Hand In My Pocket ~ Alanis Morissette

20120823-alanis-624x420-1345730558Alanis Nadine Morissette  is a Canadian-American alternative rock singer-songwriter, guitarist, record producer, and actress. She has won 16 Juno Awards and sevenGrammy Awards throughout her career. Morissette began her career in Canada, and as a teenager recorded two dance-pop albums, Alanis (1991) and Now Is the Time (1992), under MCA Records Canada. Her first international album was the rock-influenced Jagged Little Pill, released in 1995. Jagged has sold more than 33 million units globally. Her following album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, was released in 1998.

Morissette took up producing duties for her subsequent albums, which include Under Rug Swept (2002), So-Called Chaos (2004), and Flavors of Entanglement (2008). Her eighth studio album, Havoc and Bright Lights, was released in 2012. Morissette has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide. Morissette is also known for her powerful and emotive mezzo-soprano voice.  She has been dubbed by Rolling Stone as the “Queen of alt-rock angst”

Morissette was born June 1, 1974, in Ottawa, Canada  to teacher Georgia Mary Ann (née Feuerstein) and high-school principal Alan Richard Morissette.   She has two siblings: older brother Chad is a business entrepreneur,  and twin brother (12 minutes older) Wade is a musician.  Her father was of French and Irish descent and her mother had Hungarian ancestry. Her parents were teachers in a military school and due to their work often had to move. From 1977 to 1980 Morissette spent three years of her childhood in Germany. When she was six years old, she returned to Ottawa and started to play the piano. In 1981, when she was seven years old, she began dance lessons.   Morissette had a Catholic upbringing.  She attended Holy Family Catholic School for elementary school  and Immaculata High School for Grades 7 and 8  before completing the rest of her high school at Glebe Collegiate Institute (Ottawa, Canada). She appeared on the children’s television show You Can’t Do That on Television for five episodes when she was in elementary school.

In 1993, Morissette’s publisher Leeds Levy at MCA Music Publishing introduced her to manager Scott Welch.  Welch told HitQuarters he was impressed by her “spectacular voice”, her character and her lyrics. At the time she was still living at home with her parents. Together they decided it would be best for her career to move to Toronto and start writing with other people.  After graduating from high school, Morissette moved from Ottawa to Toronto.  Her publisher funded part of her development and when she met producer and songwriter Glen Ballard, he believed in her talent enough to let her use his studio.  The two wrote and recorded Morissette’s first internationally released album, Jagged Little Pill, and by the spring of 1995, she had signed a deal with Maverick Records. In the same year she learned how to play guitar. According to manager Welch every label they had approached had passed on Morissette apart from Maverick.

Maverick Records released Jagged Little Pill internationally in 1995. The album was expected only to sell enough for Morissette to make a follow-up, but the situation changed quickly whenKROQ-FM, an influential Los Angeles modern rock radio station, began playing “You Oughta Know”, the album’s first single.  The song instantly garnered attention for its scathing, explicit lyrics, and a subsequent music video went into heavy rotation on MTV and MuchMusic.

After the success of “You Oughta Know”, the album’s other hit singles helped send Jagged Little Pill to the top of the charts. “All I Really Want” and “Hand in My Pocket” followed, but the fourth U.S. single, “Ironic”, became Morissette’s biggest hit. “You Learn” and “Head over Feet”, the fifth and sixth singles, respectively, kept Jagged Little Pill (1995) in the top twenty on theBillboard 200 albums chart for more than a year. According to the RIAA, Jagged Little Pill sold more than 16 million copies in the U.S.; it sold 33 million worldwide,  making it the second biggest selling album by a female artist (behind Shania Twain’s Come On Over).  Morissette’s popularity grew significantly in Canada, where the album was certified twelve times platinum  and produced four RPM chart-toppers: “Hand in My Pocket”, “Ironic”, “You Learn”, and “Head over Feet”. The album was also a bestseller in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Morissette’s success with Jagged Little Pill (1995) was credited with leading to the introduction of female singers such as Shakira, Meredith Brooks, and in the early 2000s, Pink and fellow Canadian Avril Lavigne.  She was criticized for collaborating with producer and supposed image-maker Ballard, and her previous albums also proved a hindrance for her respectability.  Morissette and the album won six Juno Awards in 1996: Album of the Year, Single of the Year(“You Oughta Know”), Female Vocalist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Best Rock Album.  At the 1996 Grammy Awards, she won Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, Best Rock Song (both for “You Oughta Know”), Best Rock Album and Album of the Year.

