The Fool on the Hill ~ The Beatles

the-beatlesThe Beatles were a rock and pop band from Liverpool, England that formed in 1960. During their career, the group primarily consisted of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals). Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1950s rock and roll and skiffle, the group worked with different musical genres, ranging from Tin Pan Alley to psychedelic rock. Their clothes, style and statements made them trend-setters, while their growing social awareness saw their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. After the band broke up in 1970, all four members embarked upon successful solo careers.

The Beatles are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music, selling over one billion records internationally.

The Fool on the Hill

The Fool on the Hill” is a song by the Beatles. It was written and sung by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon-McCartney) and recorded in 1967. It was included on the Magical Mystery Tour EP and album, and presented in the Magical Mystery Tour film, with a promotional sequence shot near Nice, in France from 30-31 October 1967.

The song’s lyrics describe the titular “fool”, a solitary figure who is not understood by others, but is actually wise. McCartney said the song relates to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi:

‘Fool on the Hill’ was mine and I think I was writing about someone like Maharishi. His detractors called him a fool. Because of his giggle he wasn’t taken too seriously … I was sitting at the piano at my father’s house in Liverpool hitting a D 6th chord, and I made up ‘Fool on the Hill.’

Alistair Taylor, in the book Yesterday, reports a mysterious incident involving a man who inexplicably appeared near him and McCartney during a walk on Primrose Hill and then disappeared again, soon after McCartney and Taylor had conversed about the existence of God; this allegedly prompted the writing of the song.

McCartney played the song for John Lennon during a writing session for “With a Little Help from My Friends”, and Lennon told him to write it down. McCartney did not; he was sure he would not forget it. In his 1980 interview with Playboy, Lennon said, “Now that’s Paul. Another good lyric. Shows he’s capable of writing complete songs.”

Fool on the Hill – Paul McCartney

Day after day, alone on the hill
The man with the foolish grin is keeping perfectly still
But nobody wants to know him
They can see that he’s just a fool
As he never gives an answer
But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

Well on the way, head in a cloud
The man of a thousand voices talking percetly loud
But nobody ever hears him
Or the sound he appears to make
And he never seems to notice
But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

And nobody seems to like him
They can tell what he wants to do
And he never shows his feelings
But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

He never listen to them
He knows that they’re the fools
They don’t like him
The fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

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Cumbersome ~ Seven Mary Three

Seven Mary Three, occasionally abbreviated to 7M3, is an American hard rock band. They have released seven studio albums and are best known for their hit single “Cumbersome,” as well as “Water’s Edge” and “Wait” among others.

Seven Mary Three formed in 1992 when Jason Ross and Jason Pollock met while attending the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Originally an acoustic duo, Ross and Pollock split song-writing duties and performed with Ross singing and Pollock playing guitar. Later, drummer Giti Khalsa and bassist Casey Daniel joined the band, and the foursome played coffeehouses and clubs throughout the Southeast.

The present members of the band are Casey Daniel, Jason Ross, Thomas Juliano, and Mike Levesque. Giti Khalsa has stopped touring with the band, but still performs on studio recordings.

Jason Pollock revealed in The Cavalier Daily that they came up with the name while watching the 1970s TV series CHiPs on TV-’7 Mary 3′ was the call sign for Officer Jon Baker, who was played by actor Larry Wilcox. (7M3: police radio call sign; 7 designates the patrol beat, M for Mary designates that he is a motorcycle unit and 3 is his unit number). Pollock noted, “There’s no great significance or anything. We were just tired of trying to think of a cool name.”

Cumbersome

Cumbersome” is a song by Seven Mary Three and the lead single from their breakthrough album, American Standard. It was originally included on their independently released debut, Churn, in 1994.

The original six minute version of “Cumbersome” served as the opening track to Churn. After airing on a Florida radio station and generating great response, the song propelled Seven Mary Three to a record deal with Mammoth Records. The band then re-recorded “Cumbersome” for their Mammoth label debut album,American Standard, and the song catapulted the album to platinum status.

