30 Day Music Challenge: Day 23

A song you think everybody should listen to.

There’s this one song by a band that no one has heard from again after this album was released that has always evoked meaning for me. Like I could see this magnetic traveling vagrant coming through town telling stories to kids on an early Autumn day. I remember it was a day like that in August 1977, when a then 7-year old learned from the radio news that Elvis Presley had died. I didn’t know who Elvis was, but it seemed like it was a big deal because it was all over the place that “the King of Rock and Roll” had died. I remember running outside where all the neighborhood kids were playing in the street to spread the news.

“A Salvation Army band played, and the children drunk lemonade, and the morning lasted all day…and through an open window came, like Sinatra in a younger day…”
That just says the start of Autumn to me. Crisp air, but not quite the first day of school – back when school didn’t start until after Labor Day. Kids out playing.

I can imagine going back to the winter of 1963 and just being so cold – perhaps it’s the Salvation Army being invoked in the opening verse, maybe just being a lifelong New Englander who knows what it feels like when it’s so cold that it feels like the world would freeze, or maybe the sound of the wind blowing through the air. Perhaps it’s just the thought of a cold winter, paired with the assassination of our young president – the world feeling so cold and dead, yet the promise of what’s to come with this little band out of Liverpool, England who would change rock music forever, like a little sapling growing out of the tundra. A promise that the world does go on.

“In winter 1963, it felt like the world would freeze, with John F Kennedy and the Beatles…”

Maybe it’s the music itself or the repetitive African chant “ah hey ma ma ma ma…” or just the feelings it evokes for me. I don’t know, I’ve just always loved this song.

Wisdom of Crowds picks:

Always on Your Side” Sheryl Crow

Let It Be” The Beatles

The Sounds of Silence” Simon & Garfunkel

L-O-V-E” Nat King Cole

Beloved Wife” Natalie Merchant

At This Point In My Life” Tracey Chapman

Elderly Woman Behind The Counter in a small town” Pearl Jam

The Greatest Love of All” Jane Olivor

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