Later in 1996, Morissette embarked on an 18-month world tour in support of Jagged Little Pill, beginning in small clubs and ending in large venues. Taylor Hawkins, who later joined the Foo Fighters, was the tour’s drummer. “Ironic” was nominated for two 1997 Grammy Awards — Record of the Year and Best Music Video, Short Form —and won Single of the Year at the 1997 Juno Awards, where Morissette also won Songwriter of the Year and the International Achievement Award. The video Jagged Little Pill, Live, which was co-directed by Morissette and chronicled the bulk of her tour, won a 1998 Grammy Award for Best Music Video, Long Form.

Hand In My Pocket

Hand in my Pocket” is a rock  song by Canadian recording artist and songwriter Alanis Morissette, for her third studio album, Jagged Little Pill (1995). The song was written by Morissette and Glen Ballard, and was released as the second single from the album. The song was released on October 31, 1995, nearly five months after the album release. “Hand in My Pocket” received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who applauded Morissette’s songwriting. “Hand in My Pocket” also received substantial success through radio airplay in the U.S. The song became Morissette’s second number-one hit on Billboard‘s U.S. Modern Rock Tracks chart. The song also went in the top ten in New Zealand and the U.S. An accompanying music video was released for the single, featuring Morissette at a festival, driving her car in black and white form. That received positive reviews as well.

The Song in Popular Culture

“Hand in My Pocket” served as the theme song in the unaired pilot episode of the television show Dawson’s Creek, but Morissette decided not to have it used as the theme after the show was picked up. In 2015 was featured in an episode of American television series, Glee, called “Jagged Little Tapestry”, covered by Naya Rivera and Heather Morris.

Hand in my Pocket – Morissette, Ballard

I’m broke but I’m happy
I’m poor but I’m kind
I’m short but I’m healthy, yeah
I’m high but I’m grounded
I’m sane but I’m overwhelmed
I’m lost but I’m hopeful baby
What it all comes down to
Is that everything’s gonna be fine fine fine
’cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving a high five
I feel drunk but I’m sober
I’m young and I’m underpaid
I’m tired but I’m working, yeah
I care but I’m restless
I’m here but I’m really gone
I’m wrong and I’m sorry baby

What it all comes down to
Is that everything’s gonna be quite alright
’cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is flicking a cigarette
And what it all comes down to
Is that I haven’t got it all figured out just yet
’cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving the peace sign
I’m free but I’m focused
I’m green but I’m wise
I’m hard but I’m friendly baby
I’m sad but I’m laughing
I’m brave but I’m chickenshit
I’m sick but I’m pretty baby

And what it all boils down to
Is that no one’s really got it figured out just yet
’cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is playing the piano
And what it all comes down to my friends
Is that everything’s just fine fine fine
’cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is hailing a taxi cab

  • Audio from the 1995 album, Jagged Little Pill:


Play Hand In My Pocket - by Alanis Morissette

Buttmachine ~ That 1 Guy

that-1-guyMike Silverman, better known as That 1 Guy, is an American musician based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He frequently performs and records as a one-man band, singing and using a variety of homemade musical instruments.

Silverman is a classically trained double bass player who attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and developed a career in the progressive jazz scene in the 1990s, performing live and as a studio musician. He started out in a funk, rockabilly, jazz band called “The Fabulous Hedgehogs” before he developed his own style of solo playing and gained a reputation as a one-man rhythm section, incorporating traditional and slap-bass playing with percussive elements using the body of the instrument. When he began to feel limited by his instrument and a heavy schedule of playing and recording for other people, he started to devise a new instrument that would allow him the range to create his own music. At first he sought out professional help in building his instrument, but decided to make it himself because of the projected cost. The end result was the Magic Pipe, a 7-foot-tall (2.1 m) collection of steel plumbing pipes and joints, orchestral bass strings, and electronics


Since then, Silverman has developed a career as a one-man band under the stage name That 1 Guy, first playing his upright bass, and later singing and beatboxing while playing his Magic Pipe, musical saw, various percussive elements, and utilizing digital looping and sampling to perform his songs.  His musical influences include Drums and Tuba, Rush, Frank Zappa,Captain Beefheart, and Dr. Seuss, both in terms of his lyrics and his quirky homemade instruments. He has also been influenced by Tom Waits, and was invited to play saw (and subsequently bass) on tracks for Waits’ Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards album.  He has a cult following in the United States of America, as well as in Australia, which he has toured several times, including performances at major festivals such as Big Day Out, Pyramid Rock Festival, and Woodford Folk Festival. He has also played many shows alongside avant-garde guitarist Buckethead, with whom he released a collaborative album under the name Frankenstein Brothers in 2008. He has received little mainstream recognition, but did garner attention after the use of his song “Buttmachine” (from his second album, The Moon is Disgusting) on Showtime’s original comedy series Weeds, season 3, episode 9.  He started a tour throughout the United States of America in early 2009, and is scheduled to perform at festivals in Canada and France later in 2009.


