There are certain songs that give me goosebumps. Maybe it’s the melody. Maybe it’s the harmony. Maybe it’s even the words or the feeling of jesus-christ-listen-to-that-guitar-solo. So I’ve collected together some songs that send a shiver up my spinal cord.
But let’s listen to some goosebumpy music. If you’re interested, you can look at my old stuff later. Go down below the fold.
Wanda Jackson: Hard Headed Woman
Elvis Presley recorded this song. But the meaning is totally different when you hear a woman singing it.
Well a hard headed woman,
a soft hearted man
been the cause of trouble
ever since the world began.
Oh yeah, ever since the world began
a hard headed woman been
a thorn in the side of a man.
Wanda Jackson rocks this song in a big way. The guitarist and the pianist are pretty good on their solos, too. Black and white video from 1958. It sends a chill up my spine.
Jonathan Richman: Everyday Clothes
This is a great love song. "I loved her more in just her plain old everyday clothes." Because love doesn’t depend on clothes or makeup or a hairdo. Love is love.
Traffic: The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys
A lovely song, if a little long. Nice piano solo by Steve Winwood (aka "Little Stevie Winwood"). Nice horns, too.
The percentage you're paying is too high-priced
While you're living beyond all your means
And the man in the suit has just bought a new car
From the profit he's made on your dreams
But today you just read that the man was shot dead
By a gun that didn't make any noise
But it wasn't the bullet that laid him to rest
‘Twas the low spark of high-heeled boys...
Mark Knopfler: Brothers In Arms
The lyrics of this song give me the shivers. And Mark Knopfler is an astonishly great guitarist. Possibly one of the ten best in the world. Here are the lyrics (about being a soldier and wanting to return home, even though you’re dead):
These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Some day you'll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you'll no longer burn
To be brothers in arms
Through these fields of destruction
Baptism of fire
I've watched all your suffering
As the battles raged higher
And though they hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms
There's so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones
Now the sun's gone to hell
And the moon's riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it's written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We're fools to make war
On our brothers in arms
I get tears in my eyes when I hear this song. It’s about a guy who went to war and died far away from home – or at least that’s my interpretation. Here’s the video (with a gigantic orchestra behind him):
The Ink Spots: If I Didn’t Care
I just love this song. Listen to the harmonies. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t be a progressive Democrat.
Wanna See Something Weird?
Here’s an ad for McDonald's burgers from Sweden:
Now, back to music.
Ron Sexsmith-Strawberry Blonde
Ron Sexsmith is a songwriter from Canada. Elvis Costello has said good things about him.
She was not the girl next door
But the girl from 'round the corner
It was at the tail end of grade four
When she came to school one morning
And all eyes were upon her as she took her seat
Her name was Amanda with pretty eyes of green
And hair of blonde, strawberry blonde
A pretty song.
Dusty Springfield-Son Of A Preacher Man
Dusty Springfield was a white girl from England, but she had tons of soul. She was deported from South Africa because she insisted on performing in front of integrated audiences. And this song is so very sexy:
When I was a kid (back in the 1960s), I loved this song and I thought she was black. I thought she sounded like Aretha Franklin.
Bryan Ferry-Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
"Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" was written in 1933. And here’s a really good version by Bryan Ferry (who was in the band called "Roxy Music").
Brian Eno: The True Wheel
I laugh every time he says, "Uh oh, nothing there this time." Brian Eno was also in "Roxy Music" (the first two albums, anyway). This song makes me happy. It sends a thrill down my spine. And the video is pretty cool, too:
Regina Spektor: Fidelity
This is the final song. Regina Spektor has a unique voice. I like the words. I like the black and white video that gets later becomes colorful. It’s a great song and a great video: