#MarcosPlaylist ‘Just the Two of Us’ sung by Grover Washington, Bill Withers and Will Smith #Saturdaysingalong #Tanka #Spotify

Welcome back to #MarcosPlaylist and #SaturdaySingalong with another song from the playlist I made for my grandson in August 2020 on Spotify, when he was just a few days old. I chose my favourite songs with a mellow rhythm to sing to him, dance with him cradled in my arms and perhaps send him to sleep, or at least calm him down! This post, tanka and playlist is for Marcos, now sixteen-weeks old.

Today I’m featuring “Just the Two of Us“, a beautiful song with spellbinding lyrics and an unforgettable melody, written by the great Bill Withers, William Salter and Ralph MacDonald. It has been sung by many artists, but the most memorable are Grover Washington Jr. and Bill Withers.

It was first recorded by Grover Washington Jr. on the album, Winelight (1980). An edited version reached number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100, The song won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song. 

Bill Withers included the edited version on the 1981 compilation Bill Withers’ Greatest Hits and many subsequent greatest hits collections. The following youtube video has over 33 million views!

Seventeen years after its first recording, Will Smith released a single in 1997 which includes some of the lyrics and his own interpretation, which focuses on the relationship between a father and son. It is performed it in rap.

I’m pleased to know I’m not the only person who thought of their son or grandson when they heard and sang the song!

Will Smith also wrote a children’s book with the same title and lyrics (I’ve checked and it’s out of print).

Today’s #Tanka for Marcos

Just the Two of Us

Spending time with you
Is like a crystal rainbow
Lighting up the sky,
Made of magic raindrops falling,
When the sun comes shining through.
****

Marcos was just a week old in this picture!

#MarcosPlaylist ‘Hushabye Mountain’ sung by Pink Martini “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” Dick van Dyke #Saturdaysingalong #Tanka #Spotify

Welcome back to #MarcosPlaylist and #SaturdaySingalong with another song from the playlist I made for my grandson in August 2020 on Spotify, when he was just a few days old. I chose my favourite songs with a mellow rhythm to sing to him, dance with him cradled in my arms and perhaps send him to sleep, or at least calm him down! This post, tanka and playlist is for Marcos, now fifteen-weeks old.

Today I’m featuring a real lullaby, a song from my favourite children’s film, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which I hope to watch with Marcos, in a few years time.

The song is called Hushabye Mountain. It was written by Robert and Richard Sherman for the motion picture Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Caractacus Potts played by the great Dick Van Dyke sings the song to his children.

We had the soundtrack album at home and I used to play it all the time. I danced around the house singing all the songs well into my teens!

I’ve sung it to all my grandchildren as I cradled them to sleep, and they’ve all loved it and fallen asleep to it, so it’s still a very special song for me, from a very special film, probably because my father was mostly absent in my childhood, and I fell in love with the wonderful, single-parent father in this film.

Here’s the scene from the film.

The version I have on Spotify is by a musical group I had never heard of, before I found the song there, called Pink Martini, a band formed in 1994 by pianist Thomas Lauderdale in Portland, Oregon. Pink Martini is like a little orchestra with two lead vocalists, playing different styles, including classical, traditional and pop. Here’s their version of the song on spotify:

#Tanka Hushabye Mountain

A gentle breeze blows

Across Lullaby Bay, to

Hushabye Mountain,

Sailing your worries away,

Close your eyes, it’s time to sleep.

****

Marcos was just a week old in this picture!

 

#MarcosPlaylist ‘Ain’t no Mountain High Enough’ sung by Marvin Gaye, Tammy Terrell, Diana Ross “Stepmom” #Saturdaysingalong #Tanka #Spotify

Welcome back to #MarcosPlaylist and #SaturdaySingalong with another song from the playlist I made for my grandson in August 2020 on Spotify, when he was just a few days old. I chose my favourite songs with a mellow rhythm to sing to him, dance with him cradled in my arms and perhaps send him to sleep, or at least calm him down! This post, tanka and playlist is for Marcos, now fifteen-weeks old.