“Cumbersome” boasts aggressive, universal lyrics which describe regret over a couple’s separation, particularly a woman’s disinterest in her significant other. It also arguably highlights the group’s songwriting abilities with unique lines such as “She calls me Goliath and I wear the David mask.” Aiding the song’s catchy melody, its chorus features a rapid succession of rhymes including “Too heavy too light, too black or too white, too wrong or too right, today or tonight/Cumbersome.” The song opens with guitar chords which are strummed conventionally and then strummed muted between every chord transition. This pattern carries on throughout the song. “Cumbersome”‘s prominent bassline is highlighted during the bridge and also provides a sense of liveliness to the song.

Despite proving commercial successful, as the band’s debut single and most popular song, “Cumbersome” has, according to some observers, pigeon-holed Seven Mary Three among the one-hit wonders of the 1990s. In a 2005 interview, drummer Giti Khalsa called the song “a blessing and a curse.” He added, “It definitely was the beginning of our success. We were able to sell a lot of records because of that song and a couple others on that first record. But, at the same time, with each record that we’ve made – it’s like the ‘monkey on the back.’” This was reinforced in 2003 when the band opened for 3 Doors Down on tour. The latter group, having surpassed Seven Mary Three in popularity, claimed to have covered ”Cumbersome” among other Seven Mary Three songs during their early days. Khalsa also expressed disappointment in a 2003 interview where he stated that a considerable amount of people leave their shows after “Cumbersome” is performed.

As of 2008, “Cumbersome” allegedly receives over 500 plays a week on popular radio.

Cumbersome – Ross,  Pollock

She calls me Goliath and I wear the David mask
I guess the stones are coming too fast for her now
You know, I’d like to believe this nervousness will pass
All the stones that are thrown are building up a wall

I have become, cumbersome to this world
I have become, cumbersome to my girl

I’d like to believe we could reconcile the past
Resurrect those bridges with an ancient glance
But my old stone face can’t seem to break her down
She remembers bridges and burns them to the ground

I have become, cumbersome to this world
I have become, cumbersome to my girl

Too heavy, too light, too black or too white
Too wrong or too right, damn tonight
Cumbersome
Too rich or too poor, she’s wanting me less
And I’m wanting her more
The bitter taste is cumbersome
No, yeah, no no no, yeah…

There is a balance between two worlds
One with an arrow and a cross
Regardless of the balance, life has become cumbersome

Too heavy, too light, too black or too white
Too wrong or too right, damn tonight
Cumbersome
Too rich or too poor, she’s wanting me less
And I’m wanting her more
The bitter taste is cumbersome
No, yeah, no no no, no no no, yeah, no no no, yeah…

Your life has become cumbersome

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Money (That’s What I Want) ~ The Flying Lizards

the-flying-lizardsThe Flying Lizards were an English experimental rock band, who were formed in 1976 in England.

Formed by and led by record producer David Cunningham, the group was a loose collective of avant-garde and free improvising musicians, such as David Toop and Steve Beresford as instrumentalists, plus Deborah Evans-Stickland, Patti Palladin and Vivien Goldman as main vocalists. It also included the painter Michael Upton.

Virgin Records extended the band’s recording contract after the success of “Money”. The group released their début album The Flying Lizards in 1980. The album included two songs - “Her Story” and “The Window” - written and sung by Goldman. Their single issues included their postmodern cover versions of songs such as Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” and “Money”.

The 1981 album Fourth Wall received praise from critics but did not sell well. Top Ten (1984) consisted entirely of covers, done in a deliberately emotionless, harsh and robotic style, including James Brown’s “Sex Machine”, and Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne”. Cunningham switched to being a producer and left the group after Top Ten came out.

Their version of Barrett Strong’s “Money” remained popular, and was used in the film soundtracks for The Wedding SingerEmpire RecordsCharlie’s Angels and Lord of War, as well as in the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning American television medical drama Nip/Tuck and the follow-up to the UK TV drama Life on Mars, called Ashes to Ashes. In 2011, the song was used in a commercial for Taco Bell.

An album of dub instrumentals, The Secret Dub Life of the Flying Lizards, recorded by David Cunningham mostly in 1978, was finally released in 1995. The first two albums, The Flying Lizards and Fourth Wall, were re-released by RPM in 2010, with the catalogue number RETROD883.