The Magic Pipe

The Magic Pipe, also known by his close friends as ‘The Broken Bowflex’, is a homemade, electronically rigged pair of machined aluminum pipes (previously steel in its first incarnation), connected by adjustable phosphorus bronze joints, with each pipe hosting an orchestral bass string. The harp-shaped instrument is roughly seven feet tall and features 13 trigger points, which can be mapped to various musical sound effects or samples. The front pipe uses a low C string, while the rear pipe’s string is used to achieve more tenor ranged notes. The pipes themselves are employed to produce various percussive sounds while That 1 Guy slaps, plucks, or bows the strings, as well as occasionally utilizing a drum stick to sound the strings and the pipes at the same time. The creation of the Magic Pipe was based on Silverman’s double bass experience, as well as borrowing from the concepts of the gutbucket and the diddley bow


The Magic Boot

The Magic Boot is a scorpion-emblazoned cowboy boot, which is wired and fed through the Magic Pipe’s audio lines. It is then played as a percussive instrument by tapping on the sole while pinching the boot’s opening to achieve different sounds, similar to an African talking drum.

The Magic Saw

The Magic Saw is a musical saw, which is wired into the main effects box. It utilizes a small adhesive speaker and is played percussively as well as with a violin bow. It sounds similar to a theremin when played and renditions of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” have been performed on numerous occasions.


What more can be said about the song, other than the name?  It is the eighth cut off his 2007 album, “The Moon is Disgusting”.

Buttmachine – Silverman

Just ’cause it’s cracked,
doesn’t mean that it’s broke
Just ’cause it’s a butt
doesn’t mean it’s a joke

With a heart like an apple
butt hard like a stone
stuck in the mud
’cause it stuck to the bone

… and this is how it starts
and this is what it seems
and this is who we are
and this is what will be

The future is all planned
and now comes to pass
artificial men

End of the line
look at the time
time ticking
and you tell me
that you think it’s clean

Where there’s a way
there’s is a lie
we trusted
not to be
so mean

What we discussed
was so disgusting
filling it up
and busting
at the seams

Putting the peas
out with the pies
everybody combusting
but the buttmachine

Cracked like a bell
but don’t mean that it rings
and just ’cause it’s shiny
don’t mean that it’s clean

The movement is over
the flush has begun
and just ’cause it’s ugly
don’t mean it’s no fun

… and just because we can
it don’t mean
that we should
and just ’cause it’s modern
don’t mean
it smells good

Function over form
fiction over pain
and just because
it’s chrome
don’t mean
it won’t stain
[lyrics from www.djallyn.org/archives/9568]
Single the word
double the talk talk
triple the babble
to tell me
what they say

Jingle the bell
held up in the heck well
only the funny one
kind’a knows
the way

Putting the peas
out with the pies
everbody’s combusting
butt the butt
it seems

End of the days
and so abrupt
everybody’s corrupted
but the buttmachine

buttmachine… buttmachine (X4)

.. just like I told ya
sold your soul
… they said it for ya
hold your own
… don’t let them scold ya
hold your nose
… they’ll blow it for ya

Half of the work
all of the class
can you show us
the reason
that it works
so well

Give it a jerk
spilling the gas
and I betcha
it’s silent
but it just might smell

Half of the will
some of the time
all of the reasons
we left it
in the kitchen sink

Shining it up
another butt
more than half
of the battle
is that it
just might stink

Quick and the fast
gelatinous mass
so soft was the goo
and so we
poked right through it.

Tree in the woods
making a sound
no one around
and so we
just say screw it

End of the line
look at the time
time ticking
and you tell me
that you think
it’s clean

Follow your nose
and get the joke
now that nobody’s laughing
but the buttmachine

  • Audio from the 2007 album, The Moon is Disgusting:

The Moon is Disgusting

Play Buttmachine - by That 1 Guy


Old Man ~ Neil Young

neil-youngNeil Young, OC OM  is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician. He began performing in a group covering Shadows instrumentals in Canada in 1960, before moving to California in 1966, where he co-founded the band Buffalo Springfield together with Stephen Stills and Richie Furay, and later joined Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1969. He released his first album in 1968 and has since forged a successful and acclaimed solo career, spanning over 45 years and 35 studio albums, with a continuous and uncompromising exploration of musical styles. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website describes Young as “one of rock and roll’s greatest songwriters and performers”.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame twice, first as a solo artist in 1995, and second as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997.

