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Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Tune o’ the Day

In 1958, Ron Isley of the Isley Brothers spontaneously ended a live show by calling out, “You know you make me wanna…” and the audience answered “Shout!” It worked so well that the band ended all future live performances with a “shout” call-and-response.

The following year, they expanded the routine into a song. They gathered friends at the recording studio to create a party atmosphere, recorded the tune in two parts, and released them on the flip sides of a 45 rpm record.

Shout” has been covered numerous times, most notably by The Beatles, as featured in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” and the version by the fictional band Otis Day and the Knights in “Animal House”

Both of those covers are excellent — as is the original by the Isley Brothers.

Shout, Parts 1 and 2

By the Isley Brothers, 1959
Written by O’Kelly Isley, Jr., Rudolph Isley, and Ronald Isley

[Part 1]

We-e-e-e-e-ellll…

You know you make me wanna (Shout!)
Kick my heels up and (Shout!)
Throw my hands up and (Shout!)
Throw my head back and (Shout!)
Come on now (Shout!)

Don’t forget to say you will.
Don’t forget to say
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
(Say you will.)
Say it right now, baby.
(Say you will.)
Come on, come on.
(Say you will.)
Say it, will you-ooooo!
(Say you will.)
You got it, now!

(Say) Say that you love me.
(Say) Say that you need me.
(Say) Say that you want me.
(Say) You wanna please me.
(Say) Come on now.
(Say) Come on now.
(Say) Come on now.
(Say) Come on now.

I still remember
(Shooby-doo-wop, do-wop, wop, wop, wop.)
When you used to be nine years old.
(Shooby-doo-wop, do-wop, wop, wop, wop.)
Yeah, yeah!
I was a fool for you from the bottom of my soul, yeah!
(Shooby-doo-wop, do-wop, wop, wop, wop.)
Now that you’ve grown up
(Shooby-doo-wop, do-wop, wop, wop, wop.)
Enough to know, yeah, yeah,
(Shooby-doo-wop, do-wop, wop, wop, wop.)
You wanna leave me. You wanna let me go.
(Shooby-doo-wop, do-wop.)

I want you to know.
I said I want you to know right now, yeah!
You been good to me baby.
Better than I been to myself. Hey! Hey!
And if you ever leave me,
I don’t want nobody else. Hey! Hey!
I said I want you to know. Hey!
I said I want you to know right now. Hey! Hey!

You know you make me wanna (Shout!)
(Wooo!) Hey. Yeah. (Shout!)
(Wooo!) Yeah, yeah, yeah. (Shout!)
(Wooo!) All right! (Shout!)
(Wooo!) All right! (Shout!)
(Wooo!) Come on now! (Shout!)
Come on now! (Shout!)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. (Shout!)
Yeah, yeah, yeah (Shout!)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. (Shout!)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. (Shout!)
(Shout!) All right.
(Shout!) It’s all right.
(Shout!) All right.
(Shout!) All right (Aah!)

Now waaaiittt a minute!

[Part 2]

I feel aaaaaaaallll right!
(Yeah-yeah! Yeah-yeah! Yeah-yeah!)
(Oooooooh!)
Now that I got my woman
I feel aaaaaaaallll right!
(Yeah-Yeah!)
Every time I think about you.
You been so good to me.

You know you make me wanna (Shout!)
(Wooo!) Lift my heels up and (Shout!)
(Wooo!) Throw my head back and (Shout!)
(Wooo!) Kick my heels up and (Shout!)
(Wooo!) Come on now. (Shout!)
(Wooo!) Take it easy. (Shout!)
(Wooo!) Take it easy. (Shout!)
(Wooo!) Take it easy. (Shout!)

