Sign up Latest Topics

  Author   Comment   Page 3 of 3      Prev   1   2   3
Tom Tobben

Posts: 1,163
Reply with quote  #31 
Wow! Thanks to all of you for your recent thoughtful comments, songs/videos/lyrics, and for your votes -- John B., Larry, Darren, Al, David, Cantina, bonnie, and D.A.N.

John B., thanks for the added telling lyrics from Tom Waits. He's certainly an artist we've not yet explored in much depth in all our years of weekly battles. He deserves further exploration here. 

Larry, as always, thanks for all those additional songs and your insightful thoughts. Of the old songs you posted, I particularly liked the Woody Guthrie song. It really resonates in these days where huge income disparities continue to grow larger between the very wealthy, average persons, and the very poor.

I particularly identified with your post about nature being the embodiment of god. While traditional religions and their human imperfections don't do much for me any more, I've long felt some connection to Transcendentalist notions, as expressed by Emerson, Thoreau, and others, that if there is a god, we see it (him/her?) in nature's beauty. But, of couse, the flip side of that is the tremendous pain, suffering, and death that nature can arbitrarily inflict through hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, extreme heat, cold, flooding, diseases, etc. So even transcendentalist thinking seems suspect.

Darren, thank you for calling further attention to Lennon's powerful "God" song and the video which brings back our memories of those sad days following Lennon's tragic murder. Having experienced the tragic assassinations of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Bobby Kennedy as a teenager in the 1960s, I was every bit as shaken when we all learned of Lennon's senseless murder and the numerous tributes and memorials that followed in the days afterwards. He was a real musical, cultural, and generational hero for so many ordinary fans around the world, myself included. 

Al, I couldn't agree more about the Making God SMiLE tribute album to Brian's music. It certainly seems to me, and I suspect to a number of us here, that there is a real sense of spirituality in some of Brian's music, without it coming across at all as preachy. Those here who are not familiar with this fine tribute album from 15 or so years ago ought to check it out for the lovely and inspiring interpretations of some of Brian's best songs. 

David, thanks for your votes and especially for those excellent songs. I'm a big fan of the late blues legend Son House. He was also a preacher and a convicted murder, so he certainly experienced the extremes of life. Here's another of my favorites by Son House, "Death Letter", as interpreted by the White Stripes a decade or so ago:

Cantina, thanks for your thoughtful comments and for those two fine songs you shared with us. I'm not especially a big Adele fan, but her title song for the Bond movie, Skyfall, was so powerful and so fitting for that movie, which is in my opinion the darkest of all the Bond movies. I'd never previously heard of Udo Juergens or that song before, so thanks so much for sharing this excellent song and lyrics with us. 

bonnie, thanks as always for your well-considered votes, your ironic humor in your comments, and for those additional songs which I'd not heard before. I was particularly moved by Nick Cave's powerful "Into My Arms". What a moving song and accompanying video. I need to explore his music further. Thank you for that!

I'm glad you enjoy a number of the songs I bring to the battles I host. I generally prefer to bring at least some excellent lesser-known songs or artists to my battles to help expand our musical horizons, rather than having greatest hits competitions among old familiar classic artists and songs. I also enjoy seeing how those lesser-known songs fare with everyone against some of the well-known biggies, such as Lennon's "Imagine" this week.

Since so many of our songs this past week have considered the shortcomings or limitations of traditional religious beliefs about God (god), I thought I'd toss in a few that are more inspirational in nature:

I'll be back later to cast my own votes and to respond to any additional votes, comments, and songs by anyone. 

Don't forget that voting for this past week's battle ends later tonight (Sunday night US time). 

Lisa G/TS

Posts: 152
Reply with quote  #32 
GOLD -- Imagine, John Lennon -- Yes, I know it's a real rose-coloured glasses, wishful thinking type of tune. Yes, I know he didn't always practice what he preached. Yet there's still something kind of universal and iconic in this. One of the saddest thoughts is realizing a lot of unrest and terror in the world is due to religious differences. A world where we grow up a little and respect (or at least tolerate) different benign beliefs may be the loftiest goal to imagine, huh? 

