Thursday, February 6, 2020


            Sometimes popular music can have a powerful emotional effect on us, despite its relative simplicity when compared with more sophisticated and complex classical forms. So be it. I remember reading a snobby music review were the writer said that rock music is only good at expressing two emotions: horniness and rage. Perhaps he was right, but still . . .. Sometimes we are just touched, deeply, if we are in an emotional situation that makes us open to the music. It will surprise none of you that these are all oldies.

            My choices:

            “Yesterday” by the Beatles. Just the opening verse, omitting the part about his girl’s leaving him:

All my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday
I’m not half the man I used to be
There’s a shadow hanging over me
Oh, yesterday came suddenly

            Then, in a more optimistic vein, “Blackbird,” also by the Beatles. Two lines in this song strike me at this time:

“Take these broken wings and learn to fly.”

Impossible, perhaps, but so, what? Leading to:

“All your life / You were only waiting for this moment to arise.”

This can be true no matter what “this moment” is.

            Also on my list is “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone” by Bill Withers. This song is familiar enough that I don’t need to quote any lyrics, but it has power for me at this point in our lives.

            I’m not sure why “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd makes the list, but it does. I’ve played it often the last few months – so often that Alexa recently said, “What, again?” If I thought about it long enough, I could probably come up with an explanation, but I don’t want to go there at the moment.

            “Killing Me Softly” by Roberta Flack. I’m the one that song should be directed to, not Don McLean. It’s one reason why I write.

            Finally, “Someone to Watch Over Me” by Ella Fitzgerald, which Kim and I defined as “our song” when we married 30+ years ago. It’s a love song that defines an important part of our relationship.

            Sorry about the melancholy tone of these selections. Just keepin’ it real.

“Take these broken wings and learn to fly.”

          What popular music has a similar effect on you? Please write, and let me know, and I may share your thoughts on a future blog post.

From Steve Smith:

I'm moved by all kinds of music from folk to country to classical (daughter is a trained opera singer -a lyric soprano- my favorite that she sings is Puccini's: “O mio babbino caro” .  Here is Renee Flemings cover:  

The country one that initially stunned me early on though was "Get Your Tongue Out Of My Mouth; Im Trying To Kiss You Goodbye" BTW, while I think I am in love with Carrie Underwood, I still like the Kingston Trio.

From Bill Lavery:

As your comments were of a long perspective and deep, I turned initially not to music but Emerson.  He represents a long missed appreciation for me as I attended his high school where to my memory he was never mentioned.  On trips east, we tend to drift to Concord and Walden Pond, attempting to connect late but good.  But this morning I put on a cd created by a St. Joe lawyer friend entitled  "America #42 (Geography and God Bless the U.S.A.)   
That was Woody Guthrie there with "This Land Is Your Land."  It helps as this challenging moment in our history.  And now there is Hank Snow with "I've Been Everywhere" and, hold on, John Prine singing "Ol' Crazy Bones with everybody in their old folks homes."  Here comes Lefty Frizell with "Saginaw, Michigan."  And I'm into it now.  Glancing at the list of 24 songs, I see Gary, Indiana, the Grand Canyon Suite, Kansas City, The Great Divide, "Hopelessly Midwestern,"  Detroit City - ach.  It will help me prepare for my call in a couple of hours to talk with the woman who leads the Saline Leadership Institute with its 400 graduates.  Our subject is the recent national news of Saline's racist incident in a public school meeting and what SLI and CQC can do to address it.  Up next is Bryan Bowers with "The View  From Home", and another reading of your piece.  Thanks for sharing.

From Charmaine Stangl:

I empathize strongly with this.  "Popular" music can get into our minds and hearts and stay around forever, awaiting the right moment to pounce on us.  Shortly after I told my first husband that i wanted a divorce I was driving on Ann Arbor-Saline Road and "She's Leaving Home" (Beatles) came on the radio.  Though I wasn't in the same situation as the girl in the song,  my husband was as clueless as her parents.  That line, "She's leaving home after living alone for so many years,"  had me sobbing so hard I had to pull off the road.  It spoke to exactly how I'd felt for so long.  Those words and music washed over me with the power of nine years of loneliness.  I can probably think of more to say on this issue, but it will need to wait. I'll try to get back to you soon.


  1. Well,music is one of my most favorite topics. My father was a musician, guitarist/singer. Jim & I attempt to play piano. Anne Murray's song comes to my mind. "Can I have this dance for the rest of our life? Will you be my partner every night? When we're together, it feels so right. Can I have this dance for the rest of our life?" This is our song. Another came to mind, Here's to Life",Shirley Horn. "Here's to life, no complaints, and no regrets. I still believe in chasing dreams and placing bets. But I have learned that all you give is all you get. So give it all you've got." What a great philosophy in these word. Angie

  2. You have done a great job I hope you will do much batter in the future for more information visit website and get results.

  3. Great work man you have post a great post it will help people very much keep it do more for people like that get redirected here iPhone 6s screen replacement my company.