Wednesday, November 15, 2017

River ~ Battle of the Bands

In the back of my mind I knew that Battle of the Bands was getting closer (and then closer). However, this has been a heck of a month. I started classes this month. Turns out going back to school is just as tough as I thought it would be (that translates to tougher). Yikes. I'm not sure how long I'll be able to last here in blogland. I have so many things on my plate in the best of possible ways.

But, I'm in for this month. I guess it's one month at a time.

This is another song I've wanted to use for a while just because I like it so much. I fell in love with it when Robert Downey, Jr. sang it on Ally McBeal. Or I fell in love with Robert Downey, Jr.'s character of Larry on the show. It's all rather confusing in my head.  And then I was crushed when RDJ had to leave the show due to his addiction and mandatory jail time. It was rougher on RDJ I'm sure, but I felt crushed at the time. I've blogged about this before (a long time ago), so I don't feel the need to rehash it all again, but I'm so happy that he's had this tremendous comeback personally and professionally. Sadly, it didn't work out so well for Larry and Ally, but you can't have everything.

After listening to his version of River (again), YouTube shot me over to this gem. You don't have to watch it as it has NOTHING to do with this battle. It has everything to with RDJ and Ally and one of my favorite scenes. Also, one of the only scenes from that show you can find on YouTube, which irritates me when I think overly long on it. But, nothing to do with this battle. Oh Lord, he was fine (and is still *not bad*;). This just sets my poor little heart atwitter all over again.

 Anyway, I think one of the reasons I fell in love with this song was that it foreshadowed his leaving the show. That probably should be a reason to dislike it, but I'm a tad bit complicated. So, the song for this battle is River. As it references Christmas approaching (which it is), I feel like this is the best month to use it. I'll use an actual Christmas song next month.

This song was originally recorded by Joni Mitchell. I figure everyone has heard her version, so not going to use it in this battle. I will use RDJ for all the reasons I've given you.

Without further ado:

But, who to pit against him? I've listened to several versions of this song. Point of fact, Train just came out with a Christmas album and this song is on it. But, I think Sarah McLachlan does a really lovely job with it, so I'm abandoning Train (are you shocked???) in favor of Sarah. It's crazy times here in da hood.

Okay, so now that you've listened to Robert Downey, Jr. and Sarah McLachlan it's time to decide who performed it best. You get to vote by way of comment. Bring it people:)

If you want to see who else is participating in this round of Battle of the Bands, click HERE and visit Stephen T. McCarthy. He keeps up with the list:)

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Dixie Chicks Versus Bush (Again)

I just received a message from Stephen T. McCarthy letting me know that the votes were "probably" all in on this battle. In other words, get on with the results. Hahaha!

Before I do that, I want to let you know that I'm sorry for being so absent (once again!). Now that I'm healthier, I keep packing more things into my days and nights. My blogging time is getting eaten up by other things. My first class started this past Monday. So exhausting! I also went on a job interview. So stressful! And I participated in all three services at church this morning. Exhausting and stressful! Interestingly enough, I wasn't as nervous as I thought I'd be before the services. I would say there was a "normal" level of anxiety. But, after I finished my part in the third service I thought I might throw up. Seriously. I went to the ladies room and debated it with my head between my legs. That surprised me!

Much like the vote results on this battle surprised me. I expected a much closer race. The Dixie Chicks actually garnered a hit with the song Landslide. They had all of the instruments and harmonies going for them. Whereas Bush stripped down the song so that it was just him and a guitar. Very mellow. Now I like that, but I find I'm often about the only one. Turns out that in this battle, most of you liked it too! Final tally:

Dixie Chicks: 5 (with my vote)
Bush: 11

As you can see, my vote didn't make one iota of difference. If you read the comments, Stephen T. McCarthy asked me if I'd purposely put The Dixie Chicks up against Bush as a musical nod to the scandal. (The Dixie Chicks versus George W. Bush that ended up being a career killer for them). I didn't, but thought it was hilarious that once again the Chicks were duking it out with Bush (and losing again). Well played, voters. Well played.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Battle of the Bands ~ Landslide

It's time for another round of Battle of the Bands. As I was contemplating what song to use, as well as covers of that song, I realized that I'd not yet used Landslide. It's one of those songs that's been on my list of possible songs since this whole thing started. Of course, the problem is contenders. Using Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks, or Stevie Nicks with Lindsay Buckingham feels very much like a shutout waiting to happen. OR a very lopsided vote.

Some of you may know that the Dixie Chicks also scored with this song, but probably less of you have heard it. So, I decided to use their cover (which was a hit for them) against another cover that I think is very good. Now, I've noticed that sometimes what I think is very good doesn't always translate well here. Hmm. It's probably better I don't dwell on that overly long.