SILVER -- God's Song, Randy Newman -- As others have said, quite impressed to hear a selection of his that tells a deep, thought provoking story, minus his more typical wit and whimsy. 

BRONZE -- Almost Like The Blues, Leonard Cohen -- Uh huh, obviously a more candid, unflinching view of the planet than "Imagine". It could be argued he's a far better poet than vocalist. Then again, a gritty dark track like this wouldn't have the same effect coming from some sweet as honey meadowlark, right? Certainly an acquired taste. 

TIN -- He Come Down, BBs -- I'd either be fidgeting or nodding off in a pew at this church/place of worship. Just doesn't hold my interest. 

Well done, Tom! 

In memory of our dearly beloved t Bedford:

You beat me to the first mention of the other dead Beatle. Here's another great zen track of his - the lyrics have always felt a bit like a comforting prayer or spiritual plea:

I don't think anyone's posted this yet:

PS -- A little "shout out" to Larry "Rain Man" Franz...for pulling up something from the "Nature's Calling" week?  What the... ?!?   [biggrin]

"Stay-cation for the Nation", "Crush that Curve"
Cantina Margarita

Posts: 161
Reply with quote  #33 
Hi my faithful people,

this is so hard to decide. My favourites are

1. the bouncy boys singing for the Maharishi (may his beard be praised), Clap, clap, clap ...
2. the fuzzy man without a voice managing to do a song anyway,
3. the song from the pope's line manager
4. the long haired guy with the glasses and his boring ballad


No. Next try. In inverse direction.

4, 3, 2, 1 ...

(deep breath)

Hi guys,

Imagine a beautiful but simple song like many others on his 1970 POB album. Only piano plonking, Ringo rattling, Klausi pumping a little, and the greatest solo voice of rock music in relaxed mode. Naive lyrics, superficiously, but deep and subject to different possible interpretations. No need for walls of sound or expensive wrecking crews.  His cute bright wife sitting behind him, knitting a pullover. And yet great music. Its ambivalent and incomplete charactered creator, cynically, took the ultimate career step by being the victim of an NRA nut at only 40 years, which moved him close to a saint, whose icon is this song. Imagine what might have followed. All we have is a 1980 comeback album, significantly returning to that style. No more wheels to watch, only counts to make how many songs he might have had among the world's top 100 of all time. This is one, in good company with GOK, SU, TID, GV. WIBN. L&M, MAD. Amen.

(many sub-golds and semi-silvers in between)

God's song. Reminds me a lot of "please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste", but this one is much nastier, not looking for a mythological villain to blame. For this, not a provocation, but rather a well-calculated slap in the face of any religious authority. I don't allow myself a second listen, because I might "feel so suicidal just like Dylan's Mr. Jones".

Almost Like The Blues. Very dark, just like the video.

They were really, really cheesy sometimes. Is it necessary give Brian a "sorry Sir" for posting ?

@Tom, you never heard about Udo Juergens ? Never mind. In our football arenas, you'll hardly find anybody knowing who Brian Wilson is, whereas all of them can chant Udo's greatest commercial hit.

Every genius is allowed to write one "Mull Of Kintyre".

Thank you Tom. Interesting week is pure understatement.

Verden McCutcheon

Posts: 461
Reply with quote  #34 
  Season 10 Week 11..Spirit in the Sky...

                      1)Imagine....none of the rest are even close

                      2)He Come Down...I can at least listen to it

                      3)Almost like the Blues..A better vocal and this would be quite alright

                      4)God's Song.....I bet god's not to crazy about this one

                                                         Good Theme !!!

Al Forsyth

Posts: 3,638
Reply with quote  #35 
Lisa nails it on the Imagine explanation!  Also very good to get Walking Down the Path of Life.  Brian was in this phase at that time.  Tom and Lisa getting George into this - so important.  He was the soul searcher before John.  Also our remembrance of T as we look up.

And Bonnie, I still do:

And I know, I know, it doesn't really fit this week, but some John influence anyway:

A diamond necklace played the pawn...
Lisa G/TS

Posts: 152
Reply with quote  #36 
Cantina -  
Every genius is allowed to write one "Mull Of Kintyre".

