band’s name, Mungo Jerry, was based upon the character Mungojerrie, from the T. S. Eliot book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, which later served as the basis for the Broadway play, Cats).

In the summertime when the weather is hot
You can stretch right up and touch the sky
When the weather’s fine
You got women, you got women on your mind
Have a drink, have a drive
Go out and see what you can find

If her daddy’s rich, take her out for a meal
If her daddy’s poor, just do what you feel
Speed along the lane
Do a ton or a ton and twenty-five
When the sun goes down
You can make it, make it good and really fine

We’re no threat people, we’re not dirty, we’re not mean
We love everybody, but we do as we please
When the weather’s fine
We go fishing or go swimming in the sea
We’re always happy
Life’s for living, yeah, that’s our philosophy

Sing along with us, dee-dee dee-dee dee
Da doo da-da da, yeah, we’re hap-pap-py
Da da da, dee da doo dee da doo da doo da
Da doo da-da da, dee da da dee da da

When the winter’s here, yeah, it’s party time
Bring your bottle, wear your bright clothes
‘Cause it will soon be summertime
And we’ll sing again
We’ll go driving or maybe we’ll settle down
If she’s rich, if she’s nice
Bring your friends and we’ll all go into town

In the summertime when the weather is hot
You can stretch right up and touch the sky
When the weather’s fine
You got women, you got women on your mind
Have a drink, have a drive
Go out and see what you can find

If her daddy’s rich, take her out for a meal
If her daddy’s poor, just do what you feel
Speed along the lane
Do a ton or a ton and twenty-five
When the sun goes down
You can make it, make it good and really fine

We’re no threat people, we’re not dirty, we’re not mean
We love everybody, but we do as we please
When the weather’s fine
We go fishing or go swimming in the sea
We’re always happy
Life’s for living, yeah, that’s our philosophy

Sing along with us, dee-dee dee-dee dee
Da doo da-da da, yeah, we’re hap-pap-py
Da da da, dee da doo dee da doo da doo da
Da doo da-da da, dee da da dee da da