Song Challenge – Day 2

I was nominated for a Daily Song Challenge by fellow blogger and friend Lisa Amaya, who has a wonderful blog Life of an El Paso Woman.  If you don’t already follow her, do check it out.

The rules of the challenge are:

Post a song a day for five consecutive days.

Include the name of the song and a video.

Post what the lyrics mean to you. (Optional)

Nominate 1 or 2 bloggers each day of the challenge.

My song choice for Day 2 is California Dreamin’ by the Mamas & Papas. The song was written by ‘Papa’ John Phillips, who was inspired to write it when his wife Michelle was feeling homesick for California. They were living in New York City at the time, and she missed the sunny Southern California weather. All four members of the band – John Phillips, Michelle Phillips, Denny Doherty & Cass Elliott – harmonized beautifully on their songs, and especially so on California Dreamin’. Everything about the song is perfect – the arrangement, lyrics, vocals and instrumentals, most notably the gorgeous flute in the song’s bridge. It’s magic, really, and literally one of my top five favorite songs of all time.

Even though I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, the song really resonated with me. I still vividly remember as a little kid hearing it on the radio while riding in the car with my family from our home in Santa Clara up to San Francisco. We were going to “The City” to watch the Chinese New Years Parade in Chinatown, but things weren’t looking very promising, as it was a gloomy day with rain in the forecast. To this day, I think of that trip to San Francisco whenever I hear California Dreamin’ –  and yes, it ended up raining on our parade! LOL  Many years later I spent 17 years living in St. Louis, which has a lot of cold, gloomy weather in winter. I often found myself California dreamin’ during those periods.

All the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray.
I’ve been for a walk, on a winter’s day.
I’d be safe and warm, if I was in L.A.
California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day.

Today I nominate Zezrie, who has a terrific music blog Jealous Sounds. Check it out.

Song Challenge – Day 1

I’ve been nominated for a Daily Song Challenge by fellow blogger and friend Lisa Amaya, whose wonderful blog Life of an El Paso Woman I strongly recommend my readers check out (if they don’t already, as Lisa’s pretty popular).

The rules of the challenge are:

Post a song a day for five consecutive days.

Include the name of the song and a video.

Post what the lyrics mean to you. (Optional)

Nominate 1 or 2 bloggers each day of the challenge.

My pick for the first day is “No Such Thing” by John Mayer. The song was his first break-out hit, in the summer of 2002 when I had a milestone high school reunion. Not only is he a fantastic guitarist, John always writes deeply compelling lyrics, and for “No Such Thing,” he takes a hard appraisal of high school with a bit of cynicism but also hope. He wasn’t defined by high school, and acknowledges that his best years are ahead of him, and the song lyrics really resonated with me on a personal level, especially since it was getting a lot of radio play at the time my reunion took place. I was never all that popular in high school, being a bit of a dork and lacking confidence, and didn’t go to the junior or senior proms, nor associate with any of the cool kids. It wasn’t until after high school, when I started working and attending college, and meeting a whole new set of friends, that I “blossomed” into a more confident, interesting guy lol!

Here’s a sampling of the song’s lyrics that hit home for me:

Well I never lived the dream of the prom kings and the drama queens.
I’d like to think the best of me is still hiding up my sleeve.
They love to tell you stay inside the lines
But something’s better on the other side
I wanna run through the halls of my high school
I wanna scream at the top of my lungs
I just found out there’s no such thing as a real world
Just a line you got to rise above.

Today I nominate Hope, who has a great music blog LIVELIFETHRUMUSIC, where she interviews up and coming artists and reviews their music.