Do-Re-ME: My Favorite Music

Today, I came across Leslie’s Where Bloggers Live. This month’s theme is favorite music.

I am a kid of the 1990s, so, though my parents had a record player, I mostly grew up with cassette tapes and CDs. I remember my father (who was a stay-at-home Dad until I was thirteen) would also often have the radio on in our living room. He generally listened to public radio stations, which didn’t play the latest music and generally were more talk-focused anyway.

As a child and preteen, I was clueless about pop music. I remember the odd ’80s or early ’90s Dutch song, but I had no idea what was “hot”. My parents, aside from public talk radio, listened to 1970s protest songs.

When I was eleven in 1997, my mother encouraged me to develop an interest in music in order to “fit in”. For this reason, I pretended to be into the Backstreet Boys, even though I’d never consciously listened to any of their songs. In reality, I continued to listen to children’s songs for years. In fact, when I went to summer camp in Russia with a group of other teens at age fourteen, I was made acutely aware that listening to children’s songs was definitely not appropriate for someone my age.

I got a stereo player for my twelfth birthday in 1998 and I did buy the odd CD to play on it. I was mostly into ABBA or its upbeat cover band the A-Teens (which I spelled “eighteens” for years). Once I got into mainstream high school in 1999, I occasionally bought CDs recommended by other students in the school newspaper. I still to this day love The Corrs.

I eventually started listening to commercial radio stations at around age fifteen, but I never quite developed a truly defined taste in music. I still like to listen to all kinds of music. Some days, I’m into Dutch songs, usually dialect rock (such as Normaal or Mooi Wark) or truck driving songs. Other times, I’m into Celtic folk, country (usually 1970s songs such as by Bobby Bare or Buck Owens) or southern rock. Still other times, I’m into contemporary Christian music. Sometimes, quite the opposite. I even have a “Punk etc.” playlist on Spotify with songs from the likes of Cock Sparrer. I don’t really listen to that anymore though. Occasionally, I’ll revisit an old favorite genre of mine: world music.

When my now husband and I first met, he asked me what kinds of music I liked. I replied that I liked world music. Once, several years later, I played a favorite CD of mine with Latin music on it, which I’d had in mind at the time. He was glad he hadn’t known back then that this was what I’d meant or he might not have decided to meet me again. He, by the way, was the one who introduced me to most of my current favorite genres and artists.

Song Lyric Sunday: Four

I just saw today’s theme for Song Lyric Sunday and it appealed to me right away. The theme is numbers. I’ve always had a thing for numbers. I have number-color synesthesia, so I really wanted to choose a number for which the color fits the feel of the song. That didn’t work out (or I’m too lazy to think more). Instead, I’m going with a song that has the number four in its title. To my husband and me, four is a special number. This song is also one of my favorite songs.

I’m talking of course about Four Strong Winds. It was originally written by Ian Tyson, of whom I’d never heard until googling this. He and his future wife, Ian and Sylvia, first released it on a single in 1963. I will post the original lyrics, which are slightly different to the ones Bobby Bare sings I think. I’ll post the Bobby Bare cover, as that’s the one I usually listen to.

Song Title: Four Strong Winds
Original Singers: Ian and Sylvia
Covered By: Bobby Bare
Songwriter: Ian Tyson
Original Release Date: 1963

Think I’ll go out to Alberta, weather’s good there in the fall
I got some friends that I could go to working for
Still I wish you’d change your mind,
If I asked you one more time
But we’ve been through this a hundred times or more
Four strong winds that blow lonely, seven seas that run high
All those things that don’t change, come what may
If the good times are all gone, and I’m bound for moving on
I’ll look for you if I’m ever back this way.
If I get there before the snow flies, and if things are looking good
You could meet me if I sent you down the fare
But by then it would be winter, not too much for you to do
And those winds sure can blow cold way out there
Four strong winds that blow lonely, seven seas that run high
All those things that don’t change, come what may
If the good times are all gone, so I’m bound for moving on
I’ll look for you if I’m ever back this way.
Still I wish you’d change your mind,
If I asked you one more time
But we’ve been through that a hundred times or more
Four strong winds that blow lonely, seven seas that run high
All those things that don’t change, come what may
If the good times are all gone, and I’m bound for moving on
I’ll look for you if I’m ever back this way.
I’ll look for you if I’m ever pass this way

Song Lyric Sunday: Street

I just discovered Song Lyric Sunday and the theme for this week truly appeals to me. It is “Street”. Not that we’re required to stick to the theme, but I love me some challenge. Oh well, this was a pretty easy-peasy one. My biggest challenge was choosing between my two favorite songs involving “street”.

I am a big country music fan. I love the guitars, the energetic rhythm and the general feel to them. I also love most of the lyrics. Don’t tell my parents, as they’re pretty politically correct leftist folk music fans.

One day, I decided to play a pretty random country music playlist on Spotify. The first song that I truly loved was by Bobby Bare. I don’t remember which it was. I looked for more songs by him. One of them is “Streets of Baltimore”.

I was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands’ second-largest city, and grew up in a city of 150,000 people too. My husband, on the other hand, feels the city he grew up in is a large city with 11,000 residents. He loves living in a rural area. So, when I discovered “Streets of Baltimore”, I joked my husband could play this song if I ever want to move to a really large city again.

Song Title: Streets of Baltimore
Song writers: Tompall Glaser and Harlan Howard
Singer: Bobby Bare
Release Date: June 1966

I sold the farm to take my woman where she longed to be
We left our kin and all our friends back there in Tennssee
I bought those oneway tickets she had often begged me for
And they took us to the streets of Baltimore.

Her heart was filled with laughter when she saw those city lights
She said the prettiest place on earth is Baltimore at night
Oh well, a man feels proud to give his woman what she’s longing for
And I kind of liked the streets of Baltimore.

Well, I got myself a factory job, I ran an old machine
I bought a little cottage in a neighborhood serene
Yet every night when I came home with every muscle sore
She would drag me through the streets of Baltimore.

Well, I did my best to bring her back to what she used to be
But I soon learned she loved those bright lights much more than she loved me
Now I’m a going back on that same train that brought me here before
While my baby walks the streets of Baltimore.

Yes, my baby walks the streets of Baltimore…