A Month of Sundays ~ Sunday Song Series

Welcome to Week #37 of our Sunday Song Series. Prepare for a bit of intrigue not entirely of my own making.

This time, we’ll ALMOST be giving a listen to Don Henley’s composition… A Month of Sundays. While it’s a.k.a. CD bonus track #8 from his 1984 album, Building the Perfect Beast… apparently… in the vinyl LP format, there’d been insufficient room for inclusion of this lyrically noteworthy song.

It would appear that YouTube’s astronomically vast platform has insufficient room for inclusion of this song, too. They’ve successfully set up a barricade to our musical adventure with their terse advisory… “video blocked in country”.

Hence, that blog topper roadblock vid… for the moment… will be in lieu of our usual, featured, Sunday Song, recording artist.

One has to wonder how any of this can possibly be playing out… or more to the point… not playing out… especially when several other tracks from that exact same Beast album are readily available.

Further adding to feelings of incredulity is how that ACCESS DENIED status applies, too, to Henley’s live performance of A Month of Sundays at a decades ago, FarmAid benefit concert!

Perhaps, this inaccessibility issue does not exist in your neck of the worldly woods? If you feel so inclined, you could attempt your own YouTube search by utilizing the following copy and paste parameters…

don henley a month of sundays

As you may have guessed from my lengthy narrative, I don’t readily accept the prospect of 180 degree, musical detours OR winding up in the ditch… ergo… rather than simply moving on to some other recording artist’s Sunday Song. I’ve opted to do some fancy footwork.

That’s because… now more than ever… Mr. Henley’s lyrical message needs to be heard… or in lieu of that… at the very least… read.

His keen sensibilities… maybe even prescience… have allowed him to spot-on address the farmers’ plight… how they continue to be [1] screwed over by avaricious, usurious bankers, [2] unforgivably under-served by self-serving politicians and… as of late… [3] flat-out betrayed by and plunged into bankruptcy by a fraudulent, fake prez who’s been waging his ill-timed, ill-conceived, international trade war.

And all of that duly noted… let the fancy footwork now begin. Check out my patched together presentation of Don Henley’s A Month of Sundays… courtesy of [1] YouTuber Sean Cheek’s piano tutorial… no less… and [2] via a printout of Henley’s must read song lyrics.

Don Henley ~ A Month Of Sundays

A Sean Cheek Piano Tutorial

Songwriter: Don Henley
A Month of Sundays lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

 

I used to work for Harvester
I used to use my hands
I used to make the tractors and the combines that plowed and harvested
This great land
Now I see my handiwork on the block everywhere I turn
And I see the clouds ‘cross the weathered faces and I watch the harvest burn

I quit the plant in ’57
Had some time for farmin’ then
Banks back then was lendin’ money
The banker was the farmer’s friend
And I’ve seen dog days and dusty days;
Late spring snow and early fall sleet;
I’ve held the leather reins in my hands and felt the soft ground under my feet
Between the hot dry weather and the taxes, and the Cold War it’s been hard
To make ends meet
But I always kept the clothes on our backs;
I always put the shoes on our feet

My grandson, he comes home from college
He says, “We get the government we deserve.”
My son-in-law just shakes his head and says, “That little punk, he never
Had to serve.”
And I sit here in the shadow of the suburbs and look out across these
Empty fields
I sit here in earshot of the bypass and all night I listen to the rushin’
Of the wheels

The big boys, they all got computers; got incorporated, too
Me, I just know how to raise things
That was all I ever knew
Now, it all comes down to numbers
Now I’m glad that I have quit
Folks these days just don’t do nothin’ simply for the love of it

I went into town on the Fourth of July
Watched ’em parade past the Union Jack
Watched ’em break out the brass and beat on the drum
One step forward and two steps back
And I saw a sign on Easy Street, said, “Be Prepared to Stop.”
Pray for the independent, little man
I don’t see next year’s crop
And I sit here on the back porch in the twilight
And I hear the crickets hum
I sit and watch the lightning in the distance but the showers never come
I sit here and listen to the wind blow
I sit here and rub my hands
I sit here and listen to the clock strike, and I wonder when I’ll see my
Companion again

 

The fancy footwork is still afoot, folks… I really do feel bummed about not being able to actually provide Henley’s A Month of Sundays… ergo… I’m including the following clip where… although… strictly speaking… this is not a Sunday titled song… [1] there is similar, significant social commentary and [2] concerns for the well-being of the farmers of my homeland… indeed… our entire world… do get astutely addressed and echoed by another legendary singer/songwriter…

Tom Paxton ~ Early Snow

 

I now cordially invite you to click back here for our next Sunday Song… seven days from now…

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Is he a tyrant?