With only one single making the UK Top 40,  the Flying Lizards join the list of one-hit wonders - a list that includes other UK punk or New Wave acts such as The Banned, John Cooper Clarke, Jilted John, 999,  Radio Stars,  Rich Kids and The Vibrators.

Money (That’s What I Want)

Money (That’s What I Want)” is a 1960 hit single by Barrett Strong for the Tamla label, distributed nationally on Anna Records. The song was written by Tamla founder Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford, and became the first hit record for Gordy’s Motown enterprise. It went on to be covered by many artists including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones (1964) and The Doors, with covers by The Flying Lizards (1979), The Sonics (1965) and The Kingsmen (1964) reaching high chart positions.

Money (That’s What I Want) - Barrett Strong

The best things in life are free
But you can give them to the birds and bees
I want money

(That’s what I want)
That’s what I want
(That’s what I want)
That’s what I want
(That’s what I want)
That’s what I want
(That’s what I want)

You love gives me such a thrill
But your love won’t pay my bills
I want money

(That’s what I want)
That’s what I want
(That’s what I want)
That’s what I want
(That’s what I want)
That’s what I want
(That’s what I want)

Money don’t get everything it’s true
But what it don’t get I can’t use
I want money

(That’s what I want)
That’s what I want
(That’s what I want)
That’s what I want
(That’s what I want)
That’s what I want
(That’s what I want)

I want money
I want lots of money
In fact I want so much money
Give me your money
Just give me money

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Kathys Song ~ Simon & Garfunkel

THE “KATHY” SERIES

The duo of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel are American popular musicians known collectively as Simon & Garfunkel. They met in elementary school in 1953, when they both appeared in the school play Alice in Wonderland (Simon as the White Rabbit, Garfunkel as the Cheshire Cat). They formed the group Tom and Jerry in 1957, and had their first taste of success with the minor hit “Hey Schoolgirl”. As Simon and Garfunkel, the duo rose to fame in 1965 backed by the hit single “The Sounds of Silence”. Their music was featured on the landmark film The Graduate, propelling them further into the public consciousness. They are well known for their close harmonies and sometimes unstable relationship. Their last album, Bridge Over Troubled Water, was marked with several delays caused by artistic disagreements.

Kathy’s Song

Kathleen Mary “Kathy” Chitty worked part-time selling tickets at the Railway Inn Folk Club in Brentwood, Essex, UK in 1964. She became the girlfriend and muse of Paul Simon when he lived in England in 1964 and 1965. She is referred to directly or indirectly in at least three of his songs.

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel’s first album, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. was recorded in early 1964 and included the original acoustic version of The Sound of Silence. After the recording, Simon moved to England without Garfunkel. At this time folk music was becoming popular in England and Simon started working around the English folk clubs and coffee houses.

He met Kathy Chitty on 12th April 1964 at the very first English folk club he played at, the Railway Inn Folk Club in Brentwood, Essex. She was 17, he was 22 and they fell in love. Later that year they visited the US together, touring around mainly by bus. Kathy returned to England on her own with Simon returning to her some weeks later. When he was back in London he recorded the album The Paul Simon Songbook that included Kathy’s Song, and had a photo of Simon and Kathy on the cover. Also included in the album was another version of The Sound of Silence.

Although Wednesday Morning 3 A.M. was initially a flop, the version of The Sound of Silence on that album began to receive limited airplay, so the producer, Tom Wilson, without consulting Simon or Garfunkel, overdubbed the recording with electric guitar and base, and drums. This new version entered the US charts in September 1965. By the end of 1965 and for the first few weeks of 1966 it was at No. 1 in the US pop charts.

In September 1965, when Simon learned of the growing success of The Sound of Silence he felt the need to immediately return to the US to continue his career. Kathy was quite shy and wanted no part of the success and fame that awaited Simon. They split up.

References to Kathy in Paul Simon’s Songs

During the separation after Kathy returned home from the American trip, Paul Simon wrote America, clearly a love song to Kathy, that lays bare the extent to which he was missing her:

“Kathy, I’m lost,” I said, though I knew she was sleeping
“I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why”

During their separation he also wrote “Kathy’s Song”:

I gaze beyond the rain-drenched streets
To England where my heart lies.
My mind’s distracted and diffused
My thoughts are many miles away
They lie with you when you’re asleep
And kiss you when you start your day.

