I’ve been waiting for this theme for months! This week is “Epics” song’s that tell a story. Not songs that share an emotion, not your simple verse chorus verse bridge verse chorus reprise. Give me a storyline people, what happened? How did it start where did it go?
I’ll be honest, the reason I’ve been rubbing my little hands together waiting for this day is this song, I’ve got nothing to say, except I loved this movie, Cult Classics always hold a special place in my heart.
Flash Gordon by Queen
I think it’s fitting to follow one Science Fiction song with another. Billy Joel has described this as a “science fiction song” about an apocalypse occurring in New York as a result of discussions that the city was failing in the 1970s. New York was bordering on bankruptcy, and after asking the Federal Government for help, they were denied assistance. This resulted in the famous headline on the New York Daily News, stating “Ford to City: Drop Dead.” He said the song is titled “Miami 2017” because many New Yorker’s retire to Miami and the narrator is telling his grandchildren in the year 2017 about what he saw in the destruction of New York.
This is my second favorite Billy Joel song of all time. I wrote on Raised on the Radio about my favorite Billy Joel album, Turnstiles, in the post How I Thought Billy Joel and Billy Crystal Were the Same Person. It was one of the first albums I sat and listened to, over and over. This song was imprinted on my brain. Maybe it was even the genesis of my love of Science Fiction?
Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)
Another piece of my past was Harry Chapin. I often speak of how my father influenced my love of music, but someone else I haven’t mentioned was my sister Helene. In the 70’s and 80’s my sister played guitar and had a beautiful voice. She made a cassette tape for my father when she was a Freshman in college at SUNY Geneseo called Songs For Daddy, and sent it to my father. Since my father worked from home, and was an audiophile (it’s genetic), he has an elaborate stereo system in his office. Many a day I would lay on the floor in my father’s office as he worked and listen to the cassette my sister had made so lovingly for my father. One of the songs on that tape was Cat’s Cradle. As a family we were all huge Harry Chapin fans. Although my sister and my father beat us all.
On May 16, 1981 my sister graduated from SUNY Geneseo, Harry Chapin gave the commencement speech. It was one of the most amazing experiences both my sister and my father had. Exactly two months later he died in a car crash on the Long Island Expressway. My sister was devastated, my father was devastated. I think that was why Harry Chapin was so imprinted on my brain, I was 11-years-old, it was hard to understand the heartbreak that my sister was feeling, but I certainly felt for her. Now so many years later I can’t hear a Harry Chapin song without thinking of her 1395 miles away from me.
Taxi by Harry Chapin (Incidentally my husband won a Karaoke contest singing this on our Wedding Cruise – he was clearly meant to be part of our crazy family)
Some of you may know that my son is a huge Gordon Lightfoot fan. It’s funny because his love is what inspired me to take a closer look at Gordon and eventually write So Much More Than Sundown for Raised on the Radio, I also included a video of him singing The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald in this post. Right now he is working on this song, it is an amazing Epic tale of the Railroad coming to Canada, so beautifully haunting at times, exhilarating at others. Gordon Lightfoot is so inspiring to me because he wrote about something not just anything. I think he’s a great role-model for my son and I will continue to encourage his love of learning these long Epic songs.
Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Gordon Lightfoot
Number 5 was the hardest to choose. My son has also re-introduced me to a whole new world, some songs I listened to and others passed in one ear… He loves the old Country Western songs, trucker songs, songs that tell a tale. I wanted to choose songs like Ringo or Big John, but as much as I know every single lyric thanks to my son’s need to listen to songs over and over, that wasn’t it. There could have been A Boy Named Sue or Cocaine Blues by Johnny Cash. But in the end this song is the family favorite, because it’s about a car, more specifically a Lincoln, which my son plans to buy one day if he can stop spending his money on Hot Wheels and GI Joe.
Hot Rod Lincoln – Commander Cody
Thank you for listening, now share your MixTape with all of us. The best part of this party is we get to hear so much music that may be new, may be forgotten or may be just what you wanted to hear right now.
These are the rules. Five songs (do your best to stick to it, I listen to every mix). Stick to the theme (as best you can). Check out the other players (everyone wants to share their tunes with you). Create a mix, not a “hey look at all the cool songs I know” we’re not snobs, if you were our best bud and you were gonna make us a tape, what would it be? And share this party so more people will play next week!
Do me a favor, if you’re a veteran, try and visit at least one person you’ve never visited before.
And now, The List of all Lists
November 19 – Cheating Songs
November 26 – I know it’s gonna be hard, with Thanksgiving and all, but this is a really fun topic suggested by my favorite mixer-uper, literally, she’s always mixing up the topic. Kerri from Undiagnosed but Okay. She said, how about a “this song could’ve sent me to jail?” I was intrigued, but needed more. Hmmm let’s see the Doors come on baby get higher 🙂 Or Carrie Underwood doing a little grand larceny beating up her boyfriends truck? Blondie gets arrested after seeing Aliens in Rapture Or even to be funnier: Joe Cocker you can leave your hat on, so if I left just my hat on I would be arrested for indecent exposure. Trust me it wouldn’t be pretty! – Now I get it!
December 3 – It is officially OK to be listening to Christmas Music now! Bring it on! Maybe we’ll find some new favorite Christmas tunes for our holiday playlists!
December 10 – I don’t just love you, I’m addicted to you!
December 17 – It’s dealer’s choice again! Already? Yup already!
December 24 – Unfortunately this MixTape occurs on Christmas Eve, so Merry Christmas Everyone! We’ll be taking this week off.
December 31 – I hate to say goodbye to another mixtape. So in honor of looking back on the past year, repost your favorite mixtape! (remember we go live on Monday, so you can post on the 30th if you like)
January 7 – As everyone is looking forward to a New Year and talking about resolutions, this week’s them will be Past Mistakes (not necessarily love related 😉 )
Once it is officially Tuesday, Wrong Song Lyrics goes live over at Raised on the Radio. If you haven’t visited my sister site that is a collaboration with Linda Roy and Lance Burson, what are you waiting for? Also! If you haven’t contributed your Wrong Song Lyrics what are you waiting for? Click here, it’ll take 3 minutes top! And your blog will get a shout out too!