A third attempt at this blogging business.
|30DBC PROMPT: "I think it is Monday Music Storytellers Day. I feel this particular song is one of the best examples of a modern storytelling in song. It is based on a true story. "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot."
What's up, friends? Great prompts today, and since I've wasted a ton of time already this evening I'm gonna get right into 'em, if you don't mind.
I'm not ashamed one bit to admit that I'm a Gordon Lightfoot fan...I've got a couple of his cd's and "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald" has always been a favorite. Lyn is absolutely right...in my opinion it's the gold standard of lyrical storytelling in music. That's why I decided to go with a group of fellow Canadians and one of the premier lyrical talents as my choice for Monday Music Storytellers Day (hey 30DBC Creator/Founder ...this should be a thing every Monday )...The Tragically Hip with "Fifty-Mission Cap" .
Gord Downie (the lead singer) is renowned for his poetic talents (you can check out a book of his poetry and lyrics here ), and in this song he briefly tells the story of Toronto Maple Leafs' defenseman Bill Barilko . Basically all there is to the story is that a few months after scoring the Stanley Cup-clinching goal in 1951, he disappeared in a plane crash and wasn't found until 1962...which, coincidentally, was when the then-powerhouse Maple Leafs would win their next Stanley Cup.
"Bill Barilko disappeared that summer,
he was on a fishing trip.
The last goal he ever scored
won the Leafs the cup
They didn't win another until 1962,
the year he was discovered.
I stole this from a hockey card,
I keeped tucked up under
my fifty mission cap, I worked it in
to look like that."
According to the song's own Wikipedia entry , "The song's lyrics also reference the World War II style U.S. Army Air Corps, or U.S. Air Force officer's cap, mentioned in the song's title. The fifty mission cap was a cloth cap with visor issued to U.S. Army officers in World War II that developed a particular crush from the headphones that the bomber crews wore." I often wondered the significance of the "Fifty Mission Cap"; I'm surprised I never bothered to figure out what it was...or maybe I did know at one point and just forgot. I think the only improvement I would've made in this song would've been to sandwich a different verse in between a repeated opening and closing rendition of the original lyrics. About what? I don't know. Maybe something of personal meaning to Downie? An anecdote regarding the search for the plane that was carrying Barilko? Doesn't matter...the song, to me, is great as it is (but I'm under the impression that nothing The Hip does can suck).
The Hip have managed to come up with many, many great songs in their long and storied career, which has spanned over thirty years. I've been fortunate enough to see them in concert five times, and no two shows are ever alike. Their website contains their entire discography available for free streaming, with lyrics, details, and fan-submitted stories included as well. Definitely a treat for both casual and hardcore fans, as well as those who've heard them for the first time. (I'll add a live clip down below...the "lyrics" link includes an embedded player that you can hear the song on as well.)
BCF PROMPT: "It is Blue Monday. Write a story or poem about a Blue Monday. If you don't like the color blue then write a story about Monday being your favorite color."
Huh...first we've got Monday Music Storytellers Day, and now we've got Blue Monday. And normally I'm not crazy about prompts that include the words "write a story", but I'm intrigued by the sentiment of "Monday being your favorite color". I don't quite have a story in me (although "Black Monday" does sound kinda cool) today, and writing poems...well, there's not enough hours in the day right now for me to attempt that and a blog entry (I need better time management skills , for real though), but maybe I'll bash somethin' out quick-like and see what happens.
Black Monday Moon
Your day's unceremoniously ground to a halt and
you're not staying awake but you
can't find the nerve to fall asleep so
you look at the ceiling of your eyelids
praying for relief in the form of
an intervention or mystery
or visions of the good things
you're supposed to be thinking
when you've got nothing else to do
but count your winks and blinks and
numbers aren't your strongest suit
but you're too spent for water or
a run around the bedposts
and maybe just maybe there's
a sandman on the moon who'll
throw some magic dust your way
and the next thing you know it'll
be time in the morning for you to
say thanks for the rest and I'll
try to do my best me today see
it was all because I prayed
on the black Monday moon that
only comes out every night I'm
stuck in the sheets of another
long day ended by a longer time
of insomnia and preludes to
dreams that never come true
and fears of stress that lie undue
with the reality of another day
that'll probably end against the same
wishes among the dust in my eyes
speckling the night in my eyelid skies
as clouds circle and cover my
every night black Monday moon so high.
Huh...guess that really didn't take long after all, and I can live with it. If it were a real poem I'd keep in a notebook, it probably wouldn't have turned out as good...I'd be thinking about it too much and I'd be too worried about punctuating and syllables and line length and all that high-fallutin' nose-in-the-air grammar snob stuff. I don't have time for that.
