Tag Archives: song

Recycling Christmas:: 12 Days of Toto in Africa

13 Dec

I like to recycle, and as such, I’m posting another cheery video from last year, again this year to make you smile.  You should be allowed to see some cute guys singing “The 12 Days of Christmas” for more than just one year, right?   If you take notice, there are 12 guys singing–one for each day of Christmas. Plus, they end using the melody from “Africa” by Toto, which is just cool. Sarah would probably love to have Christmas in Africa. She is the force behind putting the black Santa ornament on our fiber optic Christmas tree. 🙂 A big shout-out to Peggikaye, who introduced me to this video.

All twelve of the original members of Straight No Chaser (SNC) had reunited since performing this song a capella at Indiana University and recording a Christmas album called Holiday Spirits, which was just released this year!

“Africa” by Toto is one of the weirdest music videos ever made, so I posted that for you, too. I love this song. It makes me want to become an archaeologist in Africa with the lead singer of Toto. That is, until the spear goes into the wall and the place burns down.

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“When We Dance” by Sting

14 Feb

Because it’s Valentine’s Day and I’m feeling a little romantic (for no apparent reason), I’m going to post one of my fave songs. The music video’s a little freaky, but Sting, a stringed instrument, a unicorn man, and weird architecture, what more do you need out of life? Also, it looks like Sting is the victim of unrequited love…poor guy.

An Ode to the Leader of the Band

17 Dec

Yesterday singer/songwriter Dan Fogelberg, 56, died from prostate cancer on Sunday. Some of your are probably scratching your heads thinking, who is this guy? (He was popular in the 70s & 80s with a nice folksy voice in the veins of James Taylor.) Still others will be shocked by this statement–I am a Dan Fogelberg fan. Yeah, I’m also a Barry Fanilow, got a problem with that? I’ve a lover of music in its many forms.

Famous for songs like “Leader of the Band”, “Longer”, and “Another Auld Lang Syne”, Fogelberg’s simple melodies and thoughtful lyrics followed in the vein of folk singers. One day I found Dan Fogelberg’s tape among those in my dad’s music collection. I thought the guy on the album cover looked dorky, but I listened anyway. I was captured by the music of Dan Fogelberg.

When I heard “Auld Lang Syne”, it was the first time I heard a gloomy Christmas song, and I loved it. Why? Because sometimes Christmas is gloomy and we need songs for it. “Leader of the Band” is a simple tribute to Fogelberg’s dad. These days I can barely hear a song about a father and not burst into tears. I remember riding in the car with my dad singing this song together–it’s a bittersweet memory.

Dan Fogelberg was truly the leader of an era, a musician of love music, and his songs will be sure to be sung at cheesy wedding receptions for years to come. But I’ll always remember him as the leader of the band.

“Leader of the Band” by Dan Fogelberg

An only child alone and wild
A cabinet maker’s son
His hands were meant for different work

And his heart was known to none

He left his home and went his lone
And solitary way
And he gave to me a gift I know
I never can repay

A quiet man of music
Denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once
But his music wouldn’t wait

He earned his love through discipline
A thundering, velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand

The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through my instrument
And his song is in my soul

My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
I’m just a living legacy
To the leader of the band

My brothers’ lives were different
For they heard another call
One went to Chicago
And the other to St Paul

And I’m in Colorado
When I’m not in some hotel
Living out this life I’ve chose
And come to know so well

I thank you for the music
And your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom
When it came my time to go

I thank you for the kindness
And the times when you got tough
And, pap, I don’t think
I said, “I love you” near enough

The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through my instrument
And his song is in my soul

My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
I’m just a living legacy
To the leader of the band

I am the living legacy
To the leader of the band.

12 Days of Toto in Africa

15 Dec

I know that Part 2 of ELF’ing in Christmas is scaring some of you, so to make up for that truly bizarre video, I’m posting another cheery video to make you smile because Christmas shouldn’t be scary (like run-on sentences; run-on sentences are scary…but let’s see if I can keep going with this one); it should be a merry occasion where you can see some cute guys singing “The 12 Days of Christmas.” If you take notice, there are 12 guys singing–one for each day of Christmas. Plus, they end using the melody from “Africa” by Toto, which is just cool. Sarah would probably love to have Christmas in Africa. She is the force beyond putting the black Santa ornament on our fiber optic Christmas tree. 🙂  A big shout-out to Peggikaye, who introduced me to this video.

“Africa” by Toto is one of the weirdest music videos ever made, so I posted that for you, too. I love this song. It makes me want to become an archaeologist in Africa with the lead singer of Toto. That is, until the spear goes into the wall and the place burns down.