Today I’m featuring Ain’t no Mountain High Enough, the song which has plenty of verions, was written by Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson in 1966 and became a hit in 1967, when Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, recorded it.

Later in 1970 it became a hit again thanks to Diana Ross’s  version which was her first solo number-one hit, nominated for a Grammay Award, after leaving the Supremes.

I vividly remember watching this scene in Stepmom (1998) with my own teenage daughters, now mothers with young children. We all cried our eyes out in this scene, when ‘the mother’, the wonderful, Susan Sarandon, sings the song with her young kids, because it is so emotional. No spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, watch it with a huge box of hankies. By the way, a very young, Julia Roberts, is the (not wicked) stepmom and Ed Harris, is the children’s father.

It’s such a comforting thought, that the person you love will be there when you need them. We can all relate to that need for safety, love and support. I really enjoyed singing this song to Marcos and I hope he’ll be able to count on his grandmother for many years to come! This Tanka is for him.

If you need my help,

Ain’t no mountain high enough,

To keep me away,

No matter how far you are,

I’ll find a way to your side.

****

 

#MarcosPlaylist ‘Ain’t no Sunshine when she’s gone’ by Bill Withers and ‘Days of Wine and Roses’ #Saturdaysingalong #Tanka #Halloween

Welcome back to #MarcosPlaylist and #SaturdaySingalong with another song from the playlist I made for my grandson in August 2020 on Spotify, when he was just a few days old. I chose my favourite songs with a mellow rhythm to sing to him, dance with him cradled in my arms and perhaps send him to sleep, or at least calm him down! This post, tanka and playlist is for Marcos, now fourteen-weeks old.

Today I’m featuring Ain’t no Sunshine when she’s gone, a song which has plenty of verions but it was written and originally sung by the great singer, songwriter and musician, who passed away last March (2020), Bill Withers, from his 1971 album, Just as I am. Withers was three-time Grammy award winner and wrote three of my favourite songs: Lovely Day, Just the Two of Us and Ain’t no Sunshine.

Withers reportedly wrote the song after watching the powerful and tragic drama about a couple’s battle with alcoholism, staring Lee Remmick and Jack Lemmon, Days of wine and Roses. If you haven’t seen the film yet, it’s a classic, but make sure you have a box of hankies nearby.

Days of Wine and Roses (1962) — The Movie Database (TMDb)

Screenwriter JP Miller found the title in a poem by English poet and novelist Ernest Dowson (1867–1900) associated with the so-called Decadent movement, which included artists such as, my beloved, Beaudelaire.

I’ll never forget how impressed I was the first time I read Les Fleurs du Mal, while working as an au pair and studying French in Amiens, France. I remember thinking I was so glad and fortunate that I could read it in French:  ‘Je suis belle, ô mortels! comme un rêve de pierre,’  from his poem La Beauté, pure magic, but I digress…

When Bill Withers wrote the song, he was working in a factory making bathrooms. I love this tidbit of information, which just goes to show how inspiration knows no bounds. I can imagine Bill, wearing an overall, hammer in one hand, and bathroom sink in the other, humming ‘ain’t no sunchine when she’s gone…’

It proves that imagination and creativity is in our minds, and nowhere else!

Anyway, back to the song, my favourite version is Bill withers, but Daryl Hall is a close second.

Today’s a special and sad day. It’s Halloween, that means literally, All Hallows Eve, or the night before All Hallows 1st of November (All Saints Day), and All Souls Day, 2nd of November. During these three days many Christians, all over the world, myself included, remember, honour, and pray for, our deceased relatives. We often visit cemeteries, clean the headstones and put fresh flowers on tombs, while we say a prayer, which is what I did this morning. 

Today’s tanka is dedicated to my sister, Elsa, who passed away 31 years ago, but I miss her every single day. 

She’s been gone too long…

They are no longer,

Our days of wine and roses. 

Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone,

Summer days are overdue,

‘Cause she’s been gone too long.

