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The raving thoughts of a misanthropic academic

April 23, 2007

Song of the Week: Good Directions

With 80 degree weather newly come to Boston, my mind turns toward thoughts of summer. Billy Currington's Good Directions fits the bill just fine.

The song tells the story of an improbable summer love with a mix of hot weather, pick up trucks, and turnips. It's a fun little song and just right for this time of year.

The video below is a fan created music video shot to the song and mixed. It's not a bad production for a random fan. Nice work.

Lyrics follow after the jump. Enjoy!




Good Directions

I was sittin’ there sellin’ turnips on a flatbed truck
Crunchin’ or a pork rind when she pulled up
She had to be thinkin’ “This is where the rednecks come from”
She had Hollywood written on her license plate
She was lost and lookin’ for the interstate
Needin’ directions and I was the man for the job

[Chorus]
I told her way up yonder past the caution light
There’s a little country store with an old Coke sign
You gotta stop in and ask Miss Bell for some of her sweet tea
Then a left will take you to the interstate
But a right will bring you right back here to me

I was sittin’ there thinkin’ ‘bout her pretty face
Kickin’ myself for not catchin’ her name
I threw my hat and thought, “You fool, that coulda been love”
I knew my old Ford couldn’t run her down
She probably didn’t like me anyhow
So I watched her disappear in a cloud of dust.

[Chorus]
I told her way up yonder past the caution light
There’s a little country store with an old Coke sign
You gotta stop in and ask Miss Bell for some of her sweet tea
Then a left will take you to the interstate
But a right will bring you right back here to me

Is this Georgia heat playin’ tricks on me
Or am I really seein’ what I think I see
The woman of my dreams comin’ back to me

She went way up yonder past the caution light
Don’t know why, but somethin’ felt right
When she stopped in and asked Miss Bell for some of her sweet tea
Mama gave her a big ‘ol glass and sent her right back here to me

Thank God for good directions…and turnip greens
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April 16, 2007

Song of the Week: Estrellita

The Pax Plena song of the week comes to you from a somewhat different genre featuring classical composer Manuel Ponce's famous ballad Estrellita. Written in the early 20th century, Estrellita became a unique sensation quickly working its way into the lexicon of Mexican folk songs.

Originally set to Spanish lyrics, the song tells the story of a female voice who confides in her little star about the hidden love she feels for an unnamed man- a love which may ultimately carry her to the grave. Ponce takes the monologue (which could easily be viewed as a prayer of sorts), and sets it against an opening melody that quickly covers an entire octave. The resonant strains of the violin carry the line to greater heights reminding the listener of the confidence being communicated to the star solitaire.

 The melody remains at all points both tender and intense.

The song was eventually made famous among western audiences when performed by the renown violinist Jascha Heifetz in the 1939 Archie Mayo film They Shall Have Music. A clip of the Heifetz rendition can be heard below - presumably as extracted from the movie. Lyrics in Spanish and English follow. Enjoy!



Estrellita
Estrellita del lejano cielo,
que miras mi dolor,
que sabes mi sufrir.
Baja y dime
si me quiere un poco,
porque yo no puedo sin su amor vivir.

¡Tu eres estrella mi faro de amor!
Tu sabes que pronto he de morir.
Baja y dime
si me quiere un poco,
porque yo no puedo sin su amor vivir.


Estrellita
Little star of the distant sky,
you see my pain,
you know my anguish.
Come down and tell me
if he loves me a little,
because I cannot live without his love.

You are my star, my beacon of love!
You know that soon I shall die.
Come down and tell me
if he loves me a little,
because I cannot live without his love.

Update 09/22/08: This post remains one of the more popular songs of the week we've done, so I felt it needed an update.

To wit, the original video once posted above is no more. But I've also included a stunning rendition of Estrellita by violinist Joshua Bell. Enjoy!

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April 9, 2007

Song of the Week: Ticks

The Pax Plena song of the week comes to you courtesy of country music sensation Brad Paisley and is affectionately titled Ticks.

Not a lot of depth and introspection this week. Just a great song that mixes equal portions comedy, romance and country. It's the kinda song most of the kids in Cotton County can understand. For those city slickers reading, I guarantee you'll never think of pesky ticks in quite the same way.

