Tag Archives: John Denver

My iPod Has Issues – Working on the Back Porch

27 Aug

I am sitting on the back porch working on stuff for tomorrow’s classes. The sun is shining. A breeze is blowing. The chimes are chiming. The cows are grazing. I decided it was time to take a break from work and see what is happening inside the mind of my iPod.

Here we go.

“Legend of Billy the Kid” by J.E. Mainer’s Mountaineers

“Who Do You Love?” by Bo Diddley

“Free Fallin'” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

“Wasted Time” by The Eagles

“Against All Odds” by Phil Collins

“Maggie May” by Rod Stewart

“Time of the Season” by The Zombies

“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

“Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin

“Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits

“Train, Train” by Blackfoot

“Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green

“Phone Booth” by Robert Cray Band

“Save a Prayer” by Duran Duran

“Song for a Winter’s Night” by Gordon Lightfoot

“Hot in the City” by Billy Idol

“Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” by Neil Diamond

“Sunshine on My Shoulders” by John Denver

“Sonny Got Caught in the Moonlight” by Robbie Robertson

“Slow Movin’ Outlaws” by Waylon Jennings

The American West Coming Through My Speakers

14 Jan

After lunch, I was driving back to work with my iPod cranked up. The sun was shining and masked the coldness of the air. Before turning onto campus, one of my favorite songs came through the speakers.

“I Guess He’d Rather Be in Colorado” was recorded by John Denver, and that is the version on my iPod. However, that is not the version that I first heard and made the song hit me in my soul.

Merle Haggard sang the song in the last scene of Centennial, a 1970s miniseries about the American West. I have already written about that movie and will not repeat myself. That scene is on YouTube, and I urge you to watch it. You will probably recognize some of the actors, and there is a great message. It gets me every time.

When I hear the song, I am reminded of my love for the American West. Its history. Its land. There is nothing better than climbing the dunes at the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Mesa Verde National Park brings back the echoes of the ancient peoples. The streets of Durango harken to the days of yesteryear, and the train in Durango will take you on a great ride to Silverton.Durango

The song is about Colorado, but, to me, it is about the entirety of the West. The mountains. The plains. The deserts. Life the way it was, and life the way it is. This song takes my mind to New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and all of the others states that make up that region. The song says Colorado, but it means everything. To me, the song means relaxation, peace of mind and wide open spaces.

The words go like this.

I guess he’d rather be in Colorado.
He’d rather spend his time out where the sky looks like a pearl after the rain.
Once again I see him walking, once again I hear him talking
to the stars he makes and asking them the bus fare.

I guess he’d rather be in Colorado.
He’d rather play his banjo in the morning when the moon is scarcely gone.
In the dawn the subway’s coming, in the dawn I hear him humming
some old song he wrote of love in Boulder Canyon. I guess he’d rather be in Colorado.

I guess he’d rather be in Colorado.
I guess he’d rather work out where the only thing you earn is what you spend.
In the end up in his office, in the end a quiet cough is all he has to show,
he lives in New York City. I guess he’d rather be in Colorado.

My iPod Has Issues – Back Porch Blogging

13 Jun

I am sitting on the back porch with the laptop in my lap. Is that not where it is supposed to be? The sun is shining, and the birds are chirping. I can hear a lawnmower somewhere in the distance. They say that storms will be overhead later in the day. That is typical for a June afternoon in Tennessee.

Unused firewood is taking up one corner of the deck. It is beside some chairs that are fading in the sun. I can see the strand of a spiderweb attached to one of them as the sunlight glistens off of it. I suppose that I should knock it down, but the spider has spent a lot of time working on it.

It is a relaxing time, and nothing much is going through my mind. There are no clever ideas for a post. There are no psychoses that need to be addressed. It is simply a normal porch-sitting experience.image-38

With nothing to write about, I could end the post, but it does not seem right to stop at 177 words. At least, that is how many words WordPress said I had typed when I typed 177. Instead of stopping, I will turn on the iPod and see what it going on. After that, I will go back to staring at the trees. There is a dead one out there that needs to be dealt with.

“Tetragon” by Woody Shaw

“Save My Soul” by Blues Saraceno

“Fly Away” by John Denver

“Let The Good Times Roll” by Ray Charles

“You Got That Right” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

“The Day Begins” by The Moody Blues

“Loving Her Was Easier” by Kris Kristofferson

“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” by The Righteous Brothers

“Come Fly With Me” by Frank Sinatra

“Tulsa Time” by Don Williams

“Thunderstruck” by AC/DC

“Sweet Georgia Brown” by The California Ramblers

“Lucifer” by The Alan Parson Project

“Slip Away” by Clarence Carter

“Rollin'” by Big and Rich

“She Loves You” by The Beatles

“Amie” by Pure Prairie League

“I Wanna Be Sedated” by The Ramones

“The Beat” by Lou Johnson

“Drops of Jupiter” by Train

My iPod Has Issues – Spring Break Has Come and Gone

16 Mar

Spring Break is over. School starts back, and I have to get my mind right to talk about history. That means getting into my office and spending some quiet time looking over notes. Of course, I have to arrive extra early to ask a couple of my cohorts about their Spring Break trip to Haiti.Spring Break

Getting my mind right also means listening to some tunes. With that in mind, I am going to turn on the iPod and see what kind of “Get My Mind Ready” music it can conjure up.

I think I will cheat and pick the first one.