This version appeals to me because of the harmonies and differing instruments (yeah, I said the instruments), but mostly the harmonies. Here are the Dixie Chicks singing Landslide.

Or, perhaps you like a male perspective? Or an acoustic one? I like both. And Bush singing Landslide.

Now is the fun part. You get to vote in the comments on the version you prefer. Will it be Dixie Chicks or Bush. Cast your vote. You can even tell me WHY you prefer one over the other. I like long comments.

If you want to see who else is participating in this round of Battle of the Bands, click HERE and visit Stephen T. McCarthy. He keeps up with the list:)

Friday, September 22, 2017

BoTB Results and More on Dixie Dog

Before I post the results from this battle, let me begin by saying Thank You. Thank you to everyone who stopped by and commented. Thank you if you voted. Thank you if you visited and got caught up. Thank you. I want to follow that up with this: if I haven't gotten around to your blog, I will. I'm a bit swamped at the moment, but I think that will get better this weekend. I think I voted on all of the BoTBs that were posted. If I missed yours, apologies!

I had some questions about Dixie. I am going to take just a minute and answer them here. She is a dachshund. I was asked if she liked other dogs. The answer is yes and no. She likes some dogs. However, she likes to be the boss. I think that has a lot to do with how well she gets along with the other dog in question. If that dog wants to be the alpha... let's get ready to rumble! So, as long as she can be the boss, she is great with other dogs:)

Okay, how did the vote shake out on Battle of the Bands? It was back and forth (a great battle since those blow-outs are no fun). Ultimately, you guys finished like this:

Saskia Griffiths-Moore: 4 votes
Norah Jones: 5 votes

Oh boy. This is a case where my vote actually matters. A vote for Saskia creates a tie. A vote for Norah creates a larger margin of victory.

Drum roll.

I really like Norah Jones on this song. Her voice is so sultry and to my ears embraces the sentiment in the Long Way Home. I just love it. That said, I think that Saskia did an amazing job on this song. I'd never heard her sing anything prior to this, and I was blown away.

So, congratulations Norah Jones on your win!

Friday, September 15, 2017

June-September Update, BoTB The Long Way Home

The last time I posted here was June. Wow. So much has happened since then. For those of you not interested in the update, scroll down to the bottom for Battle of the Bands. It's all good, my friends.

So, we went to Ohio again this summer for camp and visiting relatives. I stayed at camp three weeks Jul 5-July 29 (I think those dates are right). It was a great summer. By far the best summer I've had at camp since I returned. Not sure if it was because it was more familiar or I had a specific job all three weeks or both. But, it was definitely easier this year than the last two. I always realize just how out of shape I am when I go. It's so much walking (and walking on hills). I figure it's good for me. I also just love love love being out in nature for those three weeks. I love setting aside the internet (mostly) and all of the screens that suck up our lives and just being in nature for those weeks, worshiping God and His handiwork, and actually TALKING to other people. It's amazing how much talking gets down when the screens are off.

We enjoyed a nice visit with the family and Ohio friends. Every year I enjoy my SIL and brother more. It's been a real blessing in my life becoming friends with my SIL (and my brother, for that matter). Friendship doesn't necessarily happen with family, but it sure is great when it does.

Some of you might know that since my life improved dramatically in December by taking the Nascent Iodine, it's caused me to reevaluate where I'm going and what I want to do with this abundant life I didn't really think I'd get again. I've been very active in my church the last few years, even giving several messages on Sunday morning. I was encouraged by a retired pastor who goes to our church to apply for seminary. My first thought was I never wanted to go back to school. My next thought was that I really liked the idea of being in ministry. Ministering to people. The decision to go to seminary has brought with it many changes in my life.

I applied to Lexington Theological Seminary. They have a (mostly) online program. I also applied for a scholarship with our churches Mission fund. I was accepted for both. The scholarship is not a full one, but it sure will help.

One of those is that I want to also go back to work part-time. Social Security will help you move from being on disability to working. I have an appointment with an agency this morning to discuss how we can do that and look at different jobs. I will keep you posted on that.

I'm also in the process of changing churches. Seminary requires a lot of work within your church. I will now be going to a church out at the beach here in Jacksonville. They are a larger congregation with more people my age and two pastors who are willing to support me in this journey. As I was talking to the head pastor about the "congregational requirements" of the seminary, he was receiving emails from an independent living for seniors asking them to put on a Sunday afternoon service at their facility. There was no way they could do it (without me), but with me they could. So, a large part of my congregational requirement will be putting together that Sunday service. It doesn't necessarily mean giving the message every Sunday there, but making sure someone does. God's timing is way better than mine!

