Saturday Night Serenade–Reflection

Michael Jackson would have been 60 this past week.
That’s hard to imagine.  He was 50 when he died, but he always seemed child-like to me.

I know…  There were all sorts of sordid stories and allegations.  And maybe they’re true.  Probably they are.  And we know there were drug issues.  The ‘King of Pop’, who literally had all the money to buy anything his heart desired, lived a sad life.

But for all of that, he struck me as a person of compassion.  Tonight’s song, Man in the Mirror, is heart-felt and touching.  He sings about making the world better by starting with yourself.  It’s interesting that in the official video, Michael Jackson, arguably the most famous man on the planet at the time, does not actually appear.

We lost another American icon this week, a rare man of character, honor, and conviction.  Whatever your politics, I don’t think it can be argued that John McCain is a true hero.  He served his country as a naval aviator, and spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war for his trouble, refusing to accept an early release, choosing instead to honor the first captured, first released rule.

After he returned, he spent the rest of his life as a rare politician, voting his convictions over what was politically expedient in the moment.  He understood the concept of agreeing to disagree, and the value of working with those of differing opinions toward a common goal.

I believe that at the end, he was a man at peace with the man in the mirror.
He is an enduring reminder that we, as Americans, should aspire to more.

I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday weekend.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

A l’il bonus, just because…

 

Advertisements

Saturday Night Serenade–R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for the Queen

We lost the Queen of Soul this week.
As sad as we are, the remembrances have been uplifting.  Who didn’t love Aretha Franklin?

She transcended musical genre, gender, race, and politics.  She was born in Memphis in 1942, but lived most of her life in Detroit.  She won 18 Grammys over the course of her career and was the first-ever female artist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Tonight’s first song is Chain of Fools, one of my favorites.  It featured prominently in the John Travolta movie Michael, but I chose this 50 year old television performance of the song.

I also couldn’t resist this joyous version of Think from 1980’s Blues Brothers.

So how about you?  What’s your favorite?  Comment below and keep the respect going.

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Mourning

It’s happened again.  This time less than an hour away from my home.  Heaven forbid we should ever get accustomed to it.

A sad, lost, disturbed child entered a school with a gun and killed seventeen people.

As usual, the finger-pointing and politicizing started instantaneously.  On every side.  Does it help?  Do we feel superior now?

No matter the factors that led to the tragedy, we’re heart-broken.  Seventeen lives were senselessly snuffed out.  Seventeen journeys cut short.  Seventeen families shattered.  Countless survivors scarred for life.

So now what?  While we wait for politicians to get their shit together and do something effective–about guns, about mental illness, about family social services, about following up on reports filed by citizens who saw something and said something.  What do we do?

I think we love.  Starting with those closest to us.  We hug them, and we tell them that we love them.  We reach out to those who are hurting and we help them if we can, or refer them to someone who is better equipped.

I heard Bob Goff speak last week about love in action.  Loving those we find “creepy,” because they need it the most.  His book Love Does is currently in my Amazon cart.  It’s ten bucks and available on Prime.

A small investment in a better world.

Happy Saturday night.

 

Saturday Night Serenade–Heartbeat

That was unexpected.  Who realized that we’d feel the hole we do with the loss this week of David Cassidy?  He hasn’t seemed relevant in years.

David Cassidy was my first celebrity crush.  When I was in second grade, I utterly adored him.  I watched every minute of every episode of The Partridge Family.  I had all their albums, and I knew every word to every song.  Against her better judgement, my mother allowed me to subscribe to Tiger Beat Magazine, and I read it faithfully for years.

Following his teen idol days, Cassidy struggled with personal demons of addiction, and of finding his place in the universe.  More recently, he retreated from public life with the announcement that he was suffering from dementia.  Which is heartbreaking, really.

This morning, I saw that his daughter, by his side at the end, was sharing his last words.  “So much wasted time.”

Well, that will make you stop and think.  I wondered what he was thinking about, but I know where it fits into my own life.  Maybe if we hold onto that takeaway, his heartbeat still continues.

I hope you’re seizing every moment this holiday weekend.  Be sure to hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–When All Hell Broke Loose

It’s been a week, hasn’t it?  Just last week I was giddy, happy about our anniversary.

My friend Danielle has had a rough couple of months.  Realizing it was a huge mistake, she called off her wedding.  Then last Friday, she lost her job.  So she headed off for the weekend to blow off a little steam.  In Las Vegas.

When I woke up Monday morning to the news about the mass shooting, I went crazy trying to get in touch with her.  She’d marked herself ‘safe’ on Facebook, and eventually, I heard from her.  She was in a different part of the Strip, and was completely safe.

