Kenny Rogers: Looks like feathers on a din-din sign?

Image from fleamarketfunk.com

“Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” by Kenny Rogers and The First Edition. Easily the most non-understandable lyric in the history of pop music. After forty-six years I finally had to Google the lyrics to figure out what he was really singing.

“Someone painted ‘April Fool’ in big black letters on a ‘Dead End’ sign.”

But it sounds like:

“Someone really echo smooth, looks like feathers on a din-din sign.”

I knew that couldn’t be right. Feathers on a din-din sign?!

My brother Mike said, this might be the feathers on the din-din sign they’re referring to. Now that’s really echo smooth, ain’t it?

Image from grouchyoldcripple.com


An oldie but a goodie

Image from spreadshirt.com

Image from spreadshirt.com

A guy goes into a crowded bar. He walks up to the counter and orders a beer. Then he says, “Hey bartender. I just heard the funniest Iowa joke ever. Let me tell it to you.”

A hush comes over the bar. The place turns still. Every eye turns to this guy.

The bartender clears his throat and says, “Sir, before you tell me that Iowa joke, let me point a few things out to you.” He points to his right and says, “Take a look at that end of the bar and tell me what you see.”

The guy looks and says, “Wow. Two big guys.”

“That’s right,” says the bartender. “Those are two Iowa farm boys.” He points to his left and says, “Take a look at that end of the bar and tell me what you see.”

The guy looks and says, “Wow. Two bigger guys.”

“That’s right,” says the bartender. “Those are two Iowa State wrestlers.” He points behind him and says, “Take a look back there and tell me what you see.”

The guy looks and says, “Wow. Two even bigger guys.”

“That’s right,” says the bartender. “Those are two Hawkeye linebackers.” He leans in to the guy and asks, “Now are you sure you still want to tell me that Iowa joke?”

“Hell, no,” scoffs the guy. “Not if I’m gonna have to explain it six times.”


Song of the night: “Photograph” by Blue Rodeo (1994)

Great band. Great album. Great song.

Started out so simple
Everything so innocent and plain
She was in a doorway
And I was walking nowhere down the main
She whispered something softly
And stepped into the light
“Can you help me out?” she said
“I’m a little lost tonight”
One day love just hits you with a flash
Lights go off around you like some
Photograph

She said her bags were stolen
All they left her was her camera on her arm
She told me she was new in town
Only two weeks off the farm
Why did I believe her?
Heaven only knows
She looked into my eyes
And my resolution goes
One day love just hits you with a flash
Leaves you staring blindly like some
Photograph

Pictures of two fools
Laughing at the world
Smiling as only good luck does
Truth is, you’re not even looking at me, girl
All the time I was falling
You kept on stalling
Sizing up how big a fool I was

Woke up in the morning
I didn’t think that I had been asleep too long
The room was dark and empty
I could see that all my clothes and money were gone
I’ve run out of excuses
And people I can blame
If she ever asked me to
I’d do it all again
One day love just hits you with a flash
Leaves you staring blindly like some
Photograph

(For all of us who have ever been sized up for a fool while we were falling.)


Watched “When Harry Met Sally” again for the first time in 25 years.

harry1

Image from reuters.com

Carrie Fisher was in both this movie and “Star Wars.” One featured an unreal fantasy world with no similarity whatsoever to normal life.

The other one had robots.

 


No need to be shy about it.

Vote on Tuesday.

Image from democrats.org

Image from democrats.org


Desert Island Singles: “Lovesick Blues” by Hank Williams and His Drifting Cowboys (1949)

Image from secondhandsongs.com

Image from secondhandsongs.com

This is by far the oldest song I’ve nominated as a Desert Island Disc. The previous record-holder was from 1966.

When I was a snotty know-it-all country music-hating fourteen-year-old, if you had told me that one day I would admire a Hank Williams song this much (or at all), I would have laughed in your face. Funny what a difference forty-some years can make. But this is a remarkable song, which shows the ingenuity of Williams and the timelessness of this song (though it was published the year before Williams was born).