I also stopped in Augusta, Georgia, on my way back from camp to stay with Haley (my ex's daughter whom I consider a daughter) and her new baby.

Here is a picture of the cutie with her dog, Piper.

She had another dog (formerly Lola, now Dixie) who has moved in with me. Dixie was too much for their little family. She really likes being walked several times a day and wants attention Haley couldn't give her. So, now she's my baby!

And then there was IRMA. Oh boy. You know we evacuated this time. My mom took one look at the size of that hurricane and was like, "No way are we staying this time around." If you will recall, my mom wanted to evacuate for Matthew. Anyway, I agreed that it would be a good idea (even though I really thought we'd be okay here). We stayed with a friend of hers that went to our church in Ohio who now lives in La Grange, GA. Everyone got a nice visit and my mom got peace of mind. Turned out that Irma was worse for us than Matthew (according to our neighbors who stayed), but still just tree limbs down and a minor fence repair needed. We are very happy we aren't closer to the beach. Some of those folks are really suffering. We watch the damage on the news and feel blessed. There are houses that are still under water south of us (Clay County). It's very sad.

I believe that brings us current. All in all, I feel like we haven't been home much since June. I can't even tell you how happy I was to sleep in my own bed come August. So, for Battle of the Bands I knew I wanted a song about HOME. So, let's go... home. The long way, which is apparently how I like to do it!

This song was originally recorded by Tom Waits. It's called The Long Way Home. For a hot minute, I considered using Tom Waits in this battle. However, I know that would only create a blow-out. That is no fun and not how I want to re-start my Battle of the Bands. I found two covers I like pretty well. I hope you like them, too.

First up is a lady I'd never heard of until I started this "cover search." Her name is Saskia Griffiths-Moore.

You might have heard Norah Jones cover this song. Yep, this is going to be the ladies duking it out on this one.

Please vote for the version of this song you prefer. If you want to get into the Ins and Outs of why you like one better than the other... I LOVE long comments!

For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles. I've stopped trying to keep up with who is running a battle and who isn't. To see who is participating, go here: Stephen T. McCarthy's Battle of the Bands Blog.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Another Update

Last night I watched The Shack. Now I MUST read the book. So good if you haven't seen it. I am part of a Ladies Bible Study that meets on Monday nights. Really loved it. We decided to change things up this week and watch that movie. Anyway, while I was driving there it occurred to me that I hadn't written a blog post in a while. Then I began to wonder if I ever posted the vote outcome from May's battle. I was thinking yes, but I wasn't sure. Turns out... no.

I am feeling rather bogged down with life, and it's showing in all kinds of places. This blog is one of them (obviously). I will get into that in a moment. First, I want to let you know how that battle turned out. It was Everlast vs Lifehouse and the song was Broken. Two very different songs. Same name. I suspected Lifehouse would win and by approximately the margin it won, so it wasn't a shock to me. I really like BOTH songs. I am partial to Everlast's song in this case, but only by the slimmest of margins. That brings the final tally to this: Everlast: 6. Lifehouse: 11.

Regarding Battle of the Bands, I don't plan on participating until September. I am going to camp again soon. I am very excited about that! After that, I will be staying in Augusta for a few weeks with my ex's daughter. She's having a baby. Does this make me a grandma? Yes, yes it does. It's a bit much to wrap the brain around.

My mother seems to be in the final leg of her recovery. I just realized what I said: leg. ha! She had that hip replacement in March. A few weeks later she was back in for surgery as it broke her femur. And she is now using a walker to get around. It's been a process. I confess that care-giving saps a person. I don't know how people do it long-term. Those people are genuine angels. I am thankful my mom is improving every day.

I've also been tangling with big decisions regarding what to do with my future (now that it appears I have one). When your health is in the toilet, and you don't have a life, well the decisions are easy... because there are none. I have started a new novel project with a friend, and writer, I very much admire. Lots of excitement about this endeavor! I'm also applying to go back to school (seminary) and will be looking for part-time work in the fall. Big changes. Sometimes staring into the future feels overwhelming (too much to take in), but I keep reminding myself that when God leads you to it, He leads you through it.

I will arrive at camp on July 5. Will be there until the last Saturday of July. If you want to write, the address is:
Robin Richards or Mergan
Cedarbrook Camp of Ohio at Stony Glen
 5300 W. Loveland Rd
 Madison, OH 44057

If you include your return address, I will make every effort to write you back! I will not have easy access to WiFi while there, so don't be surprised if I am more silent than usual during this time!!!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Battle of the Bands ~ Broken

I'm going to be honest. I nearly sat this edition of BoTB out. Things are still pretty crazy here, so when I get downtime, the internet is not my go-to place for relaxation. I tend to scroll through my FB wall for about ten minutes on my phone and call it done.