Young’s music is characterized by his distinctive guitar work, deeply personal lyrics and characteristic alto or high tenor singing voice. Although he accompanies himself on several different instruments, including piano and harmonica, his idiosyncratic electric and acoustic guitar playing are the defining characteristics of a varyingly ragged and melodic sound.

While Young has experimented with differing music styles throughout a varied career, including electronic music, most of his best known work is either acoustic folk-rock and country rock or electric, amplified hard rock (most often in collaboration with the band Crazy Horse). Musical styles such as alternative rock and grunge also adopted elements from Young. His influence has caused some to dub him the “Godfather of Grunge”.

Young has directed (or co-directed) a number of films using the pseudonym Bernard Shakey, including Journey Through the Past (1973), Rust Never Sleeps (1979), Human Highway (1982), Greendale (2003), and CSNY/Déjà Vu (2008). He has also contributed to the soundtracks of films including Philadelphia (1993) and Dead Man (1995).

Young is an environmentalist and outspoken advocate for the welfare of small farmers, having co-founded in 1985 the benefit concert Farm Aid. He is currently working on a documentary about electric car technology, tentatively titled LincVolt. The project involves his 1959 Lincoln Continental converted to hybrid technology as an environmentalist statement.  In 1986, Young helped found The Bridge School,  an educational organization for children with severe verbal and physical disabilities, and its annual supporting Bridge School Benefit concerts, together with his ex-wife Pegi Young (née Morton). Young has three children: sons Zeke (born during his relationship with actress Carrie Snodgress) and Ben, who were diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and daughter Amber Jean who, like Young, has epilepsy. Young lives on his ranch near La Honda, California. Although he has lived in northern California since the 1970s and sings as frequently about U.S. themes and subjects as he does about his native country, he has retained his Canadian citizenship.  On July 14, 2006, Young was awarded the Order of Manitoba, and on December 30, 2009, was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Old Man

“Old Man” is a song written and performed by Neil Young on his 1972 album Harvest. “Old Man” was released as a single onReprise Records in the spring of 1972, and reached # 31 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for the week ending June 3.

The song was written for the caretaker of the Northern California Broken Arrow Ranch, which Young purchased for $350,000 in 1970. The song compares a young man’s life to an old man’s and shows that the young man has, to some extent, the same needs as the old one. James Taylor played six-string banjo (tuned like a guitar) and sang on the song, and Linda Ronstadt also contributed vocals.  In the movie Heart of Gold, Young introduces the song as follows:

About that time when I wrote (“Heart of Gold”), and I was touring, I had also — just, you know, being a rich hippie for the first time — I had purchased a ranch, and I still live there today. And there was a couple living on it that were the caretakers, an old gentleman named Louis Avila and his wife Clara. And there was this old blue Jeep there, and Louis took me for a ride in this blue Jeep. He gets me up there on the top side of the place, and there’s this lake up there that fed all the pastures, and he says, “Well, tell me, how does a young man like yourself have enough money to buy a place like this?” And I said, “Well, just lucky, Louie, just real lucky.” And he said, “Well, that’s the darndest thing I ever heard.” And I wrote this song for him.

He tells a similar story when introducing the song at a February 23, 1971 performance broadcast by the BBC (in which he says that he purchased the ranch from “two lawyers”).