 

Seeing how the vast majority of you (regardless of your political stripe) already know who “he” is without any need to mention him by name… REGRETTABLY… the answer to that titled blog query must be YES.

As with all tyrants, a miscreant / malfeasant, such as he, will not only prove himself impossible to live with but also impervious to either moral redemption or constitutional removal.

Is America screwed?

Sorry to say, in all likelihood, a reversal of the 1st 2 words of that 3 word followup question will provide us an answer.

 

 

 

 

Check out this seedy scenario…

 

Generally speaking… I believe humankind could be easily heading towards an agribusiness instigated, do-it-yourself disaster.

Let’s now talk specifics… that potential catastrophe involves the lack of seeds within the Fuji, Golden / Red Delicious and Gala apples I’ve been biting into. Since such instances have been so commonplace, it’s unlikely I’ve been purchasing freak of nature fruit.

Beyond that, “The Birds and the Bees” basics do tell us… well duh… seedlessness means no natural propagation of apple trees… and be this situation unique to my homeland or more widespread… as in worldwide… that’s begging for trouble.

I have little doubt this is a premeditated assault against nature perpetrated by… just to name the top two offenders… Monsanto™ and DuPont™. It’s no big secret that, for countless years, they’ve been hellbent on commodifying planet-wide, natural resources… making all of Mother Nature’s seeds THEIR intellectual property… and THEIRS ALONE!

Working to that end… potentially to humanity’s end… we find the genocidal geneticists, in their employ. Mad scientists all, they’ve been… and still are… racking up serious overtime, just to ensure whatever seeds may be found in nature will be sterile. In other words, farmers won’t be able to grow anything unless they plant corporately owned, genetically modified, first generation seeds.

Let’s not mince words…. Eco-terrorists are holding the entire human race hostage… their message… no strike that… their terrorist ultimatum…

Either pay up or starve and drop dead!

Hmm (part 1)… what do you suppose would happen… oh… say… were a hostage taking, private citizen / extortionist to screech out his unreasonable demands? Would we not expect to see a SWAT team swooping down upon the crime scene to restore law and order? To haul in the perpetrator? Would not the tried and convicted person wind up doing some lengthy prison time?

Hmm (part 2)… why is it that in my homeland, hostage taking, corporate citizens / extortionists get off scot-free? How can that possibly be… especially when the US Supreme / Extreme Court recently granted person-hood / citizenship to corporations!

But… to return to this specific, seedy situation… I do suppose we all might survive… i.e., so long as BIG BIZ bastards can maintain the literal and figurative, seedy status quo.

HOWEVER… with THE END one, mere Tweetstorm away… WTF would happen were there a global magnitude, man-made disaster (or even a natural cataclysm), which totally obliterated each and every corporately owned seed repository? Once-upon-a-time, even under the most hostile conditions, resilient Mother Nature… somehow… managed to rally. BUT… would that even be true were we to only find sterile plants in the wild?

Let’s look at this dire, desperate, starvation scenario from a different angle... Heretofore, within the literary world, this becomes the fodder for fictional plots… e.g., the life or death struggles faced down by author Daniel Defoe’s shipwrecked Robinson Crusoe AND author Andy Weir’s marooned on Mars astronaut Mark Watney… two protagonist farmers who (respectively) owed their barley/rice AND potato fed bellies… their very survival… to Mother Nature and not Monsanto™!

 

 

Pees [sic] Porridge Hot [uh… really sick]

SUBTITLE: Sonny Sows His Wild Oats

Once upon a time… not too far from the hubbub of The Big Apple… there lived a sophomoric, imbecilic, narcissistic 7-year-old bully named Sonny. One mid-morning he ordered his chauffeur to lead-foot it back to the family estate where… upon entering their zillion dollar, palatial mansion… he immediately began snorting, sniveling and whining…

“Mumsy, why don’t everybody in da hood love me?”