The link at the below takes you to a streaming version of the song via Brad Paisley's myspace page.

Just click play and enjoy!

[Link]


Ticks

Every time you take a sip
In this smoky atmosphere
You press that bottle to your lips
And I wish I was your beer
In the small there of your back
Your jeans are playing peekaboo
I'd like to see the other half of your butterfly tattoo.

Hey that gives me an idea
Let's get out of this bar
Drive out into the country
And find a place to park.

'Cause I'd like to see you out in the moonlight
I'd like to kiss you way back in the sticks
I'd like to walk you through a field of wildflowers
And I'd like to check you for ticks.

I know the perfect little path
Out in these woods I used to hunt
Don't worry babe I've got your back
And I've also got your front
Now, I'd hate to waste a night like this

I'll keep you safe you wait and see
The only thing allowed to crawl all over you when we get there is me.

You know every guy in here tonight
Would like to take you home
But I've got way more class than them
Babe that ain't what I want.

'Cause I'd like to see you out in the moonlight
I'd like to kiss you way back in the sticks
I'd like to walk you through a field of wildflowers
And I'd like to check you for ticks.

You never know where one might be
There's lots of place that are hard to reach
I gotcha.

I'd like to see you out in the moonlight
I'd like to kiss you baby way back in the sticks
I'd like to walk you through a field of wildflowers
And I'd like to check you for ticks.

Oh, I'd sure like to check you for ticks...

*Photo courtesy of PictureCorrect.com
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April 2, 2007

Song of the Week: Kissing a Fool

Perhaps it's the rainy weather here in Boston, but this week's song of the week continues a succession of mellow songs performed by dynamic artists. The Pax Plena song of the weeks comes to you direct from modern crooner Michael Bublé and is titled Kissing a Fool.

One of the most redeeming qualities about the song is its smokey, lounge quality feel. Written by George Michael in the late 80s, the song takes listeners back to the dive bars and cramped stages of the Jazz age complete with soaring lyrics and sparse percussion. One can almost see tuxedo-clad men with a glass of scotch listening in on a summer's evening.

The opening strains in the Bublé version, begin with a lead bass intro which is joined almost immediately in whisper by vocals. Bublé's voice, however, is quick to showcase exactly why he is every bit the crooner he purports to be. Rest assured, in this song, the quietest sounds never become a bore. Bublé's range is disparate, covering everything from the delicate lines preceding the opening chorus to the vibrant peak near the final repetition. Through its unique blend of instruments, trumpet, piano, and percussion most prominently, the score ably presents Bublé's voice by striking a nice balance between accompaniment and instrumental musicality.

The song itself traverses a wide range of emotions from hope, to despair and ultimately toward faith in faith. But its theme is fairly well contained- love sought, love lost and the personal introspection which invariably follows. The central idea seems to be the inability of lovers to commit and specifically in the inability of one to withstand outside pressures for want of mutual matters of the heart.

The video below plays the song in its entirety. If you can over look the silly video on which someone has decided to affix the song, you'll find the performance most enjoyable. Lyrics follow.



Kissing A Fool


You are far
When I could have been your star
You listened to people
Who scared you to death
And from my heart
Strange that you were strong enough
To even make a start
But you'll never find
Peace of mind
Till you listen to your heart

People
You can never change the way the feel
Better let them do just what they will
For they will
If you let them
Steal your heart from you
People
Will always make a lover feel the fool
But you knew I loved you
We could have shown them all
We should have seen love through

Fooled me with the tears in your eyes
Covered me with kisses and lies
So bye
But please don't take my heart

You are far
I'm never gonna be your star
I'll pick up the pieces
And mend my heart
Strange that I was wrong enough
To think you'd love me too
You must have been were kissing a fool
You must have been kissing a fool

But remember this
Every other kiss
That you'll ever give
Long as we both live
When you need the hand of another man
One you really can surrender with
I will wait for you
Like I always do
There's something there
That can't compare with any other

You are far
When I could have been your star
You listened to people
Who scared you to death
And from my heart
Strange that I was wrong enough
To think you'd love me too
You must have been kissing a fool
You must have been kissing a fool

You must have been kissing a fool
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