Simon wrote Homeward Bound sat at the  Ditton Railway Station, one of two stations located in the town of Widnes Ditton in Cheshire, England on Hale Road on the border between Ditton and Halebank. The station, on the London-Liverpool line, was closed to passengers on 27 May 1994. Now only the Widnes Railway Station remains. It is also widely interpreted that this song is also about Kathy:

I wish I was homeward bound
Home, where my thoughts escaping
Home, where my music’s playing
Home, where my love lies waiting
Silently for me.

After Paul Simon returned to America in 1965 they were not in contact for over 20 years. In 1986, during his success with Graceland he received a letter from her. In 1991, while on tour in the UK, Kathy and her family attended Simon´s show in Sheffield. In July 2004 Simon confirmed her attendance at the Old Friends Reunion Tour stop in Hyde Park.

Kathy is a very private person, all attempts by the press to cajole information or her whereabouts out of Simon have failed. As far as anybody knows, she is now a grandmother with three grown-up children and living in the Welsh mountains (where she has lived most of her life) working part-time at a technical college. Widnes station has a plaque commemorating the history of Homeward Bound. When this went missing a few years ago, Kathy was invited to unveil the replacement but she declined.

Kathy’s Song – Paul Simon

I hear the drizzle of the rain
Like a memory it falls
Soft and warm continuing
Tapping on my roof and walls.

And from the shelter of my mind
Through the window of my eyes
I gaze beyond the rain-drenched streets
To England where my heart lies.

My mind’s distracted and diffused
My thoughts are many miles away
They lie with you when you’re asleep
And kiss you when you start your day.

And a song I was writing is left undone
I don’t know why I spend my time
Writing songs I can’t believe
With words that tear and strain to rhyme.

And so you see I have come to doubt
All that I once held as true
I stand alone without beliefs
The only truth I know is you.

And as I watch the drops of rain
Weave their weary paths and die
I know that I am like the rain
There before for the grace of you go I

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The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades ~ Timbuk 3

Timbuk3 was an American alternative pop band formed in 1984 by the husband and wife team of Pat MacDonald (acoustic, electric, bass and MIDI guitars, harmonica, vocals, drum programming) and Barbara K. MacDonald (electric guitar, mandolin, violin, rhythm programming, vocals).

The duo began playing together in Madison, Wisconsin. Initially they performed live as a duo backed up by a large boombox. This boombox technique, unique at the time, represented a transition in music, and its public popularity set the stage for backtracking and samplers becoming common place techniques still used today.

Timbuk3 was signed by I.R.S. Records after appearing on an episode of MTV’s The Cutting Edge in 1986. Soon after, they released their first album, Greetings from Timbuk3.  They were joined in 1991 by Wally Ingram and Courtney Audain.  The group broke up in 1995, with the ex-members going on to record other music independently.

The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

The inspiration for the song, and the title specifically, came when Barbara K. MacDonald said to her partner and husband Pat MacDonald “The future is looking so bright, we’ll have to wear sunglasses!” But, while Barbara had made the comment in earnest — it was the early ’80s, the two had met and married and were starting a family, their first EP was coming, their book was filling up with gigs — Pat heard the comment as an ironic quip and wrote down instead, “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.”

From there, the lyrics to the song were born, but not the song as it ended up in the minds of popular culture. While Pat wrote a song of a youthful nuclear scientist and his monied future, listening audiences heard a graduation theme song.

Pat revealed on VH1′s “100 Greatest One-hit Wonders of the ’80s” list that the meaning of the song was widely misinterpreted as a positive perspective in regard to the near future. Pat somewhat clarified the meaning by stating that it was, contrary to popular belief, a “grim” outlook. While not saying so directly, he hinted at the idea that the bright future was in fact due to impending nuclear holocaust. The “job waiting” after graduation signified the demand for nuclear scientists to facilitate such events. Pat drew upon the multitude of past predictions which transcend several cultures that foreshadow the world ending in the 1980s, along with the nuclear tension at the height of the cold war to compile the song.