The Song in Popular Culture

  • In 1988, the song is heard in the film Running on Empty.
  • In 1998, N’Dea Davenport recorded the song for her 1998 debut album, N’Dea Davenport.
  • In 2000, the song is heard in the film Wonder Boys.
  • In 2001, the song is heard in the documentary film Dogtown and Z-Boys.
  • Bob Dylan regularly covered this song at a number of concerts on his 2002 tour, including one at Madison Square Garden.
  • In 2004 the song was covered by Canadian folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys for their debut full length album, 40 Days, and by Wilson Phillips for their covers album,California.
  • In 2005, Lizz Wright covered it on her live album Dreaming Wide Awake, recorded at Allaire, Shokan, New York the year before. It also appears in the film Lords of Dogtown.
  • On December 5, 2006, the song was played at St. Louis Blues player Brett Hull’s jersey retirement ceremony, as the jersey rose to the rafters.
  • In 2007, Grand National covered the song on their album A Drink and a Quick Decision as a live bonus track.
  • In 2008, during the memorial service for Heath Ledger, the song was chosen to be played with a slideshow of pictures from Ledger’s life.  Liam Finn (Neil Finn’s son) & EJ Barnes (Jimmy Barnes’s daughter) covered the song on the TV show RocKwiz.
  • In 2010, the live version of the song from Live at Massey Hall 1971 was used briefly in the film Due Date. Donna Loren covered the song on her album Love It Away, and James McCartney (Paul McCartney’s son) covered the song on his EP Available Light. This version was featured in the second episode of season five of the TV series Californication.
  • In 2011 Dallas Green, of City and Colour and Alexisonfire, covered the song at The 2011 Juno Awards, and post-grunge band Puddle of Mudd covered it on their covers album Re:(disc)overed. That same year Redlight King sampled “Old Man” on the album Something for the Pain. It was the first time Young had sanctioned a sample of this song.
  • In 2013, The Voice Australia contestant Danny Ross covered it in the Live Finals 2.
  • In 2014, the song appears in the film The Expendables 3.
  • In 2015, Neil Young appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and performed the song with Fallon as his Neil Young character.

Old Man – Neil Young
Old man look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were.
Old man look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were.

Old man look at my life,
Twenty four
and there’s so much more
Live alone in a paradise
That makes me think of two.

Love lost, such a cost,
Give me things
that don’t get lost.
Like a coin that won’t get tossed
Rolling home to you.

Old man take a look at my life
I’m a lot like you
I need someone to love me
the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes
and you can tell that’s true.

Lullabies, look in your eyes,
Run around the same old town.
Doesn’t mean that much to me
To mean that much to you.

I’ve been first and last
Look at how the time goes past.
But I’m all alone at last.
Rolling home to you.

Old man take a look at my life
I’m a lot like you
I need someone to love me
the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes
and you can tell that’s true.

Old man look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were.
Old man look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were.

  • Audio from the 1972 album, Harvest:


Play Old Man - by Neil Young

Bad Company ~ Bad Company

bad-companyBad Company are an English hard rock supergroup formed in Westminster, London, in 1973 by two former Free band members—singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke—as well as Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs and King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell. Peter Grant, who managed the rock band Led Zeppelin, also managed Bad Company until 1982.

Bad Company enjoyed great success throughout the 1970s. Their first three albums, Bad Company (1974), Straight Shooter (1975), and Run With the Pack (1976), reached the top five in the album charts in both the UK and US. Many of their singles, such as “Bad Company”, “Can’t Get Enough”, “Good Lovin’ Gone Bad”, and “Feel Like Makin’ Love”, remain staples of classic rock radio.

There was a rumour that singer Paul Rodgers was so enamored with the Jeff Bridges film Bad Company that he chose to name his band after it, but Rodgers, in an interview with Spinner.com, explained that the idea came from a book of Victorian morals that showed a picture of an innocent kid looking up at an unsavory character leaning against a lamppost. The caption read “beware of bad company”.

Bad Company consisted of four seasoned musicians: two former members of Free, singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke; former Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs; and ex-King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell. The band signed to Swan Song Records/Atlantic Records in North America, and with Island Records in other countries. (Island Records had until that time been the UK home to both Free and King Crimson, as well as to Mott the Hoople for their first four albums; Atlantic, in turn, released King Crimson’s and Mott’s early albums in the US through a licensing agreement with Island). Atlantic/Warner Music would later acquire the non-North American rights to the band’s catalogue.

The band’s 1974 debut album Bad Company was recorded at Headley Grange, Hampshire in Ronnie Lane’s Mobile Studio. The album reached number one on the Billboard 200 in the US, and number 3 in the UK Albums Chart, spending 25 weeks in the UK charts. The album has been certified five times platinum in the US, and became the 46th–best-selling album of the 1970s. The singles “Can’t Get Enough” and “Movin’ On” reached No. 5 and No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1975 their second album, Straight Shooter, reached No. 3 in both the UK and the US, and also went platinum in the US. The album also spawned two hit singles, “Good Lovin’ Gone Bad” at No. 36 and the slower “Feel Like Makin’ Love” at No. 10.

Their third album, Run With the Pack was released in 1976 and reached No. 4 in the UK and No. 5 in the US. Bad Company scheduled a British tour with the band of former Free member Paul Kossoff, Back Street Crawler, to support the album, as well as a new album by Back Street Crawler. This double headline tour was scheduled to commence on 25 April 1976 but was halted due to Kossoff’s death on 19 March 1976.