 

#MarcosPlaylist ‘Night Birds’ by Shakatak #Spotify #Saturdaysingalong #Tanka

Welcome back to #MarcosPlaylist and #SaturdaySingalong with another song from the playlist I made for my grandson in August 2020 on Spotify, when he was just a few days old. I chose my favourite songs with a mellow rhythm to sing to him, dance with him cradled in my arms and perhaps send him to sleep, or at least calm him down! This post, tanka and playlist is for Marcos, now thirteen-weeks old.

Today I’m featuring Night Birds, an Album and song by the English jazz-funk band Shakatak, founded in 1980. Both the album and the song released in 1982, reached the top ten.  All the songs in the album were written by keyboardist, Bill Sharpe and drummer, Roger Odell.

The group is still active, in fact they have just released a 3CD and DVD Boxset All Around the World 40th Anniversary.   

All Around the World (40th Anniversary Edition)

The song’s lyrics are short, seven lines and 33 words. The lyrics are evocative, but my favourite sequence of the song is the instrumental part, which is most of the over six, wonderful minutes the song lasts. What can I say? I love dancing around the house,  with Marcos in my arms, humming the tune and singing the song.  

Here’s the Spotify link: 

Here’s my Tanka inspired by the music and lyrics, dedicated to Marcos. 

Night Birds

Flying through the night,

Across blackened sky, cool breeze, 

City lights brighten heavens, 

Nightbirds flutter, piano plays,

Kiss the day goodbye. 

****

Watch them sing the song live on YouTube from Tokio in 2016.

I hope you have a long, lazy Sunday, free to do whatever makes you happy.

I’m driving about 800 kilometers to visit my mother. Actually, my husband’s driving and I’m writing this post! I was over the top busy yesterday, packing etc. so this weeks’ #Saturdaysingalong is being posted on Sunday.  

what are you doing this weekend?

Do you have a special Spotify playlist or favourite song you’d like to share? Go ahead and tell us in the comments!

Stay safe, singalong, enjoy and have a great Sunday!

Image by Geralt at pixabay.com

 

#MarcosPlaylist ‘Easy (Like a Sunday Morning)’ by Commodores #Spotify #Saturdaysingalong #Tanka

Welcome back to #MarcosPlaylist and #SaturdaySingalong with another song from the playlist I made for my grandson in August 2020 on Spotify, when he was just a few days old. I chose my favourite songs with a mellow rhythm to sing to him, dance with him cradled in my arms and perhaps send him to sleep, or at least calm him down! This post, tanka and playlist is for Marcos, now twelve-weeks old.

Today I’m featuring Easy (like a Sunday morning) a song written by the great, grammy-award-winning artist, Lionel Ritchie and made famous by Commodores, the popular soul, dance and funky group of which he was a member, until he launched his solo career in 1982.

Lionel Richie in 2017.jpg

Richie receiving the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors

Easy became a hit in 1977, when I was in my first year at Westfield College, such a long time ago, and yet it seems like yesterday! 

Here’s the youtube remasterised version. Don’t you just love the shiny costumes flickering all over the screen! It takes me right back to the Age of Glitter in Pop Culture in the seventies; David Cassidy, Marc Bolan, David Bowie, shiny icons, sparkling stars, I danced and sang-along with them all! Such glowing memories!

Free as summer sunbeams,

Easy like Sunday morning,

Loose like shooting star, 

Unchained, unfettered, serene,

Heart glittering in night sky. 

I hope you have a long, lazy Sunday, free to do whatever makes you happy.

I’m looking forward to mine, although I’ll be busy converting my basement into a playroom for my grandchildren. 
what are you doing this weekend?

Do you have a special Spotify playlist or favourite song you’d like to share? Go ahead and tell us in the comments!

Stay safe, singalong, enjoy and have a great Saturday and Sunday!

