Blog Roll, Musical Mondays

Musical Mondays | The Rolling Stones

From my summer driving playlist, Sympathy For The Devil is a song best heard loud, windows down, with the reverberation of surround sound echoing in the night.

This Rolling Stones rock-samba number from the 1968 Beggars Banquet album is one of many of their mega tracks. As you may recall, its been used endlessly in pop culture scenes over the years, including the film adaptation of Interview With A Vampire (performed by Guns ‘n’ Roses), the movie Apocalypse Now, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, both the book and the film. It never seems to lose its luster, no matter how much I hear it.

The Stones received negative attention over Sympathy For The Devil’s release, as critics accused them of dabbling in Satanism and being ‘evil’. Mick Jagger found this a curious thing, as it was only just the one song touching on the topic. Regardless of the fears of the devout, the song lives on, while the entire album, for me, is a masterpiece of blues, rock, politics, and 100 % heart. 


Jean-Luc Godard’s celebrated documentary Sympathy For The Devil, digitally remastered for its 50th Anniversary a few years ago, is a treat for Stones fans and should not be missed. Clips of the new version are available to be enjoyed on the various video-sharing sites, but I think it is worth watching in its entirety. The 4K quality is stunning, and I continue to be dazzled by the excellence in picture resolution. Where does it end?


Sympathy For The Devil | The Rolling Stones

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long years
Stole million man's soul an faith
And I was 'round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game
Stuck around St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed Tsar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain
I rode a tank
Held a general's rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah
I watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the gods they made
I shouted out
Who killed the Kennedys?
When after all
It was you and me
Let me please introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadours
Who get killed before they reached Bombay
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's confusing you
Is just the nature of my game
Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
'Cause I'm in need of some restraint
So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
Use all your well-learned politeness
Or I'll lay your soul to waste, mm yeah
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, mm yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, mm mean it, get down
Woo, who
Oh yeah, get on down
Oh yeah
Aah yeah
Tell me baby, what's my name?
Tell me honey, can ya guess my name?
Tell me baby, what's my name?
I tell you one time, you're to blame
What's my name
Tell me, baby, what's my name?
Tell me, sweetie, what's my name?

Take a minute to watch this clip from the remastered doc, as the whoo-whoo’s are being rehearsed behind the scenes.


I like to think everybody has a favourite Rolling Stones song, what’s yours?

Blog Roll, Musical Mondays

Musical Mondays | Guns N’ Roses

Guns N’ Roses were a favourite band of mine before I even understood what they were singing about. I knew all the lyrics off the Appetite For Destruction tape about a week after I got it for my 12th birthday.

When I started to experience life for myself, homeless at 16, for better or for worse, I understood exactly what the songs were about, this one being no exception.

Written by Slash and Izzy, the lyrics layout the scuffle that the band had with addiction, and the lifestyle that came with it.


Mr. Brownstone | Guns N’ Roses

I get up around seven
Get outta bed around nine
And I don't worry about nothin' no
'Cause worryin's a waste of my, time
The show usually starts around seven
We go on stage at nine
Get on the bus at eleven
Sippin' a drink and feelin' fine
We been dancin' with
Mr. Brownstone
He's been knockin'
He won't' leave me alone
No, no, no
He won't leave me alone
I used ta do a little but a little wouldn't do
So the little got more and more
I just keep tryin' ta get a little better
Said a little better than before
I used ta do a little but a little wouldn't do
So the little got more and more
I just keep tryin' ta get a little better
Said a little better than before
We been dancin' with
Mr. Brownstone
He's been knockin'
He won't leave me alone
No, no, no
He won't leave me alone
Now I get up around whenever
I used ta get up on time
But that old man he's a real muthafucker
Gonna kick him on down the line
I used ta do a little but a little wouldn't do
So the little got more and more
I just keep tryin' ta get a little better
Said a little better than before
I used ta do a little but a little wouldn't do
So the little got more and more
I just keep tryin' ta get a little better
Said a little better than before
We been dancin' with
Mr. Brownstone
He's been knockin'
He won't leave me alone
No, no no
He won't leave me alone
Oh leave me alone
Stuck it in the middle and I shot it in the middle
And it, it drove outta my mind
I should've known better, said I wish I never met her
Said I leave it all behind
Yowsa!

These are tough times for people suffering through addictions, trying to survive the world falling around us, attempting to juggle the fear and anxiety these dark days provoke.