A little bit softer now. (Shout!)
A little bit softer now. (Shout!)
A little bit softer now. (Shout!)
A little bit softer now. (Shout!)
A little bit softer now. (Shout!)
A little bit softer now. (Shout!)
A little bit softer now. (Shout!)
A little bit softer now. (Shout!)
A little bit softer now. (Shout!)
A little bit softer now. (Shout!)
A little bit softer now. (Shout!)
A little bit softer now. (Shout!)
A little bit softer now. (Shout!)
A little bit softer now. (Shout!)
A little bit softer now. (Shout!)
A little bit softer now. (Shout!)
A little bit softer now. (Shout!)
A little bit softer now. (Shout!)

A little bit louder now. (Shout!)
A little bit louder now. (Shout!)
A little bit louder now. (Shout!)
A little bit louder now. (Shout!)
A little bit louder now. (Shout!)
A little bit louder now. (Shout!)

(Wooo!) A little bit louder now. (Shout!)
(Wooo!) A little bit louder now. (Shout!)
(Wooo!) A little bit louder now. (Shout!)
(Wooo!) A little bit louder now. (Shout!)
(Wooo!) A little bit louder now. (Shout!)
(Wooo!) A little bit louder now. (Shout!)

Hey-ey-ey-ey!
(Hey-ey-ey-ey!)
Hey-ey-ey-ey!
(Hey-ey-ey-ey!)
Hey-ey-ey-ey-ey-ey!
(Hey-ey-ey-ey-ey-ey!)
Hey-ey-ey-ey-ey-ey!
(Hey-ey-ey-ey-ey-ey!)

Jump now.
Jump up and shout now. (Wooo!)
Jump up and shout now. (Wooo!)
Jump up and shout now. (Wooo!)
Jump up and shout now. (Wooo!)
Jump up and shout now. (Wooo!)

Everybody shout now. (Wooo!)
Everybody shout now. (Wooo!)
Everybody, shout, shout. (Wooo!)
Shout, shout, shout. (Wooo!)
Shout, shout, shout. (Wooo!)
Shout, shout, shout. (Wooo!)

https://rockysmith.files.wordpress.com/2022/07/shout-parts-1-and-2.mp3

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Tune o’ the Day

According to one music critic, the alternative rock band Madder Rose “suggests the druggy languor of a heroin high.” Maybe that explains why the group’s lyrics are so vague.

Madder Rose toured and recorded through the 90s, ebbed for a while, and resurfaced in 2019 with a new digital album, “To Be Beautiful.” Regrettably, the new songs don’t measure up.

But plenty of their earlier tunes do. “What Holly Sees” from 1994 is a pretty good example. It has a great melody and arrangement, fuzzy lyrics (who the heck is Holly?), and, yes, the druggy languor of a heroin high.

What Holly Sees

By Madder Rose, 1994
Written by William Cote

Maybe you can sleep at night.
Anger in the wind —
It comes and goes.
The voice of reason rears its head,
And sings its little song
So soft and low.
So soft and low.
But I can tell by the way you walk,
And I can tell by the way you talk,
Yes, I can see by the way you smile,
That you’ll be gone in a little while.
Oh, I can see what Holly sees,
But it’s just not real to me.

Walking by the laundromat.
Here it comes —
That old familiar sound.
And if you try to get away,
It’s something they can use
To keep you down.
To keep you down.

But I can tell by the way you walk,
And I can tell by the way you talk,
Yes, I can see by the way you smile
That you’ll be gone in a little while.
Oh, I can see what Holly sees,
But it’s just not real to me.

‘Cause I can tell by the way you walk,
And I can tell by the way you talk,
Yes, I can see by the way you smile,
That you’ll be gone in a little while.
Oh, I can see what Holly sees,
But it’s just not real to me.

https://rockysmith.files.wordpress.com/2022/06/what-holly-sees.mp3

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Tune o’ the Day

Graham Nash wrote “Teach Your Children” while he was a member of The Hollies, but didn’t record it until 1969, after he had moved on to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The song appears on the 1970 CSNY album “Déjà Vu.”

Nash said the inspiration for the song was a 1962 photo by Diane Arbus entitled “Child With Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park.” Noting the boy’s aggressive attitude, Nash said society should be more aware of what children learn from adults about war and violence.

Bonus fact: “Teach Your Children” features Jerry Garcia on the steel guitar.