[rofl]  Funny yet brilliant! 

also Verden with  
4)God's Song.....I bet god's not to crazy about this one

Al -- Not your fault, but my inner preteen ABBA fan/nerd has to nitpick the uploader for that ABBA track. The actual title is "I Have A Dream", interesting to note it has the same wrong title with a few other uploaders. An honest misconception since "I Believe In Angels" is one of the frequent lines in it. (Yeah, I know this is the utmost essential information...). I've always been charmed by the kids' choir that comes in around the 2:55 mark on there.

I mentioned a meadowlark in my previous post, and that Katie Salt on the 2nd link could be a fine example of one. Nifty find!  

"Stay-cation for the Nation", "Crush that Curve"
Tom Tobben

Posts: 1,163
Reply with quote  #37 
All right! More great comments, song selections, and more votes. Thank you Lisa, Cantina, Verden and Al.

Lisa, thank you for your thoughtful votes and for those excellent songs you added to this week's musical theme. George Harrison certainly had a number of spiritual or inspirational songs during his career ("Within You, Without You" is still probably my favorite by him on that topic), and yours is an excellent choice. Al is certainly right that George was a true seeker of the light through much of his life. Perhaps from a more skeptical perspective near the end of his life regarding his traditional religious upbringing, here's George's "P2 Vatican Blues (Last Saturday Night)" from his final, posthumous album, Brainwashed:

Also, I've not listened to "Walking down the Path of Life" in quite some time, so thanks for bringing it to us this week. I do recall that Brian, Taylor Mills, and company came up with that song around one of their tours some years ago, and they sang that in tandem with "Love and Mercy as the final encore. 

Thanks also for the spot on t Bedford tribute song. If he were still with us, I'd certainly imagine he would have contributed that song this week. And what a poignant/pointed song it is. Andy Partridge certainly made his position clear about the numerous contradictions in our traditional notions about God when compared with the realities humans are often confronted with in real life. Hearing XTC's "Dear God" reminds me of another, different song of the same title by the Monsters of Folk (Jim James, Conor Oberst, M. Ward, Mike Mogis) from their only album in 2009. Another case where the narrator wants to believe but wrestles with the contradictions he actually sees in life, with so much pain and suffering:

Cantina, thank you for your well-considered votes and comments. Though "Imagine" is certainly hopeful to the point of wishful idealism ("you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one..."), it is a compelling song of hope rather than cynicism. On the other hand, as you suggest, Randy Newman's song is pretty direct in its feelings about God and humanity, as is Cohen's. And, as you mentioned, the Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" is certainly pointed in its perspectives, similar to Newman in that regard. Excellent comparison of the dark themes in those two songs. 

Thanks also for sharing more from Ugo Juergens. That song, "Griechischer Wein", is certainly a catchy song about being homesick for one's home country. I even looked up the lyrics to the song about "Greek wine" and the singer's longing for home. Certainly a contrast to Helge Schneider's humorous musical routines:

Verden, thanks for your votes and comments. Brief and to the point!

Al, your added comments and songs/clips always add substance and further insight to our weekly battles. Thank you for being one of our true diehards here on the BOTBs!

As for my own votes this week, they varied as the week progressed, but here's where I ended up:

Gold -- "Imagine", John Lennon. Though the song may take a seemingly naïve, hopeful perspective, it is also so inspirational and the perspective is so readily identifiable with all the bad stuff we see in life and around the world. This was particularly the case when this song came out, with the Vietnam War, social upheaval, racism, generational conflict, and revolt against authoritarian governments all flaring up by the early 1970s. With this song, Lennon captured a mood and a wish for a much better world at that time, and one that so many of us still long for to this day.

Silver -- "God's Song", Randy Newman. Pretty pointed view of an indifferent, cynical, or even malevolent god, isn't it? Newman can be pretty satirical or cynical in his lyrics at times, and this is one of his best and most pointed cases about the inherent contradictions about mankind's views of god and faith. For another really pointed song about slavery and racism, listen to his "Sail Away", the title song from the same album:

Bronze -- "Almost Like the Blues", Leonard Cohen. This powerful song could just as easily been my silver selection this week. Like Newman's song, his recitation of the horrors that exist in human life stuns us. But, unlike Newman, he offers some hope at the end of his song. And he seemingly takes a directly conflicting perspective compared to Lennon in "Imagine". In "Imagine", Lennon's initial lyric focuses toward an idealized human world and away from a god and an afterlife, when he sings:

"Imagine there's no heaven,
It's easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky..."