Then came news about Tom Petty.  He was dead.  Then he wasn’t dead.  Then he was dead again.  For Pete’s sake, can we please get these things right?

I’ve never been a huge fan, but he’s one of those artists you come to realize has been the soundtrack for a lot of your life.  This song, American Girl, seems to encapsulate a lot of what we’ve had to wrap our heads around this week.  This version is from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and it’s stellar.

Any good news?  Danielle returned home safely.  She’s not married to a guy she doesn’t love.  Oh, and she starts a great new job on Monday.

I’m hoping tonight finds you and your loved ones safe and sound.  Hug’em tight, because you just never know.  If you’re on the Gulf Coast, please take care.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–I Don’t Get It

It’s happened again.  We’ve lost someone who seemed to have it all.  At his own choosing, apparently.  And so we wonder why.

Tonight’s serenade is footage from that last night, that last performance, and as we watch, we know now that these were his last few hours on earth.  We search his eyes for clues.  Did he know?  Was it all part of a plan?  Or was it just an impulsive thing?

We search the lyrics.  Was there some underlying message of despair?  All grunge songs are pessimistic, aren’t they?

The reality is, there’s no way we could have known, no way we could have realized what was going on inside.  Deep down in the pit of our souls is where each one of us faces our own worst enemy, ourselves.  If we’re blessed, we have people around us we can trust and confide in, those who won’t judge us if we cop to being less than fabulous all of the time.

We’ll probably never know the whys.  The best we can do is hope that Chris Cornell has finally found the peace that eluded him in his day to day life.

And we can remember that life is a fleeting thing, to be grasped and appreciated.  We can remember to say the things we need to say, mend the fences that need mending, and hug those we love.

Happy Saturday night!

Black Hole Sun
In my eyes
Indisposed
In disguise
As no one knows
Hides the face
Lies the snake
And the sun
In my disgraceBoiling heat
Summer stench
‘Neath the black
The sky looks dead
Call my name
Through the cream
And I’ll hear you
Scream again

[Chorus:]
Black hole sun
Won’t you come
And wash away the rain?
Black hole sun
Won’t you come?
Won’t you come?

Stuttering
Cold and damp
Steal the warm wind
Tired friend
Times are gone
For honest men
And sometimes
Far too long
For snakes

In my shoes
A walking sleep
And my youth
I pray to keep
Heaven send
Hell away
No one sings
Like you anymore

[Chorus 2x]

(Black hole sun,
Black hole sun)
Won’t you come?
(Black hole sun,
Black hole sun)
Won’t you come?
(Black hole sun,
Black hole sun)
Won’t you come?
(Black hole sun,
Black hole sun)

Hang my head
Drown my fear
‘Til you all just disappear

[Chorus 2x]

(Black hole sun,
Black hole sun)
Won’t you come?
(Black hole sun,
Black hole sun)
Won’t you come?
(Black hole sun,
Black hole sun)
Won’t you come?
(Black hole sun,
Black hole sun)
Won’t you come?
(Black hole sun,
Black hole sun)
Won’t you come?
(Black hole sun,
Black hole sun)
Won’t you come?
Won’t you come?
Won’t you come?

Saturday Night Serenade–Looking Back

New years eve celebration background with champagne

It’s been a week, hasn’t it?  You get to the point where, when you see a celebrity trending on social media, you feel like you just don’t want to know any more.  For me, it seems like 2016 has been unusually cruel, especially right here at the end.

This year, we’ve lost so many iconic dreamers, artists, and poets.  Is is just that we’re getting older, is that it?  I don’t know.  But I’m not feeling all that festive this New Year’s Eve.  I mean, the year’s been rough, and we’re staring down the barrel of a world where an ignorant orange troll effectively unravels decades of careful diplomacy, 140 characters at a time.  I don’t know anymore.

But I wanted to remember a small sample of those we’ve lost:

  • David Bowie
  • Alan Rickman
  • Glen Frey
  • Abe Vigoda
  • Harper Lee
  • Garry Shandling
  • Doris Roberts
  • Prince
  • Patty Duke
  • Muhammad Ali
  • Elie Wiesel
  • Garry Marshall
  • Gene Wilder
  • Arnold Palmer
  • Leonard Cohen
  • Leon Russell
  • Florence Henderson
  • John Glenn
  • Alan Thicke
  • George Michael
  • Carrie Fisher
  • Debbie Reynolds

I don’t mean to be a downer, but I think, on a night like tonight, as we, with cautious optimism, welcome in the New Year, we need a little Sweet Baby James.

Here’s wishing you an amazing, joyful, safe, blessed, and prosperous New Year!   ❤

Happy Saturday night!