Teach Your Children

By Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, 1970
Written by Graham Nash

You, who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by.
And so, become yourself,
Because the past is just a goodbye.

Teach your children well.
Their fathers’ hell did slowly go by.
And feed them on your dreams,
The one they pick, the one you’ll know by.

Don’t you ever ask them “Why?”
If they told you, you would cry.
So just look at them and sigh,
And know they love you.

And you (Can you hear?)
Of tender years (And do you care?)
Can’t know the fears (And can you see?)
That your elders grew by. (We must be free.)
And so, please help (To teach your children.)
Them with your youth. (What you believe in.)
They seek the truth (Make a world.)
Before they can die. (That we can live in.)

And teach your parents well.
Their children’s hell will slowly go by.
And feed them on your dreams,
The one they pick, the one you’ll know by.

Don’t you ever ask them, “Why?”
If they told you, you would cry.
So just look at them and sigh,
And know they love you.

https://rockysmith.files.wordpress.com/2022/04/teach-your-children.mp3

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Lynyrd Skynyrd’s debut album was a long time coming. The group formed in 1964 and performedunder several names before becoming Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1969. Because of touring commitments, they didn’t release an album until 1973.

Among the songs on that album was “Simple Man,” which was included over the objections of the band’s producer, Al Kooper. He thought the song was weak and urged the band to drop it.

The band members disagreed. Reportedly, Ronnie Van Zandt escorted Kooper to his car and told him to stay there until the song was recorded. Kooper complied.

Simple Man

By Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1973
Written by Gary Rossington and Ronnie Van Zandt

Mama told me when I was young,
“Come sit beside me, my only son.
And listen closely to what I say.
And if you do this, it’ll help you, some sunny day.

“Oh, take your time. Don’t live too fast.
Troubles will come, and they will pass.
Go find a woman, and you’ll find love.
And don’t forget, son, there is someone up above.

“And be a simple kind of man.
Oh, be something you love and understand.
Baby, be a simple kind of man.
Oh, won’t you do this for me, son, if you can.

“Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold.
All that you need is in your soul.
And you can do this, oh, babe, if you try.
All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied.

“And be a simple kind of man.
Oh, be something you love and understand.
Baby, be a simple kind of man.
Oh, won’t you do this for me, son, if you can.”

Oh, yes, I will.

“Oh, don’t you worry, you’ll find yourself.
Follow your heart and nothing else.
And you can do this, oh, babe, if you try.
All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied.

“And be a simple kind of man.
Oh, be something you love and understand.
Baby, be a simple kind of man.
Oh, won’t you do this for me, son, if you can.

“And baby, be a simple, real simple man.
Oh, be something you love and understand.
Baby, be a simple kind of man.”

https://rockysmith.files.wordpress.com/2022/04/simple-man.mp3

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The alt-rock band Concrete Blonde released its debut album in 1986. The song “True” was included on the album twice, once with lyrics and again as an instrumental.

In 2002, after breaking up and reforming, as so many bands do, ho-hum, Concrete Blonde released “Group Therapy,” an album that includes “True, Part III.”

In 2012, the band disbanded again. Johnette Napolitano wrote in a farewell message, “Music lives on. Keep Listening. Long after we’re gone, the music will still be there.” Indeed.

As good as they were, Concrete Blonde somehow never clicked with the public and rose to the top. Such a shame.

In my subjective opinion, all three versions of “True” are well done, artistically and technically.

Which is why I present them to you herewith.

True

By Concrete Blonde, 1986
Written by Johnette Napolitano and James Mankey

When I’ve had enough,
I’ll get a pickup truck,
And I’ll drive away.
I’ll take my last ten bucks
Just as far as it will go.

Sometimes I’m easily fooled.
I take a painful step,
And I get knocked back two.
I do what I can,
And it’s all I can do.
But I’m true.

And if I had the choice,
I’d take the voice I got,
‘Cause it was hard to find.
You know I’ve come too far
To wind up right back where I started.