The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades – Pat McDonald

I study nuclear science
I love my classes
I got a crazy teacher
He wears dark glasses

Things are goin’ great
And they’re only gettin’ better
I’m doin’ all right
Gettin’ good grades
The future’s so bright
I gotta wear shades
I gotta wear shades

I got a job waitin’
For my graduation
50 thou a year
will buy a lotta beer

Things are goin’ great
And they’re only gettin’ better
I’m doin’ all right
Gettin’ good grades
The future’s so bright
I gotta wear shades
I gotta wear shades

Well I’m heavenly blessed
And worldly wise
I’m a peeping Tom techie
With x-ray eyes

Things are goin’ great
And they’re only gettin’ better
I’m doin’ all right
Gettin’ good grades
The future’s so bright
I gotta wear shades
I gotta wear shades

I study nuclear science
I love my classes
I got a crazy teacher
He wears dark glasses

Things are goin’ great
And they’re only gettin’ better
I’m doin’ all right
Gettin’ good grades
The future’s so bright
I gotta wear shades
I gotta wear shades

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The Luck You Got ~ The High Strung

TheHighStrungThe High Strung is an American band from Detroit, Michigan, United States. The band is composed of lead singer and guitarist Josh Malerman, bassist Chad Stocker, and drummer Derek Berk. Malerman and Berk attended Michigan State University in the late 1990s before moving to New York City. The band formed in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, when the members of the former East Lansing, Michigan band The Masons changed their name and added Stocker to the roster. Detroit guitarist Stephen Palmer joined the group shortly after the recording of Dragon Dicks.

These are Good Times, Moxie Bravo, and Get the Guests were all produced in Detroit by rock producer Jim Diamond. The High Strung are now on Park the Van Records. Their label debut, Get the Guests, was released in May 2007.

The Luck You Got

The Luck You Got  is a song by The High Strung and is off their album Moxie Bravo released in 2006.  It is also the theme song to the US version of the show Shameless, shown on Showtime.

The Luck You Got - Josh Malerman

Think of all the luck you got
Know that it’s not for naught
You were beaming once before
But it’s not like that anymore

Count all the moods you’ve known
Know they’re not stuck in stone
You were patient once before
But it’s not like that anymore

What is this down side
That you speak of
What is this feeling
You’re so sure of
Round up the friends you got
Know that they’re not for naught
You were willing once before
But it’s not like that anymore

The time that you would never trade
Is equal to the effort made
You were simple once before
But it’s not like that anymore

What is this down side
That you speak of
What is this feeling
You’re so sure of

What is this down side
That you speak of
What is this feeling
You’re so sure of

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The Way We Get By ~ Spoon

spoonSpoon is an American rock band formed in Austin, Texas. The band is composed of Britt Daniel (vocals, guitar); Jim Eno (drums); Rob Pope (bass guitar, guitar, keyboards, backing vocals) and Eric Harvey (keyboard, guitar, percussion, backing vocals).

The band was formed in late 1993 by the lead singer and guitarist Britt Daniel and the drummer Jim Eno, after the two met as members of The Alien Beats. The name Spoon was chosen to honor the 1970s German avant-garde band Can, whose hit song “Spoon” was the theme song to the 1985 movie Das Messer aka Jagged Edge in the United States. Eno describes Spoon’s music as “rock ‘n’ roll.”

The Way We Get By

“The Way We Get By” was released as a single. It was used on the television shows The O.C., Shameless and Hustle as well as in the films Mean Creek, The Puffy Chair and Stranger Than Fiction. “Don’t Let It Get You Down” can be heard in the 2005 comedy Waiting….

The Way We Get By – Britt Daniel

We get high in back seats of cars
We break into mobile homes
We go to sleep to shake appeal
Never wake up on our own

And that’s the way we get by
Way we get by
And that’s the way we get by
Way we get by

We go out in stormy weather
We rarely practice discern
We make love to some weird sin
We seek out the taciturn

And that’s the way we get by
Way we get by
And that’s the way we get by
Way we get by

We found a new kind of dance in a magazine
Tried it out it’s like nothing you ever seen
You sweet talk like a cop and you know it
You bought a new bag of pot, said let’s make a new start

And that’s the way to my heart
The way to my heart

That’s the way we get by
Way we get by

We get high in back seats of cars
We put faith in our concerns
Fall in love to down on the street
We believe in the sum of ourselves

I said that’s the way we get by

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