Friday, February 14, 2014

Secret Songs you don't admit to Playing

You do it...

Oh, come on...admit it.

Remember that scene in "Tommy Boy" when they are in the car trying to sing "It's the End of the World" by REM but neither of them actually know the words so one of them changes the radio channel and on comes a Carpenter song.

They both eye each other sheepishly, "You can change it if you want".  "No, you go ahead and change it".  And the next thing we see is both of them screaming "Don't you remember you told me you love me baby..." to the song on the radio while tears roll from their eyes.

It's a classic scene if you haven't seen the movie.

And so damn true.  

So fast forward to the other day in the car and I'm screaming out the words to "Very Last Day" by Peter, Paul and Mary with the volume cranked way up while the wifey-poo sinks down in her seat hoping nobody pulls up beside us at the light.

Now this isn't just a folk song, this practically a gospel song about the Judgement Day.  I'm not even religious and yet I just love to belt out that song.  It's not one I can just listen to.

I know...its highly embarrassing.  And that's just it, isn't it?  We all secretly like or sing these songs that we probably wouldn't admit to.

I grew up listening to some odd music that I find comforting to listen to now.  The album "Aladdin" by Rotary Connection is likely one very few have heard and yet I know exactly one side of that album by heart.  I happened to find it out on Amazon one day and got the digital version....just for me.  Another obscure band I know well is "It's a Beautiful Day".

Peter, Paul and Mary was always playing at our house when I was a kid.  And I'm so familiar with those songs that I used to sing them to my kids to go to sleep when they were young.  They love them...and as such, they've now got memories of those very same songs; whether it is Stewball the racehorse, the Lemon Tree, Puff the Magic Dragon or more obscure ones like Rocky Road.



One song by Peter, Paul and Mary has changed for me from when I was a kid.  It is a beautiful old folk song called "Long Chain On" and here are the words:


One night as I lay on my pillow
Moonlight as bright as the dawn
I saw a man come a walking
He had a long chain on

I heard his chains a clankin'
They made a mournful sound
Welded around his body
Draggin' along the ground

He had a long chain on
He had a long chain on
He had a long chain on

He stood beside my window
He looked at me and he said
I am so tired and hungry
Give me a bite of your bread

He didn't look like a robber
He didn't look like a thief
His voice was as soft as the moonlight
A face full of sorrow and grief

He had a long chain on
He had a long chain on
He had a long chain on

I went into my kitchen
Fetched him a bowl full of meat
A drink and a pan of cold biscuits
That's what I gave him to eat

Though he was tired and hungry
A bright light came over his face
He bowed his head in the moonlight
He said a beautiful grace

He had a long chain on
He had a long chain on
He had a long chain on

I got my hammer and chisel
Offered to set him free
He looked at me and said softly
I guess we had best let it be

When he had finished his supper
He thanked me again and again
Though it's been years since I've seen him
Still hear him draggin' his chain

He had a long chain on
He had a long chain on
He had a long chain on

And then it occurred to me.  What is the one word you can change to the main chorus of this song to turn into a much different kind of song?

Yep...it's never been the same since...

So...fess up...what do you secretly sing or listen to when nobody is around?

4 comments:

Subby said...

I actually like a lot of Peter Paul & Mary songs, especially the obscure ones (Boa Constrictor is a fave; both PPM's version & the one by Shel Silverstein)

But I confess...I'm a Kingston Trio fan. Their self-parody "Super Skier" has long been on my playlist ;)

And Big Band...

And yes...I did have a copy of Oscar the Grouch's "I Love Trash" on 45 *now where did I put that?*

I Am Woody said...

I now have 'Bad Bad Leroy Brown' lyrics circling my brain.

ReformingGeek said...

Nice! I love me some Peter, Paul, and Mary. I need to check out some of those more obscure songs, though.

VE said...

subby - Ha...I love trash...I totally forgot about that one. Crazy...

i am woody - Yeah, and thanks to you, so do it...

reforming geek - The live version of "Car Car" is pretty funny...