And they tell me who I should be.
I’ll never let those monkeys
Make a mess out of me.
I give all I am,
And it’s all I can do.
Ah, but I’m true.

One more sunset.
Lay my head down.
True.
One more sunrise.
Open my eyes up.
True.

And then they talk you up,
And then they talk you down,
And you begin to doubt.
Sometimes the reasons seem so very far away.

Ah, but I’d stop breathing today,
‘Cause if I can’t walk proud,
I’d rather walk away.
I do all I am, and it’s all I can do.
But I’m true.

I’d give all I am and give it to you.
True.
So true.

https://rockysmith.files.wordpress.com/2022/02/concrete-blonde-true.mp3

The instrumental version:

https://rockysmith.files.wordpress.com/2022/02/concrete-blonde-true-instrumental.mp3

True, Part III

By Concrete Blonde, 2002
Written by Johnette Napolitano and James Mankey

And I
Will leave this life,
And I will know
I’ve done the very best I can.

And I
Will leave behind
Strain and pain
And take the blame for who I am.

And I,
I tried,
Tried to find a way
To hang it all together,
Oh, together.

And when
I leave this life,
What will you say of me,
You, who never knew my heart?

For I
Will leave behind
The sound of a woman
Who knew what was true
From the start.

And I,
I wanna slide
Out of my old hide
All clean and free and better.

Yeah, I
Wanna ride
Off into a wild new morning,
Off into forever.

Forever.

Oh, I,
I wanna ride
Off into some wild new morning,
Off into forever.

Oh, I,
I wanna slide
Out of my old hide
All clean and free and better.
Oh, forever.

https://rockysmith.files.wordpress.com/2022/02/concrete-blonde-true-part-iii.mp3

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Tune o’ the Day

The expression “somewhere over the rainbow” means, in effect, you believe something better lies ahead. In 1939, that thought became a song by Judy Garland in the film “The Wizard of Oz” and thereafter gained considerable fame.

Over the years, numerous singers have released versions of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” But none did it better than the late Hawaiian singer-songwriter-activist Israel Kamakawiwoʻole.

His name is pronounced “Kah-me-ka-vee-voll-olay.” In Hawaiian, it means “the fearless eye, the bold face.” Israel was known to fans by the nicknames Bruddah and Iz.

In 1988, Iz reportedly went to a studio at 3AM, where he sang and played a medley of “Rainbow” and Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” recording it in one take. In 1990, the song was released on his debut album.

Iz became wildly popular, and NPR dubbed him “the voice of Hawaii.” Sadly, he died in 1997 at age 38 from respiratory failure due to the obesity that had plagued him since childhood. At his funeral, 10,000 people watched as his ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World

By Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, 1988
Written by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg / Written by Bob Thiele and George Weiss

Okay, this one’s for Gabby

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh-ooh,
Ooh-ooh-ooh.
Ooh, ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh,
Ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh.

Somewhere over the rainbow,
Way up high.
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Once in a lullaby.

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow,
Blue birds fly.
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Dreams really do come true, ooh-ooh,
Ooh-ooh-ooh.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star,
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where trouble melts like lemon drops,
High above the chimney tops,
That’s where you’ll find me.

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow,
Blue birds fly.
And the dream that you dare to —
Oh, why, oh, why can’t I? I? I?
I? I? I?

Well, I see trees of green, and
Red roses, too.
I’ll watch them bloom for
Me and you.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

Well, I see skies of blue,
And I see clouds of white.
And the brightness of day
Highlight the dark.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people passing by.
I see friends shaking hands,
Saying, “How do you do?”
They’re really saying, “I, I love you.”

I hear babies cry and I watch them grow.
They’ll learn much more
Than we’ll know.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world, world.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star,
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where trouble melts like lemon drops,
High above the chimney tops,
That’s where you’ll find me.

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow,
Way up high.
And the dream that you dare to,
Why, oh, why can’t I? I? I? I?
I? I? I?