“Lovesick Blues” was written by Irving Mills and Cliff Friend, and published in 1922. It was first performed that year in a musical called “Oh! Ernest.” (I suspect there’s a reason no one has ever heard of the musical “Oh! Ernest.”) It was recorded a few times, most notably in 1925 by blackface minstrel singer Emmet Miller, and in 1939 by country singer Rex Griffin. Williams listened to both versions and started performing it in 1948 on the popular “Louisiana Hayride” radio show. According to radio producer Horace Logan, “the crowd went crazy.”

Williams decided to record the song just before Christmas 1948, over the protests of his band and record producer. Its release was delayed till mid-February 1949, due to some uncertainty over the song’s publishing rights: Williams told his producer that he bought the rights from Griffin. The single sold 50,000 copies in the first two weeks, quite an accomplishment in 1949. It was Williams’ first number-one hit on Billboard’s country-western charts, where it remained for sixteen weeks.

(Turned out that Irving Mills stepped up and claimed he still owned the song. Months later Williams’ managers ironed out an agreement with Mills to share the rights. One wonders if Mills would have bothered to step up if Williams hadn’t scored such a hit.)

“Lovesick Blues” became Williams’ signature song, which he used to close his shows. It also garnered him the stage nickname of “The Lovesick Blues Boy.” On its strength Williams made his debut at the prestigious “Grand Ole Opry” on June 11, 1949, where he became the first performer to receive six encores. He remained with the Opry till 1952. In 2004, “Lovesick Blues” was added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress. It’s been covered by dozens of artists including Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells, Linda Ronstadt, Slim Whitman, Glen Campbell, Merle Haggard, Charley Pride, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and LeAnn Rimes.

With the heartbreak in his masterful delivery and the tight performance of the Lonesome Drifters, Williams turned a cast-off song from a forgotten musical into a classic of country music. A Desert Island Single to be sure.

I got a feelin’ called the blues, oh, Lord
Since my baby said goodbye
Lord, I don’t know what I’ll do
All I do is sit and sigh, oh, Lord

That last long day she said goodbye
Well, Lord, I thought I would cry
She’ll do me, she’ll do you, she’s got that kind of lovin’
Lord, I love to hear her when she calls me sweet daddy

Such a beautiful dream
I hate to think it’s all over
I’ve lost my heart, it seems
I’ve grown so used to you somehow
Well, I’m nobody’s sugar daddy now
And I’m lonesome, I got the lovesick blues

Well, I’m in love, I’m in love, with a beautiful gal
That’s what’s the matter with me
Well, I’m in love, I’m in love, with a beautiful gal
But she don’t care about me

Lord, I tried and I tried to keep her satisfied
But she just wouldn’t stay
So now that she is leavin’
This is all I can say

I got a feelin’ called the blues, oh, Lord
Since my baby said goodbye
Lord, I don’t know what I’ll do
All I do is sit and sigh, oh, Lord

That last long day she said goodbye
Well, Lord, I thought I would cry
She’ll do me, she’ll do you, she’s got that kind of lovin’
Lord, I love to hear her when she calls me sweet daddy

Such a beautiful dream
I hate to think it’s all over
I’ve lost my heart, it seems
I’ve grown so used to you somehow
Lord, I’m nobody’s sugar daddy now
And I’m lonesome, I got the lovesick blues


Halloween post-mortem

Image from Facebook

Image from Facebook

On Halloween night I regularly get hundreds of trick or treaters, literally hundreds, on my street. At times I’ve had to have someone keep giving out candy at the front door while I dashed out the back door to get more.

I was running a bit late this year, and for several reasons had neglected to get any trick or treat candy. On the way home Friday night I stopped at the local supermarket and scored the last six or seven bags off the depleted, Soviet Union-looking candy shelf. Went home, got organized, opened the door, switched on the porch light, sat in my living room, and got ready.

Net result: about a dozen kids.

Next year, I swear: just look at the photo.


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