1977’s Burnin’ Sky fared the poorest of their first four records, reaching No. 15 in the US and No. 17 in the UK. 1979’s Desolation Angels did better than its predecessor, peaking at No. 3 in the US and No. 10 in the UK. Desolation Angelsalso embellished the group’s sound with synthesisers and strings. It had two charting singles: “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy” at No. 13 and “Gone Gone Gone” at No. 56.

By the end of the 1970s, however, the band grew increasingly disenchanted with playing large stadiums. In addition, Peter Grant lost interest in the group and management in general after Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham died on 25 September 1980. In the words of Simon Kirke, “Peter was definitely the glue which held us all together and in his absence we came apart”.

A three-year hiatus from the studio ended with the release of Rough Diamonds in 1982. This would be the sixth and final LP in the group’s original incarnation until four new songs were recorded in 1998. The album was the worst selling Bad Company album of those that had Paul Rodgers as the front man. The album peaked at No. 15 in the UK and No. 26 in the US.

After the release of Rough Diamonds, Bad Company disbanded. Mick Ralphs said, “Paul wanted a break and truthfully we all needed to stop. Bad Company had become bigger than us all and to continue would have destroyed someone or something. From a business standpoint, it was the wrong thing to do, but Paul’s instinct was absolutely right”.

Despite being famous for their live shows packing the largest stadiums for almost a decade, Bad Company did not release an official live album of performances from this time period until the 2006 album Live in Albuquerque 1976. The recordings were made by Mick Ralphs, who regularly taped the group’s shows and used the tapes to critique the band’s performances. Bootlegs of Bad Company’s live performances from this period were also available, including “Boblingen Live” (1974), “Live in Japan” (1975) and “Shooting Star Live at the L.A. Forum” (1975).

Bad Company

Bad Company” is a song by the hard rock band Bad Company. It was released as the third single from their debut album Bad Company in 1974, although it did not chart (in America). Co-written by the group’s lead singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke, the song’s meaning comes from a book on Victorian morals.  The song uses the same chords and piano figure as Joni Mitchell’s song “Woodstock” from 1970.

It is also a rare instance of the artist, album, and song names being the same. Other examples include “Black Sabbath”, Iron Maiden, “Motörhead”, Electric Wizard, Pennywise, “Children of Bodom”, Damn Yankees, Bang Camaro, Deicide, Iced Earth, The Highwaymen, and “Living in a Box”.

Timothy McVeigh—the terrorist responsible for the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City—was quoted as saying that, as he fled the site of the bombing, he thought of a specific “Bad Company” lyric: “…dirty for dirty”, heard towards the end of the song. Many websites describe this, but confuse that short phrase within a song as the title for another song.

The Song in Popular Culture

This song is heard in The CW series Supernatural, Season 1 Episode 11, titled “Scarecrow”.

It is also heard in “Home Away From Homer”, episode 20 of the sixteenth season of The Simpsons where Ned Flanders moves to a new town and becomes a “rebel” by keeping an untrimmed mustache.

Tori Amos performed the song at a number of concerts in 1994 and 1996.

Bill Champlin did a cover of the song that was featured in season 2, episode 9 of The Young Riders (1990). The title of the episode is “Bad Company”.

In the beginning of the 7th book of his Dark Tower series, The Dark Tower, Stephen King quotes the lines “I was born 6-gun in my hand, Behind a gun I’ll make my final stand”.

On The Best Show on WFMU with Tom Scharpling, the song is frequently faded up to drown out callers who have proven to be poor company.

It also appears in the 1992 film Crossing the Bridge.

Garth Brooks covers the song on his box set Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences.

The South African trio of Mark Haze, Dozi and Ghapi (from season 7 of Idols South Africa) recorded a cover version on their album “Rocking Buddies” in 2013.

Bad Company – Kirke, Rodgers

Always on the run
Destiny is the rising sun
Oh I was born 6-gun in my hand
Behind a gun I’ll make my final stand
That’s why they call me

Bad company
And I can’t deny
Bad company
Till the day I die
Till the day I die
Till the day I die

Rebel souls
Deserters we are called
Chose a gun and threw away the sun
Now these towns
They all know our name 6-gun sound is our claim to fame
I can hear them say

Bad company
And I won’t deny
Bad Bad company
Till the day I die
Till the day I die

Bad company
I can’t deny
Bad company
Till the day I die
And I say it’s
Bad company Oh Yeah—Yeah
Bad company
Till the day I die Oh Yeah

Tell me that you are not a thief
Oh But I am
Bad Company
It’s the way I play
Dirty for dirty
Oh Somebody Double-crossed me

We’re Bad company
Kill in cold blood

  • Audio from the 1974 album, Bad Company:


Play Bad Company - by Bad Company

Everybody’s Cryin’ Mercy ~ Brother Sun

Brother sunBrother Sun is an American band of singer-songwriters.

