johnjosmiller (johnjosmiller) wrote,

Songs on my iPod, continued

It's been a nice afternoon in Albuquerque, temperature in the low eighties, lowered even further by a half hour steady soaking rain.  After the rain stopped I worked on the landscaping, planting a Rose of Sharon, a Butterfly Bush, and transplanting three Russsian Sages from the front to back yard.  They should survive.   Not even I should be able to kill them.

Now back to the top ten songs on my iPod.

5. "Lily of the West" Mark Knopfler (The Chieftains anthology album LONG BLACK VEIL, 1995)

Now that I've gained my liberty a-rovin' I will go
I’ll ramble through old Ireland and travel Scotland o'er
Though she thought to swear my life away she still disturbs my rest,
I still must style her, Molly O', the lily of the west.

This is just a damn perfect song, musically and lyrically, a stand out piece on a damn near perfect album that anyone who likes folk music should check out. I really can’t praise Knopfler’s traditional work highly enough. I liked DIRE STRAITS as much as anybody, but this stuff is just great.

4. "A Case of You" K.D. Laing (from Hymns of the 49th Parallel, 2004)

I am a lonely painter
I live in a box of paints
I’m frightened by the devil
But I’m drawn to those ones that aint
I remember the time that you told me, you said
Love is touching souls
Well surely you’ve touched mine
Part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time

One of the finest love songs ever written by Joni Mitchell (or anyone else for that matter). There’s several great versions. I’ve got a couple on my ipod (Diana Krall is very good, too), but this is my favorite. Great song to write to.

3. "So Fare Ye Well" The Highwaymen (Best of the Highwaymen, 1992)

Where the canons are loudly roaring
And the bullets by showers fall
And the drums and pipes are beating
To drown the wounded man’s call
Stand steady by your captain
When rounds of grape shot fly
Trust in God your Saviour
But keep you powder dry.

Not the country supergroup of the 1990s, but the original folk group of the 1960s, best known for their hit "Michael Row the Boat Ashore." Which was also a very nice song. The Highwaymen had a short career, but produced some terrific songs, several of which have made their way to my ipod. This one is a driving, banjo-dominated tune that’s great to write action scenes to.

2. "Ourselves to Know" Warren Zevon (LIFE’LL KILL YA, 2005)

We left Constantinople in a thousand ninety-nine
To restore the one True Cross was in this heart of mine
To bring it to Jerusalem and then sail home to Rhodes
We took that holy ride ourselves to know
We took that holy ride ourselves to know
Everyone got famous, everyone got rich
Everyone went off the rails and ended in the ditch
We had to take that long, hard road to see where it would go
Yeah, we took that holy ride ourselves to know
We took that holy ride ourselves to know
Now if you make a pilgrimage I hope you find your grail
Be loyal to the ones you leave with even if you fail
Be chivalrous to strangers you meet along the road
As you take that holy ride yourselves to know
You take that holy ride yourselves to know

What can you say about the only rock song I’ve ever heard written about the Crusades? Of course, Warren Zevon wrote it. Of course, it’s great. Of course, it’s deeply sad and ironic when you realize that he wrote it while knowing he was dying of a rare form of cancer, and it appeared on his last album, LIFE’LL KILL YA. And in fifteen lines he managed to write a guide to life better than most religious books hundreds of pages long. Sleep well, Warren.

1. "All the Roadrunning" Mark Knopfler and Emmy Lou Harris (All the Roadrunning, 2006)

 A million miles of vagabond sky
Clocked up above the clouds
I'm still your man for the roaming
For as long as there's roamin' allowed

There'll be a rider
And there'll be a wall
As long as the dreamer remains

And if it's all for nothing
All the roadrunning's
Been in vain

Don’t tell Gail, but I fell in love with Emmy Lou Harris back around 1975 when I got her ELITE HOTEL album. The ashes still glow a little. I came to Mark Knopfler a little later. Their collaborative tour and album produced a number of of great cuts, but, damn, a song about the carny? Please, somebody tell me what traditional song the melody was taken from. It’s driving me nuts. Another great song to write to. The rhythm is just perfect for typing.

 John Jos. Miller
Now Reading: After taking out a few minutes to read HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, I'm now back to Susan Cooper's THE DARK IS RISING sequence (Currently on:  THE GREY KING)

Now Writing: It's a secret until the official announcement at the end of August.

In the Publisher's Pipeline: A graphic adaptation of George R.R. Martin's "In the House of the Worm" for Avatar Comics. But "Mortality's Strong Hand" is also knocking at the door.


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