Image by Geralt at pixabay.com

 

 

#MarcosPlaylist ‘What the world needs now’ by Jackie DeShannnon #Spotify #Saturdaysingalong #Tanka

Welcome back to #MarcosPlaylist and #SaturdaySingalong with another song from the playlist I made for my grandson in August 2020 on Spotify, when he was just a few days old. I chose my favourite songs with a mellow rhythm to sing to him, dance with him cradled in my arms and perhaps send him to sleep, or at least calm him down!

Today I’m featuring What the world needs now, a wonderful song composed by the great Burt Bacharach and made famous by the singer, Jackie DeShannon in 1965, when I was six years old! 

Jackie has recently launched a remasterised Anthology of her songs  including hits such as Lonely Girl. She’s also famous for composing Grammy Award Winning Song, Bette Davis Eyes, in 1974, although the song was made famous by singer, Kim Carnes.

 

Again, I love the calming rhythm and uplifting lyrics as I singalong with Marcos! Here’s the spotify link:

This post, tanka and playlist is dedicated to my now eleven-week old grandson, Marcos.

What the world needs now,

Is love, sweet love, honest love,

Like a mother’s love,

You don’t need to reach the stars,

Just enjoy and share the love.

****

Do you have a special Spotify playlist or favourite song you’d like to share? Go ahead and tell us in the comments!

Stay safe, singalong, enjoy and have a great Saturday!

Image by Geralt at pixabay.com

 

Full Moon Rituals and #Tanka #WednesdayThoughts #WWWBlogs

The moon shone last night

Like a beacon in the sky,

I watched, mesmerised,

As she glided serenely,

Granting my dreams and  wishes.

I took these photos last night, from the window of my study, as I was editing one of my almost finished novels. It’s not full yet, the Harvest Moon will be tomorrow, 1st of October, but it was so mesmerising that I started on my monthly full moon ritual, which I’d like to share with you today.

Firstly, I’d like to say that although I haven’t copied it from anyone, I can’t say I’ve invented a ritual to the full moon, which is something that has been happening, in one way or another, probably since the first human looked up and saw this beautiful planet (I know some experts say it isn’t a planet, but others do, and I’m not going to get into a semantic or scientific argument here, I’ll just go ahead and call it a planet, because I want to endow it with all the majesty it deserves).

I usually feel energised and optimistic around a full moon, especially as I’m able to watch it shrink and grow every night, as I live in the south of Spain, where the sky is often clear. So, I seize this welcome enthusiasm to boost my creativity and I also reflect on the past month and plan my goals for the month ahead.

I’m going to share my own 3-step ritual, which I’ve developed over some years. It works for me, and maybe it will work for you, as it is, or with some adaptations to your lifestyle and preferences.

I use the words goals and wishes interchangeably, depending on my mood, but I think we’re all aware that a wish is a goal without a plan and a wish really needs to have a plan to happen.

I open a notebook I keep for this sole purpose and follow this simple but empowering process.

Step one: Major Goals / Wishes

I think carefully about what I want to accomplish in the coming months and write down three goals or wishes with three main words only (articles, prepositions etc. don’t count).

It’s really important to be specific and clear. This step usually takes the longest because often we’re not really sure of what it is we want exactly, and that may be why we never achieve it!

Here are three examples:

  • Balance Mind and Body
  • Finsh my Ongoing novels
  • Improve my relationship with my sister

This first step is the most general, but it’s important think carefully about what you want to achieve and be specific.

Step Two

Take each goal and set three sub goals. That means three things you must do to achieve the major goal.

So for example for goal number 1: Balance Mind and Body, your three sub-goals might be:

  • Take a 30 minute walk
  • Eat a healthy diet, and
  • Challenge your mind to grow

Step Three

The next step is to take each sub goal and write three more sub goals for each one.