National Touring Artists Greg Greenway, Pat Wictor, and Joe Jencks have made their mark as veteran touring singer-songwriters, but Brother Sun is no songwriter’s round. The trio’s harmonies, as much as their lyrics, tell what they are about: warm as a campfire, stirring as a gospel church, rousing as a call to arms. Fusing folk, Americana, blues, pop, jazz, rock, and a cappella singing, Brother Sun is an explosion of musical diversity and harmony, in the finest of male singing traditions.

From three major points on the map Boston, New York, and Chicago – Greg, Pat, and Joe have blended themselves into Brother Sun: a unique celebration of the amazing power of singing together. As they will tell you, the music of Brother Sun is not resident in any one of them – but rather it exists in the space between them. Audiences feel this sincerity immediately. Their combined musical skills make for an unforgettable experience – three rich voices blending on a well-crafted foundation of guitar, slide guitar, piano, ukulele, and bouzouki.

Everybody’s Cryin’ Mercy

Everybody’s Cryin’ Mercy” is a song written by Mose Allison in 1968 and has been covered by several artists including Elvis Costello.  Brother Sun recorded it on their 2013 album, Some Part of the Truth.

Everybody’s Cryin’ Mercy – Mose Allison

I don’t believe the things I’m seein’
I’ve been wonderin’ ’bout some things I’ve heard
Everybody’s crying mercy
When they don’t know the meaning of the word

A bad enough situation
Is sure enough getting worse
Everybody’s crying justice
Just as soon as there’s business first

Toe to toe, touch and go
Give a cheer and get your own souvenir

Well you know the people running round in circles
Don’t know what they’re headed for
Everybody’s crying peace on earth
Just as soon as we win this war

Straight ahead, gotta knock em dead
So pack your kit, choose your own hypocrite

You don’t have to go to off-broadway
To see something plain absurd
Everybody’s crying mercy
When they don’t know the meaning of the word

Nobody knows the meaning of the word

  • Audio from the 2013 album, Some Part of the Truth:


Play Everybody's Cryin' Mercy - by Brother Sun

Roll Away Your Stone ~ Mumford & Sons

mumford-and-sons-bb11-2015-billboard-04-650Mumford & Sons are an English folk rock band. The band is made up of Marcus Mumford (vocals, guitar, drums, mandolin), Ben Lovett (vocals, keyboards, accordion), “Country” Winston Marshall (vocals, banjo, dobro), and Ted Dwane (vocals, string bass). Although the band members have claims on certain instruments, the members switch instruments during live shows according to convenience, for they each play a variety of instruments. The band formed in late 2007, rising out of London’s folk scene with other artists such as Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn, Jay Jay Pistolet and Noah and the Whale.

The band has often supported Laura Marling at concerts, while their association with Noah and the Whale can be traced back to St Paul’s School, Barnes and King’s College School, Wimbledon. Mumford and Lovett attended King’s College School alongside Noah and the Whale bassist Matt Owens, while Marshall attended St Paul’s School along with Charlie Fink, lead singer of Noah and the Whale.

Roll Away Your Stone

Roll Away Your Stone” is the fourth single by London rock quartet, Mumford & Sons, taken from their debut album, Sigh No More. It was released as a Digital Download on 3 June 2010 and was released as the third and final single from Sigh No More in the United States on 7 June 2011. The song begins with an instrumental version of the Irish jig, “Merrily Kissed the Quaker”. The song appeared in the 2012 documentary film, Kony 2012.

