Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #10

We’re taking a bit of a departure this week for tonight’s serenade.  Wichita Lineman isn’t exactly a summer song, but I wanted to note the loss of another great musician this past week.

I can remember watching Glen Campbell on television when I was a kid.    I can recall my little brother calling him ‘Glim Candle.’  Of course, back then I had no appreciation for the amazing talent the man was.  He was a singer, songwriter, gifted musician, and he even tried his hand at acting.

He was in the original True Grit, the good one, with John Wayne, not the sorry remake from a few years back.

He succumbed to the ravages of Alzheimer’s, the same disease that took my grandmother.  To say that it’s an awful thing is a massive understatement.  People always think of confused old people who don’t remember the names of their family members.  But that’s just where it starts.

My grandmother started running away from her home because she didn’t recognize my grandfather, her husband of over 50 years.  He finally moved her into a nursing home, where she felt more at peace.  But the disease began to eat away at her other functions: mobility, sight, hearing, the ability to swallow.  It’s devastating.

While looking for tonight’s song, I came across this interview with Alice Cooper about his good friend Glen Campbell.  At one point he says that when he found out about Glen’s diagnosis, he hoped it would take him quickly.  I get that.

Wichita Lineman is a simple, beautiful song about a hard-working man who’s away from his love.

I am a lineman for the county and I drive the main road
Searchin’ in the sun for another overload
I hear you singin’ in the wire, I can hear you through the whine
And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line

I know I need a small vacation but it don’t look like rain
And if it snows that stretch down south won’t ever stand the strain
And I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time
And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line

And I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time
And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line

I hope you’re spending a wonderful August weekend, doing what you love with those you love.  Be sure to give them a hug.  Happy Saturday night!

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Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #4: A 4th of July Two-fer

Happy July!  Here in the States, we’re celebrating the long Independence Day weekend.  It’s the ultimate summer holiday, with cookouts, picnics, trips to the beach, and fireworks.

There’s a lot that divides us Americans these days–politics, ideologies, and hateful, vile rhetoric, to name just a smattering.

But I’d rather focus on what unites us–good food, fun, pride as a nation, and good old rock ‘n roll.

Wouldn’t it be fabulous this weekend, rather than getting baited into some pointless social media debate, we put down our electronics, went outside, shared a hot dog and a cold beer with a neighbor, and enjoyed fireworks set to a soundtrack of great music?

Mr. R and I will be in lawn chairs on the driveway, watching all the neighborhood fireworks.  I hit the bargain bins, so we’ll be the dorks wearing the blinky jewelry.  Actually, I’ll be the dork wearing the blinky jewelry.  He’ll be sitting next to me, rolling his eyes.

But maybe that’s what it’s about.  Agreeing to disagree, embracing our differences, and appreciating that variety is, in fact, the spice of life.

I’m bringing you a two-fer for week #4 of Summer Songs.  I couldn’t pass up John (he’ll always be Cougar to me) Mellencamp, despite the fact that they’ve commercialized the crap out of this song lately.  And Phil Vassar’s American Child is a sentimental favorite.

Be careful out there.  No drinking and driving.  No holding a firework and blowing off your hand.  Haven’t you seen them do that on all the morning talk shows?

Enjoy your holiday, and hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #2

Happy Father’s Day to you!  How’s your weekend going?  Mr. R and I just survived a visit from my folks.  They mean well, but it’s nice to have our house back to ourselves.

For this second week of Summer Songs, I’m pulling out REM with Stand.  I’ve always loved this song, and for some reason, it feels like summer.  Maybe it’s the travel vibe.  Given the proper amount of liquid encouragement, I could even join in on the line dance they do in the video.

I’m not sure we’ll be going out for Father’s Day–we did a great deal of running around with the parentals all week.  But Mr. R has a pop-up beach cabana coming his way.  Shhhhh…

This weekend, be sure to celebrate the dads in your life.  In addition to gifting your dad with the tacky ties, weed whackers, and golf tchotchkes, let him know how much he’s loved and appreciated.  A big hug ought to do it.

And dance along with me if you’re so inclined.  Happy Saturday night!

 

Saturday Night Serenade–Classically Cool

Happy long weekend!  I hope everyone’s doing well.  My boy is here from Omaha, so I’m a very happy mom.  We’re hanging out, catching up, remembering times past.  Later on, we’ll all head out to some of our favorite haunts.

One thing we’ve been laughing about is our recollection of carpool karaoke, the delightful moments on our way to and from school, the kids and I singing along enthusiastically with classic rock on the radio.

Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is among the best for an impromptu sing-along, but maybe we have Wayne and Garth to thank for that notion.  This version is by Pentatonix, the wildly popular acapella group.  See what you think.

From our house to yours, we wish you a very Happy Easter.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

 

Saturday Night Serenade–Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Eve!  Tonight’s serenade is one of my favorite Christmas songs.  As the mom of two baby boys (okay, they’re grown now), this song always hits me in a very sentimental way.  And this version by Pentatonix absolutely gives me chills.

Tonight’s serenade is another two-fer, too.  I love this Celtic spin on Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.  It’s just joyful and spirited, and I hope you like it.

From our house to yours, we’re sending warm wishes for the happiest Merry Christmas to you and your family.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Three Weeks Until Christmas!

I love Christmas!  I love the lights and the television specials and the decorations and the music.  I love picking out the exact perfect gifts for friends and loved ones, Secret Santa at work, the Angel Tree at the mall.

When you love something so much, there’s the danger of being disappointed by unrealistic expectations.  You envision the perfect holiday, like a Martha Stewart Christmas special, and what you get is more like the family in the Dropkick Murpys’ The Season’s Upon Us video.

But in spite of all the external trappings, Christmas is about love, about family and close friends, the kith and kin who know you better than anyone else does.  It’s a great opportunity to express our appreciation for each other, to make right things that might have gone awry over the past year, and to extend grace and forgiveness.  It might not be perfect, but it’s genuine.

And guess what?  It’s probably not all that perfect at Martha’s house, either.

So I’m ushering in the Christmas season with my favorite jig-punk band as they put the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional in their hysterical ode to a family holiday.  May you laugh, and, fingers crossed, may you not recognize too many of the characters.

Happy Saturday night!