By contrast, after reciting many horrible things that are part of human life and that can give rise to religious cynicism, Cohen's final verse says in part:

"There is no God in Heaven,
And there is no Hell below,
So says the great professor
Of all there is to know.

But I've had the invitation
That a sinner can't refuse,
And it's almost like salvation,
It's almost like the blues..."

With those almost exactly paraphrased first two lines, is Cohen taking issue with Lennon's ("the great professor"?) perspective in "Imagine", and suggesting that it's his faith in god and the afterlife that helps him get through the horrors, cynicism, and many difficulties of this life?  

Tin -- "He Come Down", Beach Boys. At the time it came out, the song seemed to be a gospely-flavored attempt to spiritualize the Beach Boys' experience with the Maharishi and transcendental meditation. Compared with the substance in this week's other songs, it's light, cliched fluff. 

And if one goes forward a couple albums later to the mediocre 15 Big Ones, we get a bit more of this pseudo-gospelly stuff with "That Same Song". Also, notice Mike's phony turbanized look. What's up with that?

It's time for voting to close shortly. I'll post final results on Monday morning, US time. 

Al Forsyth

Posts: 3,638
Reply with quote  #38 
Tom,  the week is over, but ...

A diamond necklace played the pawn...
paul g adsett

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 1,399
Reply with quote  #39 
forgive me, lords and ladies,
for i have tarried and am sorely sore of arse...

gold: 'god's song'
silver, joint: imagine'
silver, joint: 'almost like the blues'
tin (gulp!': 'he come down'

bless y'all

Tom Tobben

Posts: 1,163
Reply with quote  #40 
We've come to the final day of reckoning and have reached the last judgment based on your votes:

Gold -- "Imagine", John Lennon, 49.5 points (10 gold, 1.5 silver, 2.5 bronze, 0 tin). Looks like Lennon's optimism for a better life here on earth has won out over pinning our hopes on  celestial rapture.

Silver -- "God's Song", Randy Newman, 37 points (3 gold, 6 silver, 2 bronze, 3 tin). Hard to put one's faith in a supreme being that is either helpless to make things better or who seemingly doesn't give a damn or even delights in human misery. 

Bronze -- "Almost Like the Blues", Leonard Cohen, 31.5 points (1 gold, 2.5 silver, 9.5 bronze, 1 tin). Worth all the pain and suffering to place our trust in a final uncertain reward? But lots of guts to challenge the humanist utopian premise of Lennon, "the great professor". 

Tin -- "He Come Down", Beach Boys, 22 points (0 gold, 4 silver, 0 bronze, 10 tin). Looks like Sexy Sadie's wisdom wasn't all that inspirational after all. 

Thanks to all who participated and to those of you who offered up your own theological musings (and additional good songs) this past week!

Might as well close out the week with a few more conflicting perspectives on the subject:

Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,431
Reply with quote  #41 

Thanks, Tom.

It was the second time around for ‘Imagine’.

It won the Bronze in Week 27 of Season I (Lisa Graham) and finished 3rd in the Bronze Play-Off, two points behind 1st place.

Its scores in Week 27 were 53 points and 27.89% of the vote from 19 voters.

This week, it scored 49.5 and 35.36 from 14 voters.

It was the twelfth time (and eighth Gold) a John Lennon song has been used.