It being a school day, Mumsy just knew her little wittle son was playing hooky. But since his gruff Dadsy typically growled ungrammatically, “Sonny, youse knows more than all dem dummy teachers”, she didn’t DARE even breathe one word re her boy’s habitual truancy. Knowing, too, that she had to take enough time to guard her words, YET, rapidly concoct some sort of a plausible sounding cock and bull story… all the sudden… the figurative light bulb lit up over her noggin. Trying her best not to sound patronizing, said she…

“Sonny, we both know that To Know You is To Love You. So, it only makes sense that to get everyone to love you, all you need do is make sure everyone knows you.”

With Sonny suddenly growing livid… his face flushed into a bright orange hue, he bellowed…

“So you ARE saying that everybody don’t love me!”

“Sonny, we both know that you’re a stable genius who’s never, ever wrong… so… how could I not agree with you?”

“But Mumsy, dem kids should be coming to me. Me going to dem would be too damned much hard work. I know… why doncha call up all their folks and order dem to order all their kids love me?”

Somehow Mumsy fought off the urge to roll her eyes. Once again, thinking on her feet, got her off the hook. The trick, here, was to really “sell” her schmooze the classmates scam to her ne’er-do-well boy. Indeed, to sound even remotely sincere, she’d need to lie through her teeth. And lie she did…

“Sonny, I’ve got a tremendous idea! Why doncha invite all your classmates over for a backyard, Sunday oatmeal brunch? You could even show off your cooking skills… I mean… we both know how you get a kick out of dumping the dry rolled oats into the boiling water.”

“Oh, do I ever! I always pretend each oat is someone I hate. But Mumsy… you got to be kiddin’! Cook for dem commoners? NO WAY! They not worthy of such a feast. Besides, it’d all be too much work. Why doncha order our cook to do it for me?”

“Sonny, you’re too smart not to know that you can’t WOW them unless you’re the Chef who’s cooking up the porridge! I give you my word… they’ll be so impressed by your magnificence that you’ll have them eating out of your hand. They’ll remember you for the rest of their lives. Hell, were you to ever run for President, you could always count on their votes.”

Reluctantly, Sonny agreed… on one condition… that Mumsy had to be the one to send out all the invitations on his behalf. Of course she’d never fess up that she had actually tasked that out to her social secretary. It didn’t take too long for the dozens of RSVP’s to began flooding in.

By the time Sunday finally rolled around… as his guests arrived, Sonny felt elated by the massive turnout. Hell, he estimated crowd attendance to be at least 3 MILLION… possibly up to 30 MILLION! He even caught himself musing…

“Hmm, maybe Mumsy had been right, after all?”

Sonny being the ringleader of his nasty gang, naturally, he did gravitate more to his homies. Of course, it was inevitable that there’d be a couple of scuffles between them and the non gang members… BUT… things began to cool down when the cauldron grew hot… when the boiling, bubbling water told Sonny it was time to dump in the oats!

With nearly the entire student body cheering / chanting rhythmically in time with each stirring, swirling motion of his YUGE spoon, he felt giddy from the outpouring of adulation… even though, in actuality, it was their love of oatmeal… not for Sonny that so inspired them. Anyway, all seemed to be going well.

HOWEVER… towards the end of the five minute cooking time… something just didn’t seem quite right. The porridge was way too thick… way too dry. Dumbfounded Sonny didn’t quite know what to do next. With this being a day off for their entire grounds-keeping crew, there’d be nobody to boss around… nobody to snap to attention and exclaim “Yes Sir!” to his barked out command…

“Uncoil that damned hose and add more water!!!”

Just as Sonny was about to panic, he experienced his own light bulb over the noggin moment… came up with what he deemed to be an ingenious idea! He unzipped his fly and… well… let’s just say he cooked up a Pees Porridge… one that never, ever must be confused with the totally different recipe known as Pease Porridge. Surprisingly, even above the loud piddling noises, audible were the multiple horrified gasps accompanied by the veritable chorus of EEEWWWS!!!

By the time Sonny had zipped up and looked back up, the crowd of kiddies had thinned dramatically… so much so that all who were left were members of his ugly gang.

Naturally, with Sonny being a germ-o-phobe, he absolutely had zero intentions of ever consuming this porridge. However… as for his sycophantic gang? Well, since they knew how easy it would be to PISS OFF Sonny they didn’t DARE turn up their noses. More importantly… they all knew the highest form of praise would be to pretend that nothing was wrong… i.e., that the “alternate facts” told them that Sonny’s unhealthy oatmeal was actually healthy to chow down… no questions asked! And chow down they did!