Thankfully I learned how to survive without the likes of fellas like Mr. Brownstone in my world, but there are many who didn’t who remain in my heart.

Praying for peace of mind to all those out there that just keep trying to do a little better than before. 💜



Do you have a song that you prefer off of Appetite for Destruction, or any other Guns N’ Roses albums?

Signup below for the quarterly Just Peachy Newsletter, so you don’t miss the Spring issue I’ll be publishing next week!

Blog Roll, historical, Musical Mondays, politics

Musical Mondays | Billy Joel

This week I thought it best to bring back a perfectly political pop-rock song from 1989: We Didn’t Start the FireBilly Joel, a self-proclaimed history nut, penned his third No. 1 Billboard Hit in response to a conversation he had with Sean Lennon, where the then 21-year-old suggested it was more of a challenge to grow up in the 1980s than in the 1950s when nothing was happening in the world.  😆

Joel’s passionate epic is a lyrical recap showcasing world history over the second half of the 20th century. The rapid-fire delivery, matched with a synthesised sound and a peppy melody, timed beautifully with the ending of the Cold War, lending it anthem status. He addresses the coincidence of the timing in the video below.

A love of history didn’t negate that the song was merely a novelty to him. He liked the lyrics but felt the piece didn’t reflect who he was in the way some of his less popular offerings did.


We Didn’t Start The Fire – Billy Joel

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio
Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe
Rosenbergs, H-bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, "The King and I", and "The Catcher in the Rye"
Eisenhower, Vaccine, England's got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana, goodbye
We didn't start the fire
It was always burning, since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it
Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc
Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dacron
Dien Bien Phu falls, "Rock Around the Clock"
Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn's got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland
Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Krushchev
Princess Grace, Peyton Place, Trouble in the Suez
We didn't start the fire
It was always burning, since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it
Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, "Bridge on the River Kwai"
Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkweather homicide, children of thalidomide
Buddy Holly, Ben Hur, space monkey, mafia
Hula hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go
U2, Syngman Rhee, Payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo
We didn't start the fire
It was always burning, since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it
Hemingway, Eichmann, "Stranger in a Strange Land"
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion
"Lawrence of Arabia", British Beatlemania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson
Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British politician sex
JFK – blown away, what else do I have to say?
We didn't start the fire
It was always burning, since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it
Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline
Ayatollah's in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan
"Wheel of Fortune", Sally Ride, heavy metal suicide
Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shore, China's under martial law
Rock and roller, cola wars, I can't take it anymore
We didn't start the fire
It was always burning, since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
But when we are gone
It will still burn on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on
We didn't start the fire
It was always burning, since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it
We didn't start the fire
It was always burning, since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it
We didn't start the fire
It was always burning, since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it

Billy Joel has a lackluster response to the melody of this historical classic here:


I appreciate the honesty of this quote from Billy Joel. A clever and talented musician that has, no doubt and not unlike myself, enjoyed many a night laughing it up with sinners of all kinds, haha.


It’s always fun to hear people belt this song out when in a crowd! Is there a Billy Joel song that you love to sing when it comes on the radio?

This may age us but do you remember any lyrics from this lyrical tour de force?

Blog Roll, Musical Mondays

Musical Mondays | Led Zeppelin

After one of my dark periods a few months ago, I concluded that there had not been enough music in my life across the last decade. 

Without a doubt, its absence had a negative effect on my psyche. How could it not when it was once an ever-present part of my life? 

I have been trying to do better by incorporating music into my posts, but that’s not been enough, and I still find my soul pining for more. 

From now on, I will put forth a concerted effort to switch at least 50% of the time once spent listening to podcasts to playlists; fingers crossed that it works this time, haha. 

I am not naive enough to presume music is a panacea, that with a queue of the right hits, one is smooth sailing for paradise, but if I look to my roots, I know that it will help. 

Early years spent wearing out a crate of 45s, childhood permanently connected to a Walkman, mixed tapes and breakup songs in my youth; a forever companion through the loneliness of isolation and terror of too many storms. 

The comfort of familiar riffs and passionate voices helped me tolerate dark days, sometimes even lifting me out of a depression and steering me back towards the light. 

Music was one of the only consistent friends I knew during my beginnings and was by my side in good times and bad, extra loud when things were exceptional. 

Musically speaking, singing will remain my first true love, but I have always wanted to learn to play more instruments. I enjoyed playing the flute and the cello during the middle grades but promptly dropped the class in high school. 