His record:

#9 Dream (a Silver in Week 15 of Season I - Verden McCutcheon),
Imagine (a Bronze in Week 27 of Season I, 3rd in Bronze Play-Off - Lisa Graham),
Woman (a Gold in Week 42 of Season I - Darren J. Ray),
Jealous Guy (a Gold in Week 36 of Season IV - Tom Tobben),
Borrowed Time (a Tin in Week 41 of Season IV - Verden McCutcheon),
#9 Dream (a Silver in Week 8 of Season V, 3rd in Silver Play-Off - Popeye (not the sailor)),
God (a Gold in Week 45 of Season V, 10th in Gold Play-Off - Darren J. Ray),
(Just Like) Starting Over (a Gold in Week 7 of Season VIII - D.A.N),
Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) (a Gold in Week 12 of Season VIII - Darren J. Ray),
#9 Dream (a Gold in Week 9 of Season IX, 7th in Preliminary Final - Deb#1),
Woman (a Gold in Week 35 of Season IX - t Bedford),
Imagine (a Gold in Week 11 of Season X - Tom Tobben)

The Beatles as a group have had 33 selections in the Battle; 18 of which have made play-offs.

Their record is 10 Golds, 16 Silvers, 5 Bronzes and 2 Tins (one of which, 'Back in the USSR', won a Tin Play-Off).

Lennon is the solo Beatle with the most Battle entries.

Lennon: 12 entries, 4 play-offs. His highest finish is 10th in the Season V Gold Play-Off with ‘God’.

Paul McCartney: 9 entries*, 2 play-offs. Highest finish: 7th in the Season VII Silver Play-Off with ‘Picasso’s Last Words (Drink to Me)’.

George Harrison: 7 entries, 2 play-offs. Highest finish: 6th in the Season II Gold Play-Off with ‘What is Life’.

Ringo Starr: 1 entry, 1 play-off. Highest finish: 7th in Silver Play-Off of Season IV with ‘You’re Sixteen, You’re Beautiful (and You’re Mine)’.

* includes two songs with Wings, one with Rihanna & Kanye West and one with Linda McCartney.

It was the fourth appearance for Randy Newman.

His record:

Laugh and Be Happy (a Tin in Week 40 of Season II - Teenage Symphony),
I Love L.A. (a Tin in Week 9 of Season V, 5th in Tin Play-Off - Cindy Hood),
Short People (a Gold in Week 38 of Season IX - Deb#1),
God’s Song (a Silver in Week 11 of Season X - Tom Tobben)

It was the third appearance for Leonard Cohen.

His record:

You Want it Darker (a Silver in Week 42 of Season VII - Al Forsyth),
The Guests (a Silver in Week 6 of Season VIII - Tom Tobben),
Almost Like the Blues (a Bronze in Week 11 of Season X - Tom Tobben)

It was the second time around for ‘He Come Down’.

It won the Gold in Week 45 of Season VI (Lee Marshall).

That week, its scores were 52 points and 30.59% from 17 voters.

This week, it scored 22 and 15.71 from 14 voters.

It becomes the seventh song to win both Gold and Tin in separate weeks here, after ‘I Got You Babe’ (Sonny & Cher), ‘Leader of the Pack’ (The Shangri-Las), 'September' (Earth, Wind & Fire), ‘Summer of Love’ (The Beach Boys), 'Funky Pretty' (The Beach Boys) and ‘Solar System (The Beach Boys).

Sixth of the eight tracks from Carl and the Passions have been used, leaving just 'Hold On Dear Brother' and 'Make It Good' untried.

'All This is That' has the best record, twice going deep into the play-offs.

Results are:

You Need a Mess of Help to Stand Alone (a Silver in Week 23 of Season II - Cynthia D. Hood),

Here She Comes (a Tin in Week 27 of Season VII, 4th in Tin Play-Off - bonnie bella),

He Come Down (a Gold in Week 45 of Season VI - Lee Marshall; a Tin in Week 11 of Season X - Tom Tobben),

Marcella (a Gold in Week 19 of Season II - Michael F. Becher),

All This is That (a Gold in Week 14 of Season III, 8th in Gold Play-Off - Cynthia D. Hood; a Silver in Week 2 of Season VI, 1st in Silver Play-Off, 4th in Preliminary Final - D.A.N.),

Cuddle Up (a Gold in Week 44 of Season VI - Cindy Hood)

A live track of 'Marcella' (from The Beach Boys in Concert) was also used in Week 38 of Season I, by John Potter. It won a Gold.

‘Imagine’ is once again a chance for play-offs.

Please continue to support your hosts. 

Previous Topic | Next Topic

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.