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

Song Lyric Sunday — Something to Think About

Helen Vahdati’s Song Lyric Sunday theme this week gives us something to think about. Well, I didn’t have to think twice about the song I would be choosing. It’s Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.”

It’s a song that was written and recorded by Bob Dylan in 1962 and released on the 1963 album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan and as a single.

Dylan wrote this after his girlfriend, Suze Rotolo, went off to Italy to study at the University of Perugia and left him in New York. Dylan re-imagined their separation in this song as him leaving her.

Dylan said, “A lot of people make it sort of a love song — slow and easygoing. But it isn’t a love song. It’s a statement that maybe you can say something to make yourself feel better. It’s as if you were talking to yourself.”

According to a memoir written by Rotolo, the lyrics “When your rooster crows at the break of dawn, look out your window, and I’ll be gone,” reflects a time when she and Dylan used to live near a poultry supplier in their Greenwich Village apartment. They would sometimes stay up all night and hear the roosters crowing at the break of dawn.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

Well, it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
Even you don’t know by now
And it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It’ll never do somehow

When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window, and I’ll be gone
You’re the reason I’m a-traveling on
But don’t think twice, it’s all right

And it ain’t no use in turning on your light, babe
The light I never knowed
And it ain’t no use in turning on your light, babe
I’m on the dark side of the road

But I wish there was somethin’ you would do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay
But we never did too much talking anyway
But don’t think twice, it’s all right

So it ain’t no use in calling out my name, gal
Like you never done before
And it ain’t no use in calling out my name, gal
I can’t hear you any more

I’m a-thinking and a-wonderin’ walking down the road
I once loved a woman, a child I am told
I give her my heart but she wanted my soul
But don’t think twice, it’s all right

So long honey, baby
Where I’m bound, I can’t tell
Goodbye’s too good a word, babe
So I’ll just say fare thee well

I ain’t a-saying you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don’t mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don’t think twice, it’s all right

Song Lyric Sunday — The Carousel of Time

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Helen Vahdati chose “game.” To be honest, last August, in response to a WordPress one-word prompt, “carousel,” I used the same song I’m using today. Joni Mitchell’s “The Circle Game.” I hope it’s okay for me to double-dip this song for your prompt, Helen.

Anyway, Joni Mitchell wrote this song for her third studio album, Ladies of the Canyon, which was released in March 1970 to critical acclaim. In the song, she tells the story of a child’s journey to adulthood. She uses a carousel as a metaphor for the years that go by, pointing out how we can look back, but we can’t return to our past.

The song opens with a young boy enjoying the wonder of youth, but looking forward to getting older. In the second verse, he is sixteen and driving. The final verse finds him at twenty, with his dreams tempered a bit, but still with high hopes for his future.

In an interview in 1994 for a music magazine, Mitchell said: “I didn’t write ‘The Circle Game’ as a children’s song, but I’m very pleased to see it go into the culture in that way.”

Although it was never a big hit, “The Circle Game” became one of Mitchell’s most popular songs.

Here are the song’s lyrics.

Yesterday a child came out to wonder
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star

Then the child moved ten times round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words like when you’re older must appease him
And promises of someday make his dreams

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game 

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to car wheels thru the town
And they tell him take your time it won’t be long now
Till you drag your feet to slow the circles down

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true
There’ll be new dreams maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

Song Lyric Sunday — Dream Weaver

Helen Vahdati’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt this week is “dream.”

I listen to a lot of classic rock and just the other day I heard Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver.” So it just seemed to fit perfectly for this prompt.

“Dream Weaver” was released as the first single from Wright’s third studio album, The Dream Weaver, in December 1975. The song reached number 2 on the U.S. Billboard chart.

Wright said the song was about a kind of fantasy experience, a Dream Weaver train taking you through the cosmos. But he also said that the line, “Dream Weaver, I believe you can get me through the night…,” was about someone with infinite compassion and love carrying us through the night of our trials and suffering. “None other than God Himself,” Wright said.

Personally, I always thought the song was about a guy who was on an acid trip and was just trying to make it through the night until the morning light.

Here are the song’s lyrics.

I have just closed my eyes again
Climbed aboard the Dream Weaver train
Driver take away my worries of today
And leave tomorrow behind

Dream Weaver, I believe you can get me through the night
Dream Weaver, I believe we can reach the morning light

Fly me high through the starry skies
Or maybe to an astral plane
Cross the highways of fantasy
Help me to forget today’s pain

Dream Weaver, I believe you can get me through the night
Dream Weaver, I believe we can reach the morning light

Though the dawn may be coming soon
There still may be some time
Fly me away to the bright side of the moon
And meet me on the other side

Dream Weaver, I believe you can get me through the night
Dream Weaver, I believe we can reach the morning light

Song Lyric Sunday — Time

Helen Vahdati’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt today is all about time. Her challenge is to write a song about seconds, minutes, and/or hours. But what are seconds, minutes, and hours other than markers of time?

And that brought me to the highly philosophical question that the band, Chicago, asked in their song, “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”

This song was included on Chicago’s 1969 debut album Chicago Transit Authority, but it wasn’t released as a single until 1970, after the band’s second album, Chicago (often called Chicago II), was released. It was written and sung by Robert Lamm.

According to Lamm, he was a teenager walking down the street in Brooklyn, New York where he grew up. He walked by a movie theater and there was an usher standing outside taking a cigarette break. Lamm said to him, “Hey man, what time is it?” and the guy said to Lamm, “Does anybody really know what time it is?”

Here are the song’s lyrics.

As I was walking down the street one day
A man came up to me and asked me what the time was that was on my watch, yeah
And I said

Does anybody really know what time it is (I don’t)
Does anybody really care (care about time)
If so I can’t imagine why (no, no)
We’ve all got time enough to cry

And I was walking down the street one day
A pretty lady looked at me and said her diamond watch had stopped cold dead
And I said

Does anybody really know what time it is (I don’t)
Does anybody really care (care about time)
If so I can’t imagine why (no, no)
We’ve all got time enough to cry

And I was walking down the street one day (people runnin’ everywhere)
Being pushed and shoved by people (don’t know where to go)
Trying to beat the clock, oh, no I just don’t know (don’t know where I am)
I don’t know, I dont know, oh (don’t have time to think past the last mile)
(Have no time to look around) And I said, yes I said (run around and think why)

Does anybody really know what time it is (I don’t)
Does anybody really care (care about time)
If so I can’t imagine why (no, no)
We’ve all got time enough to die

Everybody’s working (I don’t care)
I don’t care (about time)
About time (no, no)
I don’t care