Sunrise, Moonrise, Lorelai or something

I had one of those sleepless nights yesterday that seem to happen more and more often. Sometimes I can still my busy mind, listen to the sound of my breath and go back to sleep. Yesterday wasn’t one of those times. My mind kept thought-hopping until it finally latched onto and tenaciously clung to the melody and lyrics of a song from the 70s. The problem was I didn’t know the title and could only remember a few of the lyrics. I thought it was by a Canadian rock band named Chilliwack but even that tidbit came to me in a round-about way.

Earlier this week we had a heavy rainstorm. I sat on the front porch and listened to the rain fall fiercely, drops bouncing off the pavement, water gushing from the gutters like an angry, rushing brook. After a long, hot spell, the storm was welcome – even soothing – and the lyrics of an old song came to mind: “Rain-oh rain-oh, fall upon the earth again and make it good…”.

I didn’t think much of it then, but during my sleepless night, I decided to find the song title and band. I grabbed my tablet from my bedside table and googled the lyrics.  (Never mind that excess screen time is probably why I was having trouble sleeping in the first place.) The answer popped up right away:  The song was called “Raino” and I was right – it was by Chilliwack and they were a Canadian rock band. I thought they might have performed the song at Woodstock, so I googled “Woodstock lineup”.  And that’s when I fell down the rabbit hole.  

I landed on a site that listed all the musicians and the titles of the songs they performed at the concert.  And what a line up it was! I couldn’t resist finding and watching videos of some of my favourites:  The great Joe Cocker, grimaces, spasms and all – singing “With a Little Help from my Friends”, or, as he called it in his intro, “With a Little Help from Me Friends.”  Santana doing “Your Evil Ways”.  Janis Joplin performed one of my all-time favourites – Piece of My Heart.  And, of course, Jimi Hendrix’s infamous Purple Haze and the Star Spangled Banner.  More than an hour had passed before I remembered that I had come to the site to see if Chilliwack had performed at Woodstock. They hadn’t.

Then, for no good reason, bits of another Chilliwack song started to play in my head. Again, I couldn’t remember the title and I had only a few stray lyrics. Sunrise or moonrise maybe? So I googled those combined with Chilliwack. Nothing.  I remembered a  reference to “Lorelai” in the song so I tried that. No luck.  I knew that if I called my friend, Mike, he would know the name of the song right away. But it was 3 am. I don’t think he or his wife would have appreciated a call with me on the line saying, “Hey Mike, remember that song we used to listen to when we were kids?  It’s about a sunrise or a moonrise or Lorelai or something?” My friend Mike is nice, but not that nice. Nobody is that nice.

Finally, I gave up, put down the tablet , turned out the light and tossed and turned for a while before falling asleep. But not for long. I woke again at 5 am with the song still looped in my head. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it earlier, but I went to the Chilliwack band page on Wikipedia and there it was: “Sundown”. Not sunrise, not moonrise. Sundown!  You know, of course, what happened next. I found a version of the song on YouTube and listened to it. The sound wasn’t great, but I wasn’t disappointed. It was worth the search.

There is a haunting flute reminiscent of Jethro Tull. There is a refrain where the singers chant “Eve-Eve-Evening”  that recalls the soft beating of drums in indigenous music.  It wasn’t one of Chilliwack’s better known songs, but I like it a lot. Now, I only hope tonight I won’t have any elusive songs keeping me awake.

Song Lyric Sunday – No Rules!

This week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme was too much fun to resist. The theme is “No Rules” and as soon as I saw it, the song “Signs” began to play in my head. This song by the Five Man Electrical Band was a generation’s anthem to freedom and a rebellion against directives found on signs everywhere. But because today is the 50th anniversary of the death of Janis Joplin, I had to include a song by this rock rebel too.

  1. SIGNS

Originally released in 1970 as the B-side of another single, Signs was re-released in 1971 where it reached No. 4 on the charts in Canada and No. 3 in the U.S. Although I am Canadian, I didn’t know until researching the song today that the band was Canadian.