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh-ooh,
Ooh-ooh-ooh.
Ooh, ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh,
Ooh, ah-ah, yeah, ah-ah, ah-ah, ah, ah.

https://rockysmith.files.wordpress.com/2022/02/somewhere-over-the-rainbow-its-a-wonderful-world.mp3

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Tune o’ the Day

Depeche Mode is an English alt-rock/new wave/synth-pop band formed in 1980. They’ve had 54 songs on the UK singles chart and 17 top 10 albums. They’ve sold over 100 million records.

The band’s name famously comes from the former French fashion magazine Dépêche Mode.

Everything Counts” from 1983 uses a funky mixture of instruments and sounds to call out corporate greed and corruption. Or maybe it’s recording industry greed and corruption in particular.

Either way, the point is valid, and the song makes it clearly, directly, and with not a shred of subtlety. I like that.

Bonus fact: In 1983, songwriter Martin Gore established a company called Grabbing Hands Music Ltd., now based in London and still going strong.

Everything Counts

By Depeche Mode, 1983
Written by Martin Gore

The handshake seals the contract.
From the contract, there’s no turning back.
The turning point of a career in Korea,
Being insincere.
The holiday was fun-packed.
The contract, still intact.

The grabbing hands
Grab all they can,
All for themselves, after all.
The grabbing hands
Grab all they can,
All for themselves, after all.

It’s a competitive world.
Everything counts in large amounts.

The graph on the wall
Tells the story of it all.
Picture it now.
See just how the lies and deceit
Gained a little more power.

Confidence taken in
By a sun tan and a grin.

The grabbing hands
Grab all they can,
All for themselves, after all.
The grabbing hands
Grab all they can,
All for themselves, after all.

It’s a competitive world.
Everything counts in large amounts.
Everything counts in large amounts.

The grabbing hands
Grab all they can.
Everything counts in large amounts.
The grabbing hands
Grab all they can.
Everything counts in large amounts.

Everything, everything.
Everything, everything.

The grabbing hands
Grab all they can.
Everything counts in large amounts.
The grabbing hands
Grab all they can.
Everything counts in large amounts.

https://rockysmith.files.wordpress.com/2021/12/everything-counts.mp3

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Tune o’ the Day

I read a sarcastic comment somewhere that David Bowie’s 1983 hit “Modern Love” probably was made up in the studio on the day he recorded it. Maybe so. The lyrics are baffling and don’t seem to go anywhere. Drugs, maybe?

On the other hand, the tune is catchy, danceable, and well-regarded. Bowie said the lively arrangement was inspired by the sound of Little Richard. It does have a sort of manic feel to it.

In 2006, the alt rock/folk/country band The Last Town Chorus slowed the tempo of “Modern Love” to a crawl and released what is, in my humble opinion, an excellent cover.

The Last Town Chorus, by the way, started out in 2001 as a duo consisting of singer Megan Hickey and a guitarist. After a year or so, Megan ditched the guitarist, and she still tours as LTC today using hired backup.

Modern Love

By The Last Town Chorus, 2006
Written by David Bowie

I catch the paperboy,
But things don’t really change.
I’m standing in the rain,
But I never wave bye-bye.
But I try. I try.

There’s no sign of life.
It’s just the power to charm.
I’m lying in the wind,
But I never wave bye-bye.
But I try. I try.

Never gonna fall for modern love.
It walks beside me.
It walks on by.
It gets me to the church on time.
Church on time.
It terrifies me.
It makes me party.
It puts my faith in God and man.
God and man.
No confession.
No religion.
It don’t believe in modern love.

It’s not really work.
It’s just the power to charm.
Still lying in the rain,
But I never wave bye-bye.
But I try. I try.

Never gonna fall for modern love.
It walks beside me.
It walks on by.
It gets me to the church on time.
Church on time.
It terrifies me.
It makes me party.
It puts my faith in God and man.
God and man.
No confession.
No religion.
It don’t believe in modern love.

https://rockysmith.files.wordpress.com/2021/11/modern-love-ltc.mp3

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Tune o’ the Day

Toad the Wet Sprocket has been one of my favorite bands forever. Tucked away among the music files on my desktop is a folder entitled “Rocky’s Favorite Toad Songs” that contains 13 tunes.