Well… it is now… some six decades later and we find sicko Sonny and his entire gang of sicko sycophants satisfied by their trade-off of NYC for DC turf! Since these rowdy underlings having, long ago, proven their undying loyalty to their sophomoric, imbecilic, narcissistic boss, he has vowed to never, ever again cook Pees Porridge. After all, for him, it’d be too damned much work! Even so, all of his toadies are still ready, willing and able to take whatever (hopefully figurative) shit he chooses to cook and serve up.

 

 

UnImpeachable Behavior? ~ 1 Quick Limerick #080

 

The fake prez sez, he’s free of Russian spell?
Squeaky clean, honest as Abe, no dumbbell?
Yet, oversight he defies,
Spurns sunlight, tells king-sized lies,
Which makes him look like he’s guilty as hell!

 

 

 

The Right To Choose: An Evolution? A Revolution?

 

SCENARIO #1 ~ Most intelligent, compassionate folks would have no problem in agreeing that women must have the right to choose… especially when [1] problem pregnancies can involve literal life or death issues for moms-to-be and/or their babies and [2] conceptions can result from non-consensual acts and/or too closely related genetic mergers. Under such tragic, emotionally devastating circumstances, there must be ZERO tolerance for inept, incompetent, ignorant, opportunistic politicians attempting to intrude into what should be the sacrosanct, private, doctor / patient relationship. However…

SCENARIO #2 ~ Even the most enlightened and empathetic of us do start to feel qualms… especially when many other sought-after abortions can be tantamount to an ill-conceived, alternative form of birth control. While there’s no “normal” adult alive who hasn’t experienced that biochemically induced state of mindlessness… been prodded by overactive glands that are egging on recklessness… still one wonders… why some guys find it so hard to muster up a bit of self-control? If a couple cannot even prepare to prevent parenthood… i.e, go on a condom run… just how prepared will they be… oh… say… nine months later? Will their unplanned, unwanted children be unloved and undisciplined? What kind of grown-ups will they become? Will they even be grown-ups in every sense of that hyphenated word? Will they even be able to act kind?

CLEARLY… Scenario #2 is less clear-cut. While… under current conditions… a woman confronted by such a problem pregnancy still must be able to assert her right to choose… CLEARLY… the man could’ve done much more to prevent lighting that 9-month time-bomb fuse and… CLEARLY… humankind can and must do better in the future. And the sooner the better.

Growing up involves far more than gender-specific endocrine glands. Our brains must rule over our bodies and not vice versa. OK, I can already, almost hear the naysayers. “Such an attitudinal shift would likely take multiple generations to complete”… you scoff? “A Herculean Task”… you tsk-tsk?

Even though those are valid points, this does not make them excuses for our not trying. Why can’t we bravely usher in a new era of lifelong, no-nonsense, age-appropriate sex education? We need a Sexual Prime Directive where all biological adults wind up fully understanding that [1] sex makes babies and [2] if one desires the former but not the latter, then consistent usage of reliable birth control becomes a nonnegotiable! For those who find themselves saying, “Well duh… who didn’t know that?” go to the head of the class.

Governments would be both wise and money ahead… were contraception not only readily available but also affordable, perhaps, even totally free of charge! When compared to national welfare programs designed to financially assist impoverished moms and dads, government subsidized birth control might even be deemed a bargain!

To those quick to point out that vending machines loaded with “The Pill” and prophylactics could only encourage rampant promiscuity and result in a raging STD pandemic… I now ask… minus the protection… is that not what we’ve already got?

While such a retort may sound like defeatism, there is some pragmatism in the mix, too. Lest we forget, barrier methods of contraception provide barriers to disease, too. Additionally, might it even be argued that a more responsible, less repressed society would “breed” fewer perverts and predators? Might there even be a bit of truth to / a practical application of that Sixties era hippie mantra, “Make Love Not War”? Given a choice between a worldwide orgy and a worldwide nuclear war, which would you consider the lesser of two evils?

While portions of that above paragraph do sound, perhaps, a tad over the top, there is an undercurrent of truth, too.

Naturally, living life in moderation is the phrase that really pays. And more to the point… both love and respect must factor prominently into the big picture.