SIGNS LYRICS

And the sign said “Long-haired freaky people need not apply”
So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
He said “You look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you’ll do”
So I took off my hat, I said “Imagine that. Huh! Me workin’ for you!”


Whoa-oh-ohSign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

And the sign said anybody caught trespassin’ would be shot on sight
So I jumped on the fence and-a yelled at the house
“Hey! What gives you the right?”
“To put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in”
“If God was here he’d tell you to your face, man, you’re some kinda sinner”

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind…

2. PIECE OF MY HEART – JANIS JOPLIN

There is nothing I can say about Janis Joplin that would describe her better than the excerpt below. It was written for the campus newspaper of the University of Texas in 1962 – well before she became famous – and called “She Cares to be Different”.

The article began, “She goes barefooted when she feels like it, wears Levis to class because they’re more comfortable, and carries her autoharp with her everywhere she goes so that in case she gets the urge to break into song, it will be handy. Her name is Janis Joplin.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Janis Joplin and in her honour, here is one of my favourites by Joplin: Piece of My Heart.

LYRICS – PIECE OF MY HEART

Oh, come on, come on, come on, come on

Didn’t I make you feel like you were the only man?
Yeah, And didn’t I give you nearly everything that a woman possibly can?
Honey, you know I did
And each time I tell myself that I, well I think I’ve had enough
But I’m gonna show you, baby, that a woman can be tough

I want you to come on, come on, come on, come on and take it
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby (whoa, break it)
Break another little bit of my heart now, darling, yeah, yeah, yeah (whoa, have a)
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby
You know you got it if it makes you feel good
Oh, yes indeed

You’re out on the streets looking good
And baby, deep down in your heart, I guess you know that it ain’t right
Never, never, never, never, never, never hear me when I cry at night
Babe, and I cry all the time
But each time I tell myself that I, well I can’t stand the pain
But when you hold me in your arms, I’ll sing it once again

I said come on, come on, come on, come on and take it
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby
Break another little bit of my heart now, darling, yeah
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby
Well, you know you got it, child, if it makes you feel good

I need you to come on, come on, come on, come on and take it
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby (whoa, break it)
Break another little bit of my heart, now darling, yeah, c’mon now (whoa, have a)
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby
You know you got it, whoa

Take it
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby (whoa, break it)
Break another little bit of my heart, now darling, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (whoa, have a)
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby, hey
You know you got it, child, if it makes you feel

goodSource: LyricFindSongwriters: Jerry Ragovoy / Bert Berns / Jerry RagavoyPiece Of My Heart lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Song Lyric Sunday – O Canada

I sat down at my computer today fully intending to get some writing in after reading a few of my favourite bloggers’ latest entries.  While reading, I came across the theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday – a song by a Canadian artist or group. Well, as a Canadian,  I couldn’t resist taking part!

But how to narrow down all the great Canadian music to one song?  There’s Heart with sisters Anne & Nancy Wilson. The Wainrights, including Rufus, his sister Martha and the duo made up of their late mother Kate and her sister Anna McGarrigle.  There’s Blue Rodeo, Bryan Adams, Steppenwolf of “Born to be Wild and “Magic Carpet” fame. But I surprised myself by choosing a song by Joni Mitchell.

I wasn’t a fan of hers in her early days. There’s no denying she’s talented in so many ways, but her voice just wasn’t that pleasing to me. But in 2000, she re-recorded “Both Sides Now”, a song she wrote and first recorded in 1969 but that was popularized by Judy Collins. Her voice in this later version has a huskier, mature quality that is simply beautiful.  If you are a fan of the movie “Love Actually”, you are probably familiar with this version.  So here, for your listening pleasure, are both the 2000 and original 1969 recordings of Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell.

BOTH SIDES NOW

And here’s a bonus track by Canadian band, Blue Rodeo!