Song Lyric Sunday | “The Sweetest Days” – Vanessa Williams


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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is“Cool/Freeze/Heat/Melt.

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The video for The Sweetest Days is shot in two different ways. The “romantic version” was shot in an apartment overlooking a city skyline while the “urban version” shows the singer walking in a park and through streets. They give the song a different feel but both supporting the same message that despite turbulent times, the warmth and security of love is always a safe haven, and the days we’re living now will one day be “the good old days.”

The song is the first single from Vanessa Williams’ third studio album of the same name in 1994 and was written by the same team who previously penned Save the Best for Last for Williams.

The Sweetest Days reached No. 18 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and No. 3 on the US Adult Contemporary Charts.

FUN FACTS:

  • As an actress, Williams enjoyed success on both stage and screen, receiving an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her portrayal of Teri Joseph in the film Soul Food (1997).
  • Vanessa’s best-known television role is that of Wilhelmina Slater on Ugly Betty (2006–10), for which she was nominated three times for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
  • Williams’ paternal great-great grandfather was William A. Feilds, who was born a slave, would go on to serve as an African-American legislator in the Tennessee House of Representatives.
  • Williams was the first African American recipient of the Miss America title when she was crowned Miss America 1984 in September 1983. Several weeks before the end of her reign, however, a scandal arose when Penthouse magazine bought and published unauthorized nude photographs of her. Williams was pressured to relinquish her title, and was succeeded by the first runner-up, Miss New Jersey 1983, Suzette Charles. Thirty-two years later, in September 2015, when Williams served as head judge for the Miss America 2016 pageant, former Miss America CEO Sam Haskell made a public apology to her for the events of 1984.

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

The Sweetest Days

by Vanessa Williams

Songwriters: Philip Edward Galdston / Jon Lind / Wendy Waldman

You and I in this moment,
Holding the night so close,
Hanging on, still unbroken
while outside the thunder rolls.
Listen now you can hear my heart beat
warm against life’s bitter cold.
These are the days.
the sweetest days we’ll know.
There are times that scare me.
We’ll rattle the house like the wind,
both of us so unbending.
We battle the fear within.
All the while life is rushing by us.
Hold it now and don’t let go.
These are the days.
the sweetest days we’ll know.
So, we’ll whisper a dream here in the darkness.
Watching the stars till their gone.
And when even the mem’ries have all faded away,
these days go on and on.
Listen now, you can hear my heartbeat.
Hold me now and don’t let go.
(These are the days, )
ev’ry day is the sweetest day we’ll know.
(These are the days, )

Compiled from Genius Lyrics, Google, Wikipedia, Songfacts.com, and YouTube.

Song Lyric Sunday | “Take a Letter, Maria” – R.B. Greaves


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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is“Maria/Marie/Mary.

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Even though it’s about infidelity, this upbeat song with a Latin flair was a dance favorite and quickly gained airplay reaching number two on Billboards Hot 100. Released in September of 1969, Take a Letter, Maria was certified gold in early December of the same year. It would go on to sell nearly three million copies.

So many songs about broken marriages leave you crying in your beer or scarfing down Ben & Jerry’s. R.B. Greaves doesn’t seem too broken up over his… since he asks Maria out to start a new life!

The video is from a 1969 television performance… yes, it’s lip-synced, but check out that dicta-phone!

FUN FACTS:

  • R.B. Greaves is Sam Cooke’s nephew. He had one more US Top 40 hit: Always Something There To Remind Me. That one, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, reached #27 in 1970.
  • Take a Letter, Maria was kept from the #1 spot by Wedding Bell Blues by The 5th Dimension.
  • The song was recorded at the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio using house musicians, including Donna Jean Thatcher on vocals (later Donna Jean Godchaux of the Grateful Dead).
  • Greaves was one of several Atlantic artists sent to Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, but the first to have a hit there.