“School’s Out” by Alice Cooper

“Mr. Tambourine Man” by The Byrds

“Up On The Roof” by The Drifters

“Good Golly Miss Molly” by Little Richard

“99 Problems” by Jay-Z

“Blue Skies” by The Allman Brothers Band

“You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You” by Dean Martin

“Angel Eyes” by Scott Hamilton

“Immune” by Godsmack

“Spirit In The Sky” by Norman Greenbaum

“Sonny Got Caught In The Moonlight” by Robbie Robertson

“The Beat” by Lou Johnson

“Gimme Back My Bullets” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

“A Country Boy Can Survive” by Hank Williams, Jr.

“Sympathy For The Devil” by The Rolling Stones

“Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver

“Bring It On Home To Me” by Sam Cooke

“Big Iron” by Marty Robbins

“Buck’s Boogie” by Matt “Guitar” Murphy

“The Pilgrim: Chapter 33” by Kris Kristofferson

Tomorrow, I will get up bright and early and teach class to a bunch of students who have gotten up just as early. I should enter the room to Elvis’s intro music. I bet that would get their attention.

Childhood Memories – French Fries and Jukeboxes

28 Oct

It is interesting to watch our surroundings change. As time passes, places come and go. Looking back at my town, I can think of places that used to be. There were stores, restaurants and other popular places. They were locations where you could find people who you knew. They were places that helped define the community. It is sad to think that younger folks and newcomers do not know where and what those places were.

For me, the places from my childhood pop into my mind on occasion. I might be riding by where they used to be and remember being there. I could be listening to a song and have the memory of a place come to my mind. In fact, there is one song that always brings a certain place into focus.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite songs was “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver. I have no idea why I liked it, but it still brings a smile to my face when I hear it. The tune is great. The words are great. When I was a kid, I could sing the entire thing.

As an adult, I realize that the song is all mixed up. It is about West Virginia, but the words describe Virginia. It does not matter because I can look past all of that. Instead, this song makes me look back at a restaurant that is long gone.

El Rancho sat on the outskirts of town and specialized in barbecue. For me, it was always an adventure to eat at El Rancho. through the eyes of a child, it was like going on a long journey to a far away place. In fact, it was only a few miles away. I think that it being on the other side of town made it seem further.

There was also the food. I cannot tell you if the barbecue was good, but they always made the best french fries. What kid does not like french fries? On top of that, these were the best french fries ever cooked. I can still see them, smell them and taste them. They were awesome.Jukebox

You are probably asking yourself a question. What does a song about one of the Virginia’s have to do with a barbecue restaurant in Tennessee? the answer brings me to the other adventurous part of the restaurant. The booths had tabletop jukeboxes, and they were the coolest things I had ever seen. I could pick the music in the restaurant by dropping a nickel in the slot and flipping through the pages. Just push a letter and a number and the song would play.

I always picked “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” I would have played it over and over if my parents had let me. After all, who does not want to hear the same song multiple times?

I do not remember when El Rancho closed, and I do not remember the last time we ate there. However, I still remember the french fries, and I still remember playing that song on the jukebox.

My iPod Has Issues – “Talking About Prostitutes is Tiresome” Edition

20 Feb

I cannot think of a single thing to write about. My mind has not been this big of a blank in a long time. Maybe it is frazzled. I have been giving my fabled “Prostitution in the American West” lecture this week, and the effort has drained me. I am also hungry. That could be a big part of it. On second thought, I think it is the prostitutes.Prostitute

Let us go ahead study the craziness that is my iPod.

“Rollin’ Stone” by Muddy Waters

“Mr. Tambourine Man” by The Byrds

“In Bloom” by Nirvana

“Bring Your Love to Me” by Hubert Sumlin

“That Lady” by The Isley Brothers

“Train, Train” by Blackfoot

“OK, So What?” by Freddie North

“Nice ‘n Easy” by Frank Sinatra

“Satan is Her Name” by Steve King

“The Look of Love” by Isaac Hayes

“If Anyone Falls” by Stevie Nicks

“Your Love is Amazing” by Robert Ward

“Back Home Again” by John Denver

“America” by Neil Diamond

“Don’t Forget That You’re My Baby” by The Spidells

“Truck Drivin’ Queen” by Moore and Napier

“With a Little Help From My Friends” by The Beatles

“Got Me Under Pressure” by ZZ Top

“(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais” by The Clash

“How Long” by Ace

Now, I am off to get some food and get some sleep.

My iPod Has Issues – Part 7

5 Aug

As you know by now, my iPod has some real issues. No one has been able to diagnose the problem, but, during this seventh session, we will determine if it could be a split personality disorder.Three Faces

As always, I will put the iPod on shuffle and see which personalities show up.

“See No Evil” by Television

“Annie’s Song” by John Denver

“Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses

“Natural High” by Merle Haggard

“Caldonia” by B.B. King

“Old Man Willis” by Tony Joe White

“Never, Never Gonna Give You Up” by Barry White

“I Just Can’t Help Believin'” by Elvis Presley

“Darlin’ Boys” by The Dillards

“Alone Again” by Dokken

“Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes

“A Good Hearted Woman” by Waylon Jennings

“Amie” by Pure Prairie League

“Just Dropped In” by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition

“Team of Destiny” by Kenny Chesney

“Star Trek” by Alexander Courage

“Du Hast” by Rammstein

“Bat Out of Hell” by Meatloaf

“99 Luft Balloons” by Nena

“Dance Hall Days” by Wang Chung

There you go. Split my iPod is.