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Dave Elder's Favorite Songs Playlist

What's my favorite song? That's a tough question, and this playlist is my answer. I don't know that I could ever pick just one song. These are the cuts that I listen to, and that mean something to me. I have lots of memories and stories tied up with them, and I share a portion of those tales on this list. Surely you will recognize some of the tracks here, but probably you'll find some that you don't, and hopefully I can help you discover some good music. You might notice that some numbers are missing, including number 1, and that's because the linked videos are no longer available, so those songs have been removed from the list.

This page only includes a few recent bits. If you'd like to read some older ones, the previous link below will take you to the post before the last one, on my Blogspot runway, which has links to earlier writings. The Master List page has links to all of the playlist Blogspot articles. However, my earliest playlist rambles, before Song 185, only live on this website, since I didn't start posting on Blogspot until February of 2014.


Recent Songs

(Sunday, 10/20/19) Song 482: I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2, with lyrics by Bono and music by U2. You can find a YouTube video of it here. I had become a U2 fan not long after Under a Blood Red Sky appeared, and I had gotten to see them when they played a show in the SF area in 1987, so when Rattle and Hum arrived in the fall of 1988, not long after I moved to Brooklyn, I soon got my own copy, and it became a regular spinner on my turntable, with this cut being one of the more memorable tunes. At the time, I too could have said that I have run, I have crawled, I have scaled these city walls, I have run through the fields, and I have climbed a high mountain, though I wouldn't necessarily have claimed I went up highest mountain. Back then, I also hadn't found what I was looking for, and though I wouldn't make that complaint these days, I still like hearing Bono do it. Personally, I don't recall ever having held the hand of the devil, but I can understand that if someone did so, it was warm in the night when it happened. While I don't believe in the kingdom come when all the colors will bleed into one, and I would hesitate to say that I have spoke with the tongue of angels, I do feel certain that I have kissed honey lips and felt the healing in her fingertips, and anyone who has can be thankful for that.

(Sunday, 10/13/19) Song 481: She by The Monkees, written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. You can find a YouTube video of it here. Growing up in a fundamentalist home, I wasn't allowed to own any LPs of the devil's music, but I had plenty of friends who did have collections, and thanks to them, I got to hear More of the Monkees quite a lot, to the point that I knew every cut on the record well enough to sing along with them all, and to sing them to myself when I was alone, nowhere close to a turntable. This opening track, which is the third MotM to appear on this list (Steppin' Stone is Song 400 and Your Auntie Grizelda is Song 448), became a quick favorite, and I remember singing it to myself a number of times while doing my afternoon job delivering newspapers to my neighbors down the road. The lyrics sounded to me at the time like an apt description of the dynamic between myself and one of my newspaper delivery customer's daughters - I concluded that she liked me hangin' 'round because she needed someone to walk on so her feet didn't touch the ground. Having that kind of connections with a certain recording, it truly surprised me to read that at some point Monkee Michael Nesmith called MotM "probably the worst album in the history of the world" because I really liked it the first time through, and I still do.

(Sunday, 10/6/19) Song 480: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap by AC/DC, written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young and Bon Scott. You can find a YouTube video of it here. AC/DC got a lot of attention with Highway to Hell (Song 425), and rightly so, I thought. Sadly, not long after that tune hit the airwaves, the band's lead singer Bon Scott died at the young age of 33, and a little while after that unfortunate occurrence, the radio gave us another good reason to miss him when stations began airing this cut. As the singer here, his lyrical sketches had outlined an entertaining caricature of a despicable criminal who offers deadly services at a bargain price, letting the listener know where they could find concrete shoes, cyanide, TNT as well as neck ties, contracts, high voltage and other nefarious prizes. Perhaps, if he had lived longer, Bon might have gotten the chance to introduce us to other humorous cartoon characters, but while he didn't have that opportunity, we can still appreciate him musically painting a picture for us of your back door man.

(Sunday, 9/29/19) Song 479: Just Don't Know by Eddy & Kim Lawrence, written by Eddy Lawrence. You can find a YouTube video of it here. Just like my previous personal friend song post seven weeks ago, this week's musical delight also comes from one of my Fast Folk colleagues, appearing here accompanied by his wife. During the early 1990s when we both were hanging out in the NYC area, I found Eddy's work quite inspiring, to the point that I even borrowed the glow from one of his ironic lyrical gems, called Sleepdriving Again, turning it into Drivin' in My Sleep Again (and I just happen to have a lyric video of that Country Drivin' track which you can check out by clicking on the title). This particular jewel originally appeared on his 1992 sparkler Used Parts (which also featured Sleepdriving Again), but I actually only heard it for the first time recently. I had perused a Facebook page of his that showcases his nature photography, and while enjoying and sharing some of his raccoon photos, I also discovered the YT video, which I highly recommend, not just for the cool tune you'll get to hear, but also for the cool raccoon pics that you'll get to see. Regarding the message in the words here, personally, I feel like I've already seen the evil and the silly and the weird and the strange, and I would guess that at this point in his life he has too, and, as we both understand, anything can happen when you just don't know.

(Sunday, 9/22/19) Song 478: Kill For Peace by The Fugs, written by Tuli Kupferberg. You can find a YouTube video of it here. The day after International Peace Day seems like an appropriate moment to add this track to the playlist. Not long after I arrived at NU in the fall of 1969, I started hearing a lot of music I hadn't heard before, thanks mainly to a group of new friends who shared their gems, and one of them introduced me to the humor of the Fugs, which I found quite entertaining. However, I did not get to hear all of their recordings, and I only became aware of this one recently when I posted a query on Facebook asking people about their favorite anti-war songs. Someone suggested this cut, providing a link to it, and even before I got through it the first time, I had decided to add it to my YouTube playlist Dave Elder's Favorite Anti-war Song Videos, which you can check out by clicking on the title. Far or near or very middle east, sadly, plenty of Americans have gone there in the last few decades to kill for peace. The attitude expressed in the lines If you don't like the people or the way they talk, if you don't like their manners or the way they walk, kill, kill, kill for peace might remind you of how some folks feel about immigrants, but when the group did this tune, a large share of the U.S. population feared those gook creeps (the Vietnamese), whereas, these days, plenty of those in the so-called opposition feel that if you let them live they might support the Russians. As the Fugs understood when they created this parody, the real problem is not the target, but the people who need to kill in order to get a mental ease and a big release.

(Sunday, 9/15/19) Song 477: Crash and Burn by The Bangles, written by Vicki Peterson. You can find a YouTube video of it here. The hit Walk Like an Egyptian (Song 271) turned me into a Bangles fan when it came along in 1986, and Different Light became a regular spinner on my turntable during my last 2 years in CA, so when a new Bangles LP appeared not long after I moved to Brooklyn in the fall of 1988, I soon added it to my stash, and it also got plenty of spins. This track closes the album on a very energetic note, and by the time the needle circles around to the final cut, this female quartet has clearly demonstrated their ability to rock as hard as any male crew, though I had already concluded, even prior to my first listen, that they had totally proven that point with their 1986 release. While the singer here expresses the wish that she could Crash and Burn, I'm quite glad she didn't - at least not until after this record got finished. I know what it feels like to Just want to drive and drive and drive, or be in a place where I'm Watching all those bridges burn behind me, but as far as 20/20 hindsight, I do wonder, with the new year only a few months away, just how much genuine hindsight 2020 will actually bring. To make this point, I just happen to have a t-shirt with the slogan I'm for hindsight in 2020 which you can find in my merchandise store (the link is also on the Stuff page).

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