And it just occurred to me that Deftones did a song once with B-Real of Cypress Hill called "Black Moon" , but it's got nothing to do with moons of any color (or Mondays for that matter), so I'm not even gonna talk anymore about it.
Ladies and gentlemen...from the Canada of your souls:
THE DAILY BOX SCORE:
"Pick a headline from your local newspaper or favorite on-line news source and share your feelings about it. Be sure to include the headline somewhere in your blog."
Well played, Mitchopolis ...nice to see my push for the Sunday "30-Day Blogging Challenge" prompt getting some good use! (I'm sure it was just coincidental though...not positive anyone knew "The Sunday News" was my idea to replace "The Sunday Review". No big deal...carrying on.)
Must be a slow news day, because I wasted so much time on Facebook when I got home from work I didn't see any major stories come up in my Facebook newsfeed this afternoon. All the planes stayed in the sky and landed properly (quick...someone change the number on the dry-erase board that says "We've had no accidents or crashes in..." from three days to four), Russia hasn't decided to expand its control over anyone else, and Miley Cyrus still isn't wearing pants. All must be sorta right in the world today.
With that in mind, I present to you Novoselic Comments On Israel-Palestine Conflict, Defends Vedder from Rolling Stone. It's maybe not national headline worthy, but stick with me for a minute and let's figure this one out.
Every time a rock star opens his mouth and starts discussing politics, there's a certain segment of the population that's always "Shut up and play the hits, asshole!". And that's rude...what, because he's famous he's not entitled to his opinion? Because he's on a stage with a microphone all the sudden he's a robot? Wait in line at your local grocery store or ride public transportation for twenty minutes, and you'll hear no shortage of strange nobodies telling anyone with a freakin' ear what a shitty job the president's doin', who the Bills should really have picked up to play quarterback, and why the bachelor guy should've married the sweet, innocent girl she liked instead of that skanky whore he'll divorce in six months anyway. You probably know people who won't stop telling you their opinions as gospel (and bless your sick little heart if you're one of them). That's life.
So why should it be any different when a musician comes out and makes anti-war statements? What's wrong with that? Well, apparently Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam has been taking some flack lately for playing a protest song or two in concerts overseas and saying a few words about whatever's goin' on in the world. Mind you, this isn't the first time he's done this before: during the second Bush presidency he'd often bring masks of both George Bush and Saddam Hussein on stage while singing "Bushleaguer" . This is what he does. He's not oversexin' up your thirteen-year-old (and if you think your kids aren't listening to the pop-radio crap that's out there, trust me...they're at least very aware of it). He's promoting music with substance, but that's an argument for another time.
Anyway, apparently it was a big deal when Eddie Vedder sang John Lennon's "Imagine" the other day, and I think that's bullshit. I don't understand what the commotion is about. My favorite quote from the article is Novoselic saying, "It is time to stop repeating the same old arguments, dogma and hate speech. It is the knuckleheads on both sides that should be criticized and not the singer from a rock band." Powerful stuff...and yeah, if the common man or woman can say whether they support one side or the other in a general tragedy like war, why can't anyone say they don't support the idea of any war? I don't see the problem.
But maybe it's just me and how I see (or perhaps don't see) the idea of celebrity in general. They're human beings too, and with that comes all the stuff we've got to do and deal with and read about in the news. I wonder how others feel about this...is it fair that actors, musicians, authors, athletes, and other "famous people" should only stick to whatever it is they do, or do you care that they show a more "real" side by offering sometimes strong opinions about certain subjects (even though you may not agree with them)? My take is this: let 'em say whatever the hell they want. The general public votes with their eyes and their wallets...if they don't like someone, they're not gonna watch them nor spend money on them. It's the reality of an all-access society that we every one of us lives in.
Ok, let's get back to lightening things up a little...here's a list of 13 of the most unfortunate wedding couple names . The twelve-year-old boy inside me is giddy.
Speaking of songs that tell stories, I was thinking about it this morning and I almost went with De La Soul's "Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa" , but it wouldn't have been right to post that and not include "Millie Fell Off The Fire Escape" , which is sorta like Atmosphere's version of a sequel. Thanks to the magic of YouTube though, someone mashed up both songs into one mix , if you'd care to hear a sordid and unfortunate tale of child abuse and murder from a hip-hop perspective.
And that sounds like a good enough stopping place for this evening...loos like I've said too much again tonight. Oh well...you'll have that. Had to make up for the weekend I lost feelin' like crap and whatnot. Mission accomplished...time to get some sleep. Peace, I worked it in, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!