Christmas Songs I Don’t Get

5 Dec

Each and every year, I joyous pull my Christmas CDs off the racks, dust ’em off, and start listening to my favorite holiday tunes the day after Thanksgiving. Yet there are a few songs, I’ve never quite understood. Maybe my friends could shed some light on these songs, which are an enigma to me.

*”12 Days of Christmas”–it’s a classic! The Muppets even sing it and people have done some great parodies on it, but what’s it about? I mean, who give someone leapin’ lords and French hens and a pear tree with a partridge in it? Where do you even get a pear tree complete with bird? While the exact origin accounts of the song vary, this website does a great song of explaining the hidden meanings behind the song that was written to help Catholics remember principles of there faith.

*”Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”–OK, I get this song; I just think it’s stupid. Ever since my grandma died in 2005, I can’t listen to the song. Singing the silly lyrics isn’t the same now that my grammy isn’t here with me. The song is also the subject of a lawsuit because while stupid, the song had made a ton of money since its 1979 release (Read lawsuit story.)

*Neil Diamond’s two Christmas albums–He’s Jewish. Singing about the Christ child is like heresy, isn’t it? Barry Manilow’s got a few as well.

*”Away in a Manger”–This song has always been problematic to me. I remember thinking as a kid, “Why’s Baby Jesus staying by my cradle? I’m not a baby and I don’t have a cradle.” The other line in the song that I still have trouble with is, “The little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.” Has the writer of this song ever spent time with babies? They spend half their lives crying. My friend told me that the first two months of her daughter’s life was as follows: crying, eating, pooping, crying, sleeping, crying, eating, peeing, crying. Babies cry a lot, as it is their primary form of communication. We get the idea that baby Jesus is just lying there all happy on his bed of hay, smiling up at everyone around him, and having a gay old time. No, I’m sure he pooped…a lot and cried a lot as well. As content a baby as Jesus may have been, I seriously doubt he never cried.

*”Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”–The chorus is what really disturbs me, “He sees you when you’re sleeping/He knows when you’re awake/He knows if you’ve been bad or good.” I remember once asking an adult if Santa was God in disguise, since God could do all those things, too. Santa amounts is some sort of freaky stalker. In fact, I was sure when I was a child, that Santa was looking in my bedroom window at night. All during the Christmas season, I would change in the bathroom so Santa wouldn’t see me naked. It’s true.

*”Christmas Shoes”–It’s a sloppy, sentimental song that makes some of us cry and the rest of us want to puke. I fall into the latter category, though I often find myself singing along to the tune anyway. Here’s the question on my mind–why’s this kid out buying shoes when his momma’s dying? The thought is sweet, but in reality, if his mom does die and meet Jesus that night, she’s probably not going to be wearing the shoes he bought since they are material items. Better yet–Lifetime made a movie based on the song. Of courses they did.

Oh, well, it’s a nice thought, right? Maybe we just need to throw theology out the window and think, what a sweet kid! What a nice guy giving the kid money for those shoes! Maybe we can feel all warm and happy about the goodwill towards others and the naive wishes of a young boy who is watching his mother die. Then again, it’s a song about a kid whose mother is dying on Christmas Eve–that’s rather morbid.

*”Merry Christmas, Baby” by the Beach Boys–Since most of you probably don’t know the song, I’m going to post the lyrics.

“My baby she told me
She don’t want to hold me (oh, no!)
And kiss my lips anymore (unh-unh!)
She’s gonna leave me
And she don’t believe me
That I’ll be true now

Well maybe she don’t love me
And is not thinkin’ of me
But why’d she do it this time of year?
She knows that I’ll miss her
And I’ll want to kiss her
If just for Christmas

Merry Christmas, baby
Merry Christmas, baby
Merry Christmas, baby

Tell me, what did I do
To really convince you
That I’m not the guy anymore?
Take back my ring now
I’ll do anything now
But please forgive me

I made my mistake but
I’m willing to wake up
And never mess around anymore
Oh why did we break up?
There’s still time to make up
If just for Christmas

Merry Christmas, baby
Merry Christmas, baby
Merry Christmas, baby

I made my mistake but
I’m willing to wake up
And never mess around anymore
Oh why did we break up?
There’s still time to make up
If just for Christmas

Merry Christmas, baby
Merry Christmas, baby
Merry Christmas, baby
Merry Christmas, baby”

I could devote a whole post about what’s wrong with this song, but here’s the basic story line. Girl dumps guy because she finds out he’s been a’cheatin’, but guy promises to be true if she’ll take him back, at least just for Christmas. He asks, “Why’d she do it this time of year?” Because you chose to cheat on her at this time of year, you bonehead! Then he says, “There’s still time to make up/If just for Christmas.” That’s a nice thought, but she’ll still dump you after Christmas. If you’re lucky, she’ll stick around until New Year’s so you have someone to kiss when the ball drops.

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