Old world wisdom, new world insight – poems, poetry, philosophy, dreams, commentary, ideas

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Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – #40

by Lawrence J. J, Leonard

It is easy to be excited by someone else. Their look, their aura, or even the sound of
their voice. In the same way we can watch a person declare their love to another and
be repulsed by that, especially if that love is untrue or secretly promised to someone else. Why does love have to be so complicated? For many of us love either works out great or love causes a big mess.

For the ever-changing San Francisco rock band, Journey, love is the source of most of
their successes and ironically the reason they changed singers in the 1990s. It all began when lead vocalist Steve Perry joined the group in 1976. At that time the band’s futuristic sound would change direction and most assuredly love would be the dominant song topic.

Steve collaborated on compositions with band members Neal Schon, Ross Valory, and Gregg Rollie. They had co-written 17 songs by the time the “Evolution” album was
recorded in 1978. Keeping the pulse of the band throughout the changes was drummer Steve Smith. Most of the recordings exuded happy beats evoking feelings of devotion and the occasional heartbreak of separation.

Steve had been inspired by a Sam Cooke tune which professed undying love. The lyrics for Steve’s new work however, showcased love that had gone real bad. What should we do if the person we love pushes us away, or cheats on us? We can find some comfort in what goes around usually comes back around. Continue reading

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Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – #41

by Lawrence J. J, Leonard

What does it mean to be “in a mood“? We can feel energetic, snippy, feisty, leery, paranoid, ticklish, and sometimes mellow. Maybe it has to do with our feelings when we hear someone’s voice. Maybe it has something to do with the song that plays inside our minds over and over when we wake up to a new day. With music it can be the sound of a church organ or a clarinet or a bass drum that resonates and causes a reaction.

When British poet Keith Reid got an invitation from Gary Brooker (formerly of The Paramounts) to write the lyrics, it was for a new band with a progressive approach to rock music. Gary decided the new group would have new band members Matthew Fisher, Ray Royer, Robin Trower, Bobby Harrison, and David Knights. The band manager decided on a perplexing name for the band – Procul Harum. It was the breeding monicker of a friends’s Burmese cat, modified to sound familiar.The name Procul Harum invoked all kinds of reaction when spoken by deejays on the radio.

Keith knew his lyrics were novel. Gary and Matthew were hopeful that the music would be a worthy and interesting complement to the unique subject matter. Their new composition was just quirky enough to capture our imagination as a counterculture anthem. Plus, it subtly introduced a new metaphor into our collective consciousness. Sad and lonely are powerful feelings.

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