Song Lyric Sunday — Another Brick

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt, Jim Adams gave us the themes “Floor,” “House,” “Roof,” and “Walls.” I was debating between Paul Simon’s “One Man’s Ceiling is Another Man’s Floor,” and Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2).” I decided to go with the latter because I’ve used Paul Simon (or Simon & Garfunkel) songs for a number of Song Lyric Sunday prompts, but I hadn’t ever used a Pink Floyd Song.

“Another Brick in the Wall” is a three-part composition on Pink Floyd’s 1979 rock opera album, The Wall, written by bassist Roger Waters. “Part 2” was released as a single in November 1979 and it became Pink Floyd’s only number-one single, selling over four million copies worldwide. It was nominated for a Grammy Award, and was number 375 on Rolling Stones list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

According to Songfacts, Roger Waters wrote this song about his views on formal education, which were framed during his time at the Cambridgeshire School for Boys. He hated his grammar school teachers and felt they were more interested in keeping the kids quiet than teaching them. The wall refers to the emotional barrier Waters built around himself because he wasn’t in touch with reality. The bricks in the wall were the events in his life that propelled him to build this proverbial wall around him, and his school teacher was another brick in the wall.

Waters told Mojo in 2009 that the song is meant to be satirical. He explained: “You couldn’t find anybody in the world more pro-education than me. But the education I went through in boys’ grammar school in the ’50s was very controlling and demanded rebellion. The teachers were weak and therefore easy targets. The song is meant to be a rebellion against errant government, against people who have power over you, who are wrong. Then it absolutely demanded that you rebel against that.”

The children’s chorus that sang on this track came from a school in Islington, England, and was chosen because it was close to the studio. It was made up of 23 kids between the ages of 13 and 15. They were overdubbed 12 times, making it sound like there were many more kids.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teacher, leave them kids alone

Hey, teacher, leave them kids alone

All in all it’s just another brick in the wall
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall

[Chorus by pupils from the Fourth Form Music Class Islington Green School, London]

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers, leave them kids alone

Hey, teacher, leave us kids alone

All in all you’re just another brick in the wall
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall

[Spoken:]
Wrong! Do it again!
Wrong! Do it again!
If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding!
How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?!
You! Yes, you, behind the bike sheds, stand still, laddy!

Song Lyric Sunday — Little Wing

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams gave us “bird,” “fly,” “sky,” and “wing.” That’s a lot to choose from, but I decided to go with the Jimi Hendrix song, “Little Wing.”

“Little Wing” was written by Jimi Hendrix and recorded by his band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, in 1967. According to Songfacts, the song was inspired by the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, which was attended by about 200,000 music fans two years before Woodstock. Hendrix wrote about the atmosphere at the festival as if it was a girl. He described the feeling as “everybody really flying and in a nice mood.” He named it “Little Wing” because he thought it could just fly away.

Hendrix also said that the song is “like one of those beautiful girls that comes around sometimes.” Hendrix enjoyed writing slow songs because he said it was easier to put emotion into them.

Eric Clapton and Duane Allman recorded “Little Wing” as a tribute to Jimi Hendrix, who was one of their guitar heroes. Hendrix died nine days later after Clapton and Allman recorded it, and never heard their version of his song, which was released in 1970 on the Derek and the Dominos album, Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs.

Here are the lyrics to “Little Wing.”

Well she’s walking through the clouds
With a circus mind
That’s running wild
Butterflies and zebras and moonbeams
And fairly tales

That’s all she ever thinks about

Riding the wind

When I’m sad she comes to me
With a thousand smiles
She gives to me free

It’s alright, she says
It’s alright
Take anything you want from me
Anything

Fly on, little wing

In case you’re interested, here’s the version by Derek and the Dominos, which I personally prefer to Hendrix’s.

Song Lyric Sunday — No Name

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams has given us Cowboy, Gun, Hat, Horse, and Western. For me (and probably a few others, as well), the first song that popped into my head was “A Horse With No Name” by America.

Recorded in 1971 and released in the U.S. in early 1972, the song was written by Dewey Bunnell, lead singer for the folk rock band America. It was the band’s first and most successful single.