Usually, I like a Toad song because of the melody. Toad lyrics tend to be forgettable, but the band has a knack for songs that are pleasing to the ear.

Lyrics-wise, the song below is an exception. It’s about a man’s horrified reaction to a gang rape. It’s chilling and awful, and Toad went out on a limb by making it. Not all of their fans approved.

But it’s memorable stuff, and certainly one of “Rocky’s Favorite Toad Songs.”

Hold Her Down

By Toad the Wet Sprocket, 1991
Written by Glen Phillips and Todd Nichols

Take her arms and hold her down
And hold her down
And hold her down
And hold her down
Until she she stops moving.

Take her arms and hold her down
And hold her down
And hold her down
And hold her down
Until she she stops kicking.

And they don’t know her,
But what the f**k.
They’ve got nothing else they can do.
And they’ve no reason,
But still they come.
And I would have a hard time facing you.
This crime — I’ve seen what a man can do.

Take her arms and hold her down
And hold her down
And hold her down
And hold her down
Until she she stops screaming.

Take her arms and hold her down
And hold her down
And hold her down
And hold her down
Until she she stops breathing

And they don’t know her,
But what the f**k.
They’ve got nothing else they can do.
And they’ve no reason,
But still they come.
And I would have a hard time facing you.
This crime — the shame of what a man can do.

I want to die
For all the hell that you’ve been through.

Take the night back.
All they’ve stolen.
All we took from you.

Take the night back.
All they’ve stolen.
All we took from you.

https://rockysmith.files.wordpress.com/2021/11/hold-her-down.mp3

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Tune o’ the Day

The fictional astronaut Major Tom was introduced in 1969 in the David Bowie song “Space Oddity,” which Bowie said he wrote after watching the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” while stoned. Bowie also alluded to Major Tom in three other songs.

In 1982, German singer Peter Schilling continued Tom’s story in the song “Major Tom (Völlig Losgelöst)“. Translation: Major Tom (Coming Home). Schilling’s song, in which Major Tom decides that space is his home and breaks off contact with Ground Control, was released in English in 1983.

In 2009, the synthpop band “Shiny Toy Guns” covered the Schilling song for a TV commercial promoting the Lincoln MKZ. It turned out good enough to release as a single — and a pretty good one, at that.

Major Tom (Coming Home)

By Shiny Toy Guns, 2009
Written by Peter Schilling

Standing there alone, the ship is waiting.
All systems are go. Are you sure?
Control is not convinced,
But the computer has the evidence.
No need to abort.
The countdown starts.

Watching in a trance, the crew is certain.
Nothing left to chance. All is working.
Trying to relax up in the capsule.
“Send me up a drink,” jokes Major Tom.
The count goes on.

Four, three, two, one — Earth below us,
Drifting, falling, floating weightless,
Calling, calling home.

Second stage is cut. We’re now in orbit.
Stabilizers up, running perfect.
Starting to collect requested data.
“What will it affect, when all is done?”
Thinks Major Tom.

Back at ground control, there is a problem.
“Go to rockets full” — not responding.
“Hello Major Tom, are you receiving?
Turn the thrusters on. We’re standing by.”
There’s no reply.

Four, three, two, one — Earth below us,
Drifting, falling, floating weightless,
Calling, calling home.

Across the stratosphere, a final message:
“Give my wife my love.”
Then nothing more.

Far beneath the ship, the world is mourning.
They don’t realize that he’s alive.
No one understands, but Major Tom sees.
Now the light commands. “This is my home.

I’m coming home.”

Earth below us, drifting, falling,
Floating weightless, calling home.

Earth below us, drifting, falling,
Floating weightless, calling home.

Earth below us, drifting, falling,
Floating weightless, calling, calling home.

Home.
Home.
Home.
Home.
Home.
Home.

https://rockysmith.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/major-tom.mp3

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