Mom is still recovering, albeit slowly. It will be another two weeks or so before she is cleared to put all of her weight on the bad leg. If the X-ray comes back indicating the bone isn't healing, it will be longer than that. So, I'm praying that she heals well. We are still doing rehab, though from this point on we'll be going to rehab rather than the rehab person coming here.

Recently, two songs by the exact same name played back to back from my playlist. And that got me to wondering if I couldn't do a little twist on BoTB and use them here. Given the state of my life, I decided that YES, YES I CAN.

The song is called Broken. I find that to be particularly relevant given that my life is revolving around my mom's broken leg. Ha! Like I said, they are not the same song. Two totally different songs that have the same name. One of them was popular on the radio, while the other wasn't. Will that give one song an advantage over the other? Possibly. Familiarity does seem to play a role in these things. However, many of you don't actually listen to the radio (or stopped at a certain decade), so both of these might be new to you. In any case, I'm just running with it and seeing what happens.

We'll look at them chronologically. The first appeared in 2004 on Everlast's album, White Trash Beautiful. It was NOT a single for them. Point of fact, none of the songs on this album charted in the US. So, I will be surprised if any of you have heard this before. Let me know in the comments!

Lifehouse released the album Who We Are in 2007. Broken charted in the US in 2008. I suspect this will be familiar to some ears out there. But, familiarity doesn't necessarily mean better. Let the game begin!

Please vote for the version of this song you prefer. If you want to get into the Ins and Outs of why you like one better than the other... I LOVE long comments!

For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles. I've stopped trying to keep up with who is running a battle and who isn't. To see who is participating, go here: Stephen T. McCarthy's Battle of the Bands Blog.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

An Update... Does Anyone Have Time For That???

I only have a minute to type up an explanation for the insanity in my life. I think you'll understand why my last battle results didn't post. Then, no battle for this time. No comments. No posts. Nothing.

My mom had the hip replacement on March 22. It went well according to the doctors. Her recovery was going along well, but I confess that it's not easy being the primary caregiver. Even someone "doing well" tends to run a person ragged. That person being me. I considered it a coup to get my April 1 battle up and to vote on all the battles that raged on the first. I didn't have time for much else, including commenting on my own comments.

Last Wednesday (the 12th???), my mom stepped on her right leg and it gave way. She said it really hurt. (I confess that as someone who has heard about pain in this leg for quite a while now, it was hard to--at first--differentiate this sort of really hurt from the previous forms of really hurt.) However, she had a tough time getting in the car when we left a few minutes later for choir practice (hence the walking in the first place). It was worse once we got there. I wasn't sure we'd get her back in the car when it was over. I nearly called the ambulance when we got home. I would've had she not been so adamantly opposed to the idea. She just wanted to get in her own bed. It took approximately an hour to move from car to bed.

The next day it was no better. She called the doctor's office and spoke with the PA on call. He was telling her to elevate it, ice it, etc. I asked for the phone and explained in no uncertain terms that all that had been done and there was something seriously wrong. She needed an ambulance and they should expect her at the hospital where she had the procedure. I could tell he thought I was over-reacting, but he relented.

The emergency room took X-Rays. Turns out her femur fractured due to the hip replacement part. I can tell you that those folks went from not really wanting to give her pain medication and being somewhat immune to her pain to bending over backwards. The doctor on call said he'd only seen seven cases like this in twenty years. She was admitted to the hospital and the doctor put in a longer replacement joint with bands holding it to the bone to prevent future breaks. Of course, he also set the broken bone.

Monday she moved to the rehab floor.

I am whooped. Running back and forth to the hospital takes it out of a person. Thankfully, my migraines haven't been too bad due to the iodine (what a blessing!). I am leaving in a few minutes for my daily hospital run. They expect her to to be there for another ten days (at least), so I don't see this letting up soon.

So, if you'd pray for her and me and/or send good thoughts our way, I'd really appreciate it.

As for the battle from April 1. I was a bit disappointed with participation as it was a fun one. It turned out that Ain't Nobody Got Time For That edged out the Bed Intruder song with with a final tally of 7 to 4 votes, including mine for Sweet Brown (Ain't Nobody Got Time For That).

I'd tell you the rest of what's going on here (which is fairly extensive, because when it rains it pours), but...

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Fool's Edition of BoTB

Don't you love that Battle of the Bands has coincided with April Fool