If we can establish a society where unprotected sex is virtually unheard of, then, with very few exceptions, only those who want babies will be procreating. Beyond that…

Governments would be both wise and money ahead, too… in ensuring that raising children would also become far more affordable. That… in itself… could help substantially reduce the demand for abortion… i.e., when fretting, prospective parents would no longer ditto agreement to this all too common, forlorn sentiment…

“Honey, we simply cannot afford another mouth to feed.”

Working towards that new beginning, each nation would need to establish a stable economy where even the entry level, full time workers would be earning a living wage… enjoying a pay level that’d even allow either the new mommy or daddy to become a stay-at-home parent until their child becomes a preschooler / kindergartner. Maybe even beyond that point?

Of course, even an improved society could never, fully liberate itself of unplanned pregnancies. True, it’s far too easy for me… a man who can never experience pregnancy… who has never even fathered any children… to say this… but maybe… just maybe my proposed, futuristic, attitudinal shift towards unequivocal male and female sexual responsibility could be inclusive of a woman’s new, enhanced right to choose… i.e., to choose going the adoption route rather than opt-in to abortion?

Do all of these changes sound too idealistic to ever become reality? Should I re-categorize this post as fiction? Let me know what you’re thinking and feeling in the comment section below…

 

 

Tiësto… A Contemporary Toscanini?

INTRO… Either playback the above vid as you read along or save it for the end to compare it to two traditional versions.

In the music biz, radio airplay can be instrumental to a song’s rise in popularity. Such was the case way back in 1938, when the baton of Arturo Toscanini… the NBC network’s conductor… first brought Samuel Barber’s 1936 classical music masterpiece… Adagio For Strings… to the attention of a goodly portion of our global community.

Ever since, Barber’s strings have become tightly interwoven into the fabric of humanity… mainly because this musical swell has become the Go-To track for mourners. This well-crafted sequence of notes has been heard following the demise of eminent leaders (e.g. Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy), floating amidst the still settling dust of communal tragedies (e.g. 9/11… 2016’s Brussels bombing… 2016’s Orlando, Florida Pulse nightclub massacre)… and whenever our losses literally hit home / involve close family and friends.

I can personally attest to how Mr. Barber’s musical staff… akin to a supportive walking stick… had kept me on my feet… twice walked me through the darkest days of my own mourning process. My description of this twostep phenomenon goes like this. First, his orchestral commiseration helps us cope. Next, just knowing he’s counselled a long line of survivors before us, does offer us hope… i.e., if they could bravely go onward with their lives, so can we.

I’ve dubbed this therapeutic process, “The Adagio For Strings Experience.” End of story?

NOPE, not when a high tech, latter-day Toscanini… DJ Tiësto… has emerged to eagerly accept the inter-generational passage of the (figurative) baton… not when this mix-master has taken “The Adagio For Strings Experience” to a novel, higher astral plane… best described as contemporized, synthesized, beat driven and dance club ready.

Say what? Yep, I can practically hear classical music purists’ group gasp / groan … hear their protestations…

  1. CLASSICAL MUSIC WITH A GOOD BEAT THAT’S EZ TO DANCE TO?
  2. AN ADAGIO?
  3. WOULD SUCH A MASH-UP EVEN BE WORTH LISTENING TO?

Stunningly… the answers to that trio of Qs is YES! YES!! YES!!!

Admittedly, upon first ear-witnessing Tiësto’s mix, I could not help but wonder…

Is our world really ready for such a radical departure from the musical norm?

Well… almost instantaneously… I answered that Q with another Q…

Is not our world facing down its own radical departure from the sociological / political norm?

Even without factoring in the disheartening specifics… the long litany of specific societal ills, which the unwise powers-that-be have inflicted upon us… which typically, disproportionately target / devastate commoners (like me)… how can we not conclude that both fair-minded leadership and civility, itself, are all but dead? Under such glum circumstances, who amongst our decent, worldly citizens would not wind up in deep mourning… in dire need of “The Adagio For Strings Experience”?

More to the point… since the younger generation has so much more to lose than those of us who, at present, have far more days behind us than ahead… they need Barber’s counseling even more. We must consider their hitting the dance floor to Tiesto’s beat akin to group counseling… musical motivational training… their rallying anthem.

Now… I fully realize that DJ Tiesto’s interpretation may not be everyone’s cup of tea… as it were… so… keeping the classical music purist in mind… I’m also including…

 

Adagio For Strings ~ Conductor Arturo Toscanini (NBC World Premiere)

Adagio For Strings ~ Conductor Leonard Slatki (Detroit Symphony Orchestra)