The song was commonly misinterpreted to being about drugs, given that “horse” was often used as slang for heroin. It was even banned from being played by some radio stations in the U.S. because of its alleged drug references. But according to Bunnell, the song’s original title was “Desert Song,” and it was written about the desert scenery and images he encountered when he was visiting his father when he was stationed at an Air Force base near Santa Barbara, California.

According to Bunnell, the “horse” represents a means of entering a place of tranquility, and this tranquil place was best represented by the desert. As to why the horse had no name and why it went free after nine days, Bunnell doesn’t have any answer.

Personally, I’ve always thought that the lyrics to this song, as is the case with the lyrics to many of America’s songs — the group, not the country — were written under the influence of pot or acid, but the band members strongly deny that.

Here are the lyrics to “A Horse With No Name.”

On the first part of the journey
I was looking at all the life
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings
The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz
And the sky with no clouds
The heat was hot and the ground was dry
But the air was full of sound

I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
La, la

After two days in the desert sun
My skin began to turn red
After three days in the desert fun
I was looking at a river bed
And the story it told of a river that flowed
Made me sad to think it was dead

You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
La, la

After nine days I let the horse run free
‘Cause the desert had turned to sea
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings
The ocean is a desert with it’s life underground
And a perfect disguise above
Under the cities lies a heart made of ground
But the humans will give no love

You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
La, la

Song Lyric Sunday — Sweet Dreams

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has given use the themes Dream/Lullaby/Sleep. There are tons of songs about dreams, lullabies, and sleep, but I’m going with the first one that popped into my head: “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by the Eurythmics. Hmm. I wonder if that song popped into my head because it was the title of Jim’s post. Oh well, it works.

This song was written and performed by the British new wave music duo of Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart, who performed as the Eurythmics. It was released in early 1983 in the States as the fourth single from the album of the same name and became their breakthrough hit, reaching number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Lennox and Stewart were a couple for about three years while they were members of a band called The Tourists. After that band broke up, the two formed Eurythmics and began writing together. A short time later, Lennox and Stewart broke up as a couple, but continued to write and perform together.

Lennox said the song was written just after she and Stewart had a bitter fight. She thought it was the end of the road for the two of them, but they agreed to power through it. Stewart came up with a beat, Lennox improvised the synthesizer riff, and suddenly they realized they had a potential hit.

They wanted the song to have a positive message, so they added chord changes rising upwards with “Hold your head up, moving on.” Lennox said that the song was about the search for fulfillment, and the “Sweet Dreams” are the desires that motivate us.

Here are the song’s lyrics:

Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
I travel the world
And the seven seas
Everybody’s looking for something.

Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused.

Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
I travel the world
And the seven seas
Everybody’s looking for something.

Hold your head up–keep your head up–movin’ on
Hold your head up–movin’ on
Keep your head up–movin’ on

Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
I travel the world
And the seven seas
Everybody’s looking for something.

Song Lyric Sunday

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has asked us to “write about a song that references another group/artist in it.” The song I chose is Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke.”

The song was written by Stevie Wonder for his 1976 album, Songs in the Key of Life, as a tribute to jazz legend Duke Ellington, who had passed away two years earlier. “Sir Duke” was released as a single in 1977 and reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and was ranked as the number18 song of that year.

In addition to Ellington, Wonder references other musicians in this song, including Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, and Sodarisa Miller.

About this song, Wonder said, “I knew the title from the beginning but wanted it to be about the musicians who did something for us. So soon they are forgotten. I wanted to show my appreciation. They gave us something that is supposed to be forever. That’s the basic idea of what we do and how we hook it up.”

Here are the lyrics to “Sir Duke.”

Music is a world within itself
With a language we all understand
With an equal opportunity
For all to sing, dance and clap their hands
But just because a record has a groove
Don’t make it in the groove
But you can tell right away at letter A
When the people start to move

They can feel it all over
They can feel it all over people
They can feel it all over
They can feel it all over people

Music knows it is and always will
Be one of the things that life just won’t quit
But here are some of music’s pioneers
That time will not allow us to forget
For there’s Basie, Miller, Sachmo
And the king of all Sir Duke
And with a voice like Ella’s ringing out
There’s no way the band can lose

You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over

I can feel it all over-all over now people
Can’t you feel it all over
Come on let’s feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
Everybody-all over people