Now in my middle age, I have a desire to learn the Ukulele and was happy to receive one for my birthday in 2020. I call her Mea Hoola, meaning ‘healer’ in Hawaiin. 

Progress is slow, but I like it that way. A dose of humility comes with any learned skill, and I cherish that gift of personal growth. After years of typing and working with yarn, I now suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, so my practice sessions do not last as long as I would like, but every time I pick her up I enjoy a few minutes of escape to a freer place in my mind. It is loads of fun and creatively therapeutic, as art continues to help me unload the baggage of the day.


With a vast and eclectic musical appreciation, there is not much that I refuse to listen to, but rock and roll, particularly from the seventies, is where my heart resides. Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, David Bowie; endless amounts of timeless talent!

I loved them all, but Led Zeppelin was my ultimate. Even though I was over a decade behind what my schoolmates were into, I did not care. I was listening to the modern stuff too, but I preferred to rock it out with my cassette tape on repeat, memorising every ooh and ahh, that Robert Plant would purr.

Led Zeppelin IV was my introduction to the band, and I still do not know how I managed not to lose or break that cassette. The charts revere Stairway to Heaven as the best of the album, but it is my least favourite. 😬 Sorry to those that might take offence, lol. The true masterpiece, in my humble opinion, and I think my number one song of all time if you made me pick, is Battle of Evermore.

Robert Plant is an avid Tolkien fan, and as such many assumed the song to be about Return of the King and its Battle of Pelennor. Some inconsistencies would suggest otherwise, though. I am more inclined to believe the story that Plant wrote the song after reading a book about Scottish history and that it represented the battle between night and day, or good and evil.

The Celtic folk sound and the fingerpicking of the mandolin hit me in some unknown yet eerily familiar place, as though ancestral awakenings have come to bear. Add to this the harmonious marriage of Plant and Sandy Denny’s angelic voices, and I transcend into greatness whilst the emotionally charged song reverberates through my body.

I was lucky enough to see Heart, another of my top bands, while they were touring with Def Leppard back in 2011. It was a phenomenal show, quite frankly one of the best I have seen, but I know that has a lot to do with nostalgia. Not only did I dance like nobody was watching in my aisle seat, sing loud and proud to every dear Def Leppard song of my younger days, but I got to hear Heart perform Battle of Evermore. One thing I can say for sure, on that glorious day, it was clear that good had won the battle, as the song never sounded more beautiful.

Click on the song title to hear the original Led Zeppelin track, along with the lyrics.

Battle or Evermore - Led Zeppelin

Queen Of Light Took Her Bow
And Then She Turned To Go
The Prince Of Peace Embraced The Gloom
And Walked The Night Alone
Oh Dance In The Dark Of Night
Sing To The Morn Ing Light
The Dark Lord Rides In Force Tonight
And Time Will Tell Us All
Oh Throw Down Your Plow And Hoe
Rest Not To Lock Your Homes
Side By Side We Wait The Might
Of The Darkest Of Them All
I Hear The Horses' Thunder
Down In The Valley Blow
I'm Waiting For The Angels Of Avalon
Waiting For The Eastern Glow
The Apples Of The Valley Hold
The Seas Of Happiness
The Ground Is Rich From Tender Care
Repay Do Not Forget No No
Ohdance In The Dark Of Night
Sing To The Morning Light
The Apples Turn To Brown And Black
The Tyrant's Face Is Red
Oh The War Is Common Cry
Pick Up You Swords And Fly
The Sky Is Filled With Good And Bad
That Mortals Never Know
Oh Well The Night Is Long
The Beads Of Time Pass Slow
Tired Eyes On
The Sunrise
Waiting For The Eastern Glow
The Pain Of War Cannot Exceed
The Woe Of Aftermath
The Drums Will Shake The Castle Wall
The Ring Wraiths Ride In Black
Ride On
Sing As You Raise Your Bow
Shoot Straighter Than Before
No Comfort Has The Fire At Night
That Lights The Face So Cold
Oh Dance In The Dark Of Night
Sing To The Mornin' Light
The Magic Runes Are Writ In Gold
To Bring The Balance Back
Bring It Back
At Last The Sun Is Shining
The Clouds Of Blue Roll By
With Flames From The Dragon Of Darkness
The Sunlight Blinds His Eyes

In this unique version of the classic song, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant welcome Najma Akhtar, a popular British singer of Indian ancestry. The added Eastern instrumental influence and her captivating voice make this a performance to behold and only elevate the richness of the music, a real treat!