So the whole thing would look like this:

1.     Balance Mind and Body

1.1 Take a 30 minute walk 1.2 Eat a healthy Diet 1.3 Challenge your Mind to Grow
1.1.1 Buy suitable shoes and clothes

1.1.2 Set a time for walking

1.1.2 Prepare a playlist or audiobook

1.2.1 Find out about sensible diets

1.2.2 Buy specific book/s

1.2.3 Plan a weekly diet

 

1.3.1 Listen to a Ted Talk and comment

1.3.2 Read a self-help book

1.3.3 Learn a new language/hobby

2.     Finish my ongoing novel

2.1 Set a time to write 2.2 Activate my creativity 2.3 Read a variety of genres
2.1.1 Collect notes and outlines

2.1.2 Reread everything I’ve written

2.1.3 Plan my next steps

2.2.1 Start writing morning pages

2.2.2 Interview my characters about novel

2.2.3 Journal with questions before sleeping

2.3.1 Read similar books to my own

2.3.2 Read latest bestseller

2.3.3 Read a completely different genre

3.     Improve my relationship with my sister

3.1.Make Contact regularly 3.2 Set up a monthly meeting 

 

3.3 Understand my negative emotions

 

3.1.1 Send weekly text-message

3.1.2 Phone every 8-10 days

3.1.3. Remember significant dates

3.2.1 Invite her to a family lunch

3.2.2 Ask her to go shopping with you

3.2.3 Visit a common relative together

 

3.3.1 Investigate about sibling relationships

3.3.2 Write an imaginary dialogue with sister

3.3.3 Learn about meditation and relaxation

All in all you have 39 general and specific goals, which will help you achieve your dreams/wishes/goals.

I don’t usually prepare a chart like this one, I did that for your benefit, so it would look clearer, but I’m actually thinking of using it myself!

What I do is write each goal and sub goal on a new page and include notes as I revise, which I do regularly, including new ideas and acievements.

At least once a month when there is a new full moon, I revise my goals, reset or modify and do the same process all over again.

It does take time, I usually take a couple of evenings at least. You’ll find that most of the time is devoted to thinking and writing goals with clarity, there is a great power to writing it all down and holding yourself accountable for what you do to fulfill your dreams, because it’s not enough to just look at the moon and wish, you really have to do something about achieving it, too!

Finally, I’ve learnt never to be hard on myself, sometimes things don’t work out as planned, life happens, there are hold-ups and changes of plan, that’s why I revise and go ahead. Life is a journey, not a destination.

#MarcosPlaylist ‘For Once in my Life’ by Steve Wonder #Spotify #Saturdaysingalong #Tanka

Last month I made a playlist with some of my favourite melodies on Spotify. I chose those which had a mellow rhythm and would hopefully lull my newborn grandson, Marcos, to sleep, or at least calm him down!

I’m not a great fan of most nursery songs for helping children to sleep or relax, they’re either too short and repetitive or too lively to encourage rest!

As I compiled some of my some of my favourite,  calming songs, I also use this playlist sometimes while I’m writing, although mostly I prefer silence. 

I’ll be posting one of the songs with a haiku or tanka on Saturdays with the spotify link to the song.

Singalong, enjoy and have a great Saturday!

 

For once in her life
She has someone who needs her,
His voice fills her hopes,
His smile fills her heart with love,
Her dreams shine in his wide eyes.

For Lidia.

****

I love Steve Wonder’s songs! They’re so feel-good and emotionally energising. There’s more than one in Marcos’ playlist. 

Which is your favourite Steve Wonder song? Let me know in the comments.

Do you have a special Spotify playlist you’d like to share? Go ahead and share in the comments.

Stay safe and remember…

Writers in #Autumn #Tanka

Writers in Autumn

Season of Memories,
Weighing heavy on our hearts,
Bursting to be told,
Minds whirl with inspiration,
Words pour out like aged wine.
****

Welcome back to my blog!

I hope you’ve been coping well with the uncertain and unexpected times we’ve all had to deal with.

Some challenging situations have come my way, as well as the epidemic we’re all coping with, fortunately the storm is ebbing, and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

However, not everything which has required my undivided attention has been disheartening, I’ve also had the joy and privilege of meeting my fifth grandchild, Marcos, who is a real blessing for our family.

I always feel a bit nostalgic in September, after the long summer months and change of season, but I also have lots of new projects on the go, which I’ll be sharing with you shortly.

Meanwhile, stay safe and be happy!