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Take a Letter, Maria

Written and sung by R.B. Greaves

Last night as I got home, about a half past ten

There was the woman I thought I knew, in the arms of another man

I kept my cool, I ain’t no fool, let me tell you what happened then

I packed some clothes and I walked out, and I ain’t going back again

So take a letter Maria, address it to my wife

Say I won’t be coming home, gonna start a new life

So take a letter Maria, address it to my wife

Send a copy to my lawyer, gotta start a new life

You’ve been many things but most of all a good secretary to me

And it’s times like this I feel you’ve always been close to me

Was I wrong to work nights to try to build a good life

All work and no play has just cost me a wife

So take a letter Maria, address it to my wife

Say I won’t be coming home, gonna start a new life

So take a letter Maria, address it to my wife

Send a copy to my lawyer, gotta start a new life

When a man loves a woman it’s hard to understand

That she would find more pleasure in the arms of another man

I never really noticed how sweet you are to me

It just so happens I’m free tonight, would you like to have dinner with me

So take a letter Maria, address it to my wife

Send a copy to my lawyer, gotta start a new life

Compiled from Genius Lyrics, Google, Wikipedia, Songfacts.com, and YouTube.

Song Lyric Sunday | “Leaving on a Jet Plane” – John Denver

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is Jack/John.

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Leaving on a Jet Plane was Peter, Paul and Mary’s biggest (and final) hit, becoming their only No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. The song also spent three weeks atop the easy listening chart.

But their version was a cover.

John Denver was a member of the Chad Mitchell Trio when he  wrote and released the song on his 1966 studio album John Denver Sings with the title Babe, I Hate to Go. After his producer convinced Denver to change the title, Peter, Paul and Mary recorded the song in 1967 for their Album 1700 and released it in 1969.

Denver also recorded the song for his 1969 debut album Rhymes and Reasons, and again for his first greatest hits compilation but never attained the chart success with the single as the folk song group.

FUN FACTS:

  • The song also topped the charts in Canada, and reached No. 2 in both the UK Singles Chart and Irish Singles Chart in February 1970.
  • Leaving On a Jet Plane was used in commercials for United Airlines in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
  • Denver claimed that he wasn’t a prolific or systematic songwriter – he wrote songs when they came to him. Some of his popular songs took months to complete, but Leaving on a Jet Plane took him just a few hours to finish.
  • On one of his BBC radio specials, John Denver said: “This is a very personal and very special song for me. It doesn’t conjure up Boeing 707s or 747s for me as much as it does the simple scenes of leaving. Bags packed and standing by the front door, taxi pulling up in the early morning hours, the sound of a door closing behind you, and the thought of leaving someone that you care for very much. I was fortunate to have Peter, Paul and Mary record it and have it become a hit, but it still strikes a lonely and anguished chord in me, because the separation still continues, although not so long and not so often nowadays.”

Forgive me but I got a bit carried away and posted John’s version, Peter, Paul and Mary’s version, and a video of Denver and the group singing together!

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for Nesie’s Place!

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

 

Song Lyric Sunday | “Mr. Big Stuff” – Jean Knight

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is Big/Large/Little/Small/Tall/Tiny.

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Mr. Big Stuff was a huge crossover hit for R&B singer, Jean Knight in 1971. The song spent five weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Soul Singles chart and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.

FUN FACTS:

  • Mr. Big Stuff  went double platinum and was the No. 1 Soul Single of the year.
  • It became one of Stax Records’ more popular and recognizable hits.
  • Mr. Big Stuff was nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 1972 Grammy Awards.

Knight performed the song on Soul Train on December 11, 1971 during its very first season and that’s the video performance I’m featuring today! So 70s – check out how high her hair is! 😀

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for Nesie’s Place!

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Mr. Big Stuff

 

Amaka Azie

Award-winning and Bestselling Author of African Romance Novels

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My "bump" was in 2016, aged 48, when I suffered a stroke. This blog charts my recovery. (Header clipart licensed by pngguru.com.)

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