Monday, September 25, 2017

Atheists Don't Have No Songs

Steve Martin may have come up with the answer to what's wrong with modern atheists. Atheists seem to be a troubled lot. Avowedly atheist nations are responsible for probably half a billion deaths by war, extermination, genocide, starvation and execution. It could be that the trouble is that atheists don't have any atheist music. The best they can do is some angry rock n' roll, grunge rock or rap.

I love this song. According to Steve Martin it's the entirety of the atheist hymnal. The song is called, appropriately enough, "Atheists Don't Have No Songs"

You've got to admit it's a catchy tune. Any song that can use the word "Underpants" to rhyme with "Gregorian Chants", you have to admire that in a lyricist...


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Lord I Need You - Matt Maher

This one comes from Sheila's favorites playlist. She's a big Matt Maher fan along with groups like Casting Crowns and Third Day. Here's the studio version of "Lord I Need You" with Matt Maher.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I Think You're Gonna Miss Me....

I got really attached to Adrian Monk, the lead character in the TV series "Monk". The show was about an ex-cop turned detective when his obsessive compulsive disorder made it dangerous for him to continue as a uniformed officer. The show had a nice run and a lovely ongoing story. It ended really well. USA Network gave the show time to close the storyline. Randy Newman wrote the original theme song and he wrote this song to cap the series off.  It played one time during the last episode. I put it on my Mp3 player.

I thought it was nice that unlike so many TV shows these days, they actually gave us some closure. Because of that, I'll come back to Monk again and binge watch it. TV networks need to always give their shows a closing few episodes, especially nowadays when people binge-watch their favorite series'

Here's a little montage from the show with "When I'm Gone" sung by Randy Newman:

I shed serious tears during the final song. And I'm not ashamed.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

ANZAC veterans of WWI Battle of Gallipoli. 
Eric Bogle is a Scotsman who decided to continue his folk-singing career in Australia after he struggled in the British folk scene for a while. He assimilated into Aussie and writes a lot of songs about his adopted country, its history and people. One of the most poignant is this song about soldiers returning from Australia's WWI experience in Turkey at the vicious battle of Gallipoli. Bogle weaves the old Aussie tramp song "Waltzing Matilda" into this story about the tragedy of returning veterans of the carnage at Gallipoli. I first heard this song sung by Peter Paul and Mary. Then I head it by the author of the song. Here's the original version by Bogle.

He wrote another song about the Australian WWI experience in Turkey called "It's As If He Knows."  It's about the fate of some 136,000 cavalry and supply horses the Australian Army took to Gallipoli. It was heart-breaking and I can't listen to the song anymore. It's too disturbing. I have a very soft spot for horses. Bogle will break your heart.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Place Where I Worship

I learned this song at Lone Star Camp when Elder Burns was Youth Director at the Texas Conference of Seventh day Adventists. It's the perfect song to sing by a campfire with a guitar and a bunch of friends.  The place where I worship truly is the wide open spaces - whenever I can get to them. You are welcome there alone or with the one you love.

And who better to sing it than Roy Rogers and Dale Evans with the Sons of the Pioneers. This version is a medley with another favorite end of campfire song, Happy Trails. It's the kind of song that you need in your repertoire if you play guitar and camp. You just need this song.

There are other versions you can look up on Youtube, but I'll stick with Roy and Dale.


Friday, September 15, 2017

I'm All Shook Up. How About You?

I got hooked on this song when I worked for a while at a place I had all my life hoped never to have to work at - Brandom's Manufacturing, a maker of kitchen cabinets in Keene, Texas. I had worked my way through school at every other job that was to be had in Keene, including as a janitor at the nursing home and that one was a pretty grim job let me tell you.

But I found myself back home and between jobs, with a wife and kids and old enough to be sassy and not terribly subservient. I already had my Bachelor's degree, but I'd abandoned the Great Advent Movement that is school teaching in SDA church schools. I didn't leave the church, just teaching. After that, I'd done a brief and brutal run at nuclear power plant construction and had been laid off. Then, I found a good job as a recreation therapist....sort of. We were doing a startup treatment center for emotionally disturbed kids and the job was still a few months away. I was also between cars at the time, so I needed something I could walk to.

So I took a job at minimum wage in the framing department at Brandoms. I was putting together oak frames for cabinet boxes. It was boring to say the least and I couldn't get any speed up (we had a quota). My foreman was the mother of a kid who used to beat me up in elementary school and she had very little in the way of a sense of humor. We were banned from having radios and/or those new Walkman things. So the guy next to me and I decided we'd make our own music.

I dug around for some suitable lyrics that were singable. As it turned out "The King of Rock n' Roll" proved to be just the ticket. The right speed, easy to sing and easy to learn the lyrics. We learned a bunch of his songs my friend and I. I taped the lyrics to my framing table and sang as I worked, my buddy joining in from next door. Our favorite was "All Shook Up!"

Well it wasn't long before the foreman came stalking in to demand that we stop. We protested that there was no company rule against singing - just against radios. She sputtered a bit, then went off to talk to her supervisor. He told her there was no rule against singing so long as we didn't sing dirty words. She returned frustrated. You could see it in her eyes. So she tried another tactic.

This time she went around to everybody who could remotely have heard us singing over the screech of saws and drills and asked if our singing was "bothering" anyone. Everybody said it didn't. Many said, they liked it. Some sang along. Man she hated me, especially after she checked out our framing output to see if the singing of Elvis tunes was slowing down our production. Au contraire'. Our output had improved more than a little.

So here's one of our favorite "songs to frame cabinets by." I even worked in a little Elvis style leg jerk on the "Ooooh, I'm all shook up!" line. 

Like Elvis, we was very very awesomely cool! We also sang "Burnin' Love".  When we got to the "I'm a hunka hunka hunka burnin' love" part, Mrs. B. used to have to go down to the water fountain, it offended her sensibilities so.


Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Coloring Song

This Petra Classic was always a big hit with my Sabbath School kids. It's a pretty song and easy to play for my young guitarists-in-training. I used to encourage kids in our Sabbath School classes to come on up and play with us. We created our own songbooks with simple chord progressives in two or three simple keys and taught them how to use a capo to change keys so they could keep up.

Here's Petra with "The Coloring Song":

One of my favorite song service choices.