As a proud mama, it would be remiss of me not to include a photo of the best Led Zeppelin-themed gift I have ever received in this post.

Here is a picture my thoughtful son drew me for my birthday last year. He is also a fan of the band, excellent taste that he has!


What are your thoughts on Led Zeppelin’s catalogue?

Do you have a track that you like the best off of Zeppelin IV, or any of their other Internationally bestselling albums?

Blog Roll, Musical Mondays

Musical Mondays | Alice Phoebe Lou

Summer 2020 was a difficult time for me, you, and the rest of the planet. I spent the entirety of March through May isolated in our home with my son and husband, minus our daily lunchtime walks in the neighbourhood. 

To be clear, I love my husband and son more than anyone or anything in this world, and there are no two people I would rather be with for days on end, but being trapped indoors with anyone for three months straight (now it has been two years) is bound to wear on an already stress addled mind.

One of my only means of escape that summer was to listen to music in my backyard, pacing the perimeter of the house, or sometimes after a few beverages, dancing with only my JBL speaker for a partner.

As has been my coping strategy during times of despair in my life, I eked out some joy by discovering new music, emotional lyrics, and powerful artists. 

I stumbled across Alice Phoebe Lou’s She, not a moment too soon, finding the piece that would lift me up and out of my Co vid prison. Her animal-like moans of anguish and release had me soaring through the open skies of freedom and possibility, even if only for 5 minutes and 24 seconds at a time, musical catharsis having saved the day once again. 

I survived that lockdown summer by living vicariously through this song, dancing like a whirling dervish, and trying to be grateful for all that I had when so many others were struggling in far worse ways than my mental health forced on me.

They may take away our jobs, our houses, destroy our family bonds and our Charter of Rights, but as long as we have minds to produce lyrics and voices to sing, they will never take away our music.

Enjoy the live performance of She that kept me afloat whilst a desire to drown had me nearly swept away with the undertow.


Were there any songs that helped you get through the dark days of the Pandemic?

Was isolation a problem for you and your loved ones?

Blog Roll, Musical Mondays

Musical Mondays | Barry McGuire

Eve of Destruction, written by P.F. Sloan and performed by Barry McGuire, is a classic protest song from the ‘Sixties that rings eerily truthful these days. The lyrics say everything that needs to be said, in the here and now, almost sixty years later.

This gritty and once imperfect song (see video below) became an anthem to antiwar hippies and college students speaking out against the Vietnam War. Though I’ll never tire of hearing the ominous drum intro, I’m not eager to appreciate it finding contemporary relevance again.


Eve of Destruction – Lyrics

The Eastern world, it is explodin'
Violence flarin', bullets loadin'
You're old enough to kill but not for votin'
You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin'?
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin'

But you tell me over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

Don't you understand what I'm trying to say?
Can't you feel the fear that I'm feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there's no running away
There'll be no one to save with the world in a grave
Take a look around you boy, it's bound to scare you, boy

But you tell me over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

Yeah, my blood's so mad, feels like coagulatin'
I'm sittin' here just contemplatin'
I can't twist the truth, it knows no regulation
Handful of Senators don't pass legislation
And marches alone can't bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin'
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin'

And you tell me over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
Ah, you may leave here for four days in space
But when you return, it's the same old place
The poundin' of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead but don't leave a trace
Hate your next door neighbor but don't forget to say grace
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend

You don't believe we're on the eve of destruction
You don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

When the Berlin wall fell, which some considered the symbolic end to the cold war, I had just become a teenager. My limited political knowledge came from Much Music videos (Canadian MTV, of the day), and I hadn’t the slightest idea what it was all about, but I recall watching the news and soaking up the giddiness of the occasion.

It is surreal to be entering the time warp that is Cold War with Russia, merely needing to look to the art canon for salient expression, older generations no doubt with a prevailing sense of déjà vu. 

I hope to take solace in the robust and emotionally charged works that are sure to flourish during these noxious times, turning darkness into light, as only the vulnerability of art can do.

Creators,
right now,
across the globe,
birthing new ideas,
countless mediums,
finding ways to let out our collective sigh of exasperation, 
attempting to balance the scales,
mourning the death throes of humanity.