Roll Away Your Stone – Mumford

‘Cause you told me that I would find a hole
Within the fragile substance of my soul
And I have filled this void with things unreal
And all the while my character it steals

Darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I see

It seems that all my bridges have been burnt
But you say that’s exactly how this grace thing works.
It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart
But the welcome I receive with every start

Darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I see
Darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I see

Stars hide your fires
These here are my desires
And I will give them up to you this time around
And so I’ll be found
With my stake stuck in this ground
Marking the territory of this newly impassioned soul

Hide your fires
These here are my desires
And I will give them up to you this time around
And so I’ll be found
With my stake stuck in this ground
Marking the territory of this newly impassioned soul

But you, you’ve gone too far this time
You have neither reason nor rhyme
With which to take this soul that is so rightfully mine

  • Audio from the 2009 album, Sigh No More:


Play Roll Away Your Stone - by Mumford &

Copperhead Road ~ Steve Earle

steve-earleSteve Earle is an American rock, country and folk singer-songwriter, record producer, author and actor. Earle began his career as a songwriter in Nashville and released his first EP in 1982. His breakthrough album was the 1986 album Guitar Town. Since then Earle has released 15 other studio albums and received three Grammy awards. His songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Shawn Colvin and Emmylou Harris. He has appeared in film and television, and has written a novel, a play, and a book of short stories.

Earle was born in Fort Monroe, Virginia, and grew up near San Antonio, Texas.  His father, Jack Earle, was an air traffic controller. Although he was born in Virginia where his father was stationed, the family returned to Texas before Earle’s second birthday. They moved several times but Earle grew up primarily in the San Antonio area.

Earle began learning the guitar at the age of 11 and was placed in a talent contest at his school at age 13. He is reported to have run away from home at age 14 to follow his idol, singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt around Texas.[8] Earle was “rebellious” as a youngster and dropped out of school at the age of 16. He moved to Houston with his 19-year-old uncle, who was also a musician, where he married and worked odd jobs. While in Houston Earle finally met Van Zandt, who became his hero and role model.

Copperhead Road

Copperhead Road” is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Steve Earle. It was released in 1988 as the lead single and title track from the album Copperhead Road. The song reached number 10 on the U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and was Earle’s highest-peaking song to date on the rock chart in the United States. The song has sold 1.04 million digital copies in the US as of September 2015.

The song’s narrator is named John Lee Pettimore, whose father and grandfather were both active in moonshine making and bootlegging in rural Johnson County, Tennessee. Pettimore’s grandfather visited town only rarely, in order to buy supplies for a still he had set up in a hollow along Copperhead Road, and he had taken precautions to stop federal agents from finding it or apprehending him. Pettimore’s father hauled the moonshine to Knoxville each week, but was killed in an accident during one of these runs.

Pettimore enlists in the Army on his birthday, believing he will soon be drafted (“They draft the white trash first ’round here anyway”), and serves two tours of duty in Vietnam. Once he returns home, he decides to use the Copperhead Road land to grow marijuana, rather than produce moonshine (“I take the seed from Colombia and Mexico”). Having learned a few tricks from the Viet Cong while fighting overseas, he resolves not to be caught by the DEA.

Copperhead Road was an actual road near Mountain City, Tennessee, although it has since been renamed Copperhead Hollow Road, owing to theft of road signs bearing the song’s name. The song also inspired a popular line dance, timed to the same beat, and has been used as the theme music for the Discovery Channel reality series Moonshiners.

Copperhead Road – Earle

Well my name’s John Lee Pettimore
Same as my daddy and his daddy before
You hardly ever saw Grandaddy down here
He only came to town about twice a year
He’d buy a hundred pounds of yeast and some copper line
Everybody knew that he made moonshine
Now the revenue man wanted Grandaddy bad
He headed up the holler with everything he had
It’s before my time but I’ve been told
He never came back from Copperhead Road

Now Daddy ran the whiskey in a big block Dodge
Bought it at an auction at the Mason’s Lodge
Johnson County Sheriff painted on the side
Just shot a coat of primer then he looked inside
Well him and my uncle tore that engine down
I still remember that rumblin’ sound
Well the sheriff came around in the middle of the night
Heard mama cryin’, knew something wasn’t right
He was headed down to Knoxville with the weekly load
You could smell the whiskey burnin’ down Copperhead Road

I volunteered for the Army on my birthday
They draft the white trash first,’round here anyway
I done two tours of duty in Vietnam
And I came home with a brand new plan
I take the seed from Colombia and Mexico
I plant it up the holler down Copperhead Road
Well the D.E.A.’s got a chopper in the air
I wake up screaming like I’m back over there
I learned a thing or two from ol’ Charlie don’t you know
You better stay away from Copperhead Road

Copperhead Road
Copperhead Road
Copperhead Road

The original moonshiner’s ballad was made famous by Robert Mitchum in the song, The Ballad of Thunder Road, that he wrote for the movie of the same name.

  • Audio from the 1988 album, Copperhead Road:


Play Copperhead Road - by Steve Earle
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