If there is no love to be had, let us bear fruit in creation.

Below Barry McGuire explains how they recorded Eve of Destruction in one take, and goes on to share how the song was written into the history books.


What are some antiwar songs that you have on your playlist?

Are there songs that you associate with conflict and war that you still like to hear?

Blog Roll, MEme Collections, Musical Mondays

Musical Mondays | Bob Dylan

Box of peace signs made of barbed wire, with the lyrics from Bob Dylan's Masters of War in red letters: 
Come, you masters of war, you that build the big guns, you that build the death planes, you that build all the bombs, you that hide behind walls, you that hide behind desks, I just want you to know I can see through your masks.

Masters of War is one of Bob Dylan’s more emphatic songs, which he amazingly wrote in his early 20s, with it being released in ’63. The powerful piece is his seething response in defiance of the Cold War nuclear arms proliferation.

Dylan was a captivating voice during the civil rights movement and antiwar protests of the 60s and 70s. His art was a way that people could explore and understand the ideas behind what was truly happening, and not just what people were being told by their leaders. That is one of the beautiful aspects of the arts, a works ability to reach people where ever they might be at.

Enjoy this rare interview from 1985, where the ever humble Dylan was eager to discuss all manner of topics ranging from religion, politics, war, and the media. Although it is choppy and the audio isn’t great, it is a wide-angle view into the mind of Dylan, for any interested fans.


Are you a fan of Bob Dylan’s work? Is there a song that sticks out for you?

Musical Mondays

Musical Mondays | Metallica

A dark song for dark days, as the defenceless bear witness to increased global unrest and conflict, ignited by the ruling elites who battle for resources and control.

One by Metallica is a hard rock classic that served to vent my teenage angst, yet I never fully felt the import of its message. Now I truly hear the lyrics, as it channels my adult rage over the injustices that will befall those on the battlefield-of-greed laid out like a red carpet.

To rage out a little with me this Monday Morning, find the song here:

Do you listen to music to let off steam?

What are some of the songs that work for you?

Praying for peace in the world on these darkest of days. 🖤

Blog Roll, Musical Mondays

Musical Mondays | Doreen Ketchens: Queen Clarinet

With all of this Anne Rice talk, I’ve got New Orleans on my mind. I would love to share with you this Monday morning the heart of the French Quarter, one of New Orleans’ musical marvels: Doreen Ketchens.

Silhouette of a musician in the background playing an alto clarinet with the backdrop of a crimson sky, with the quote by Doreen Ketchens a k a Queen Clarinet that says: Along your travelings you find people who don't speak your language, but everybody understands the music. Maybe they don't understand it as in-depth as the next person, but they understand the groove.

Doreen’s Jazz Band typically busks for her many fans out in her city’s streets but has travelled the world to share her incredible mastery for the clarinet with a wide array of adoring jazz enthusiasts.

As someone who has never enjoyed this throaty woodwind instrument, especially after many a Greek wedding with endless solos at obscene volumes, I completely changed my mind after coming across a video of Doreen playing her heart out on Royal Street.

One day, when I finally get the chance to go and fulfill my lifelong dream of visiting New Orleans, tracking down Queen Clarinet will be first on my itinerary.

To see Doreen’s Jazz Band perform The House of the Rising Sun visit YouTube here:

Visit Doreen’s performance with the Louisiana Philharmonic here:

To support Doreen’s work please visit her website here.

Have you ever been to New Orleans?

Do you enjoy the clarinet? What’s your favourite instrument to listen to live?

Blog Roll, Musical Mondays

Musical Mondays | Nina Simone

I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free

The captivating emotion that Nina Simone emits with every syllable she sings can never be denied. When I listen to her songs of freedom, self-acceptance and love, the hair on my arms stands up as the electricity of her music shoots through me.

The first time I heard her play Sinnerman as a child, I must have played that 45 for an hour straight. I became a forever fan, and although many have sung the song, it will always belong to Nina in my eyes.

An artist without measure, her prodigal stroking of the ivory keys was unmatched. She was classically trained, and although many referred to her music as gospel or Jazz, she referred to it as ‘black classical music.’

To Listen to Simone Sing I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free please visit YouTube here:

For a glimpse into the artistry of Nina, and to get your Monday moving, watch this video of one of her incredible performances of Sinnerman here:


Is there a Nina Simone song or performance that stands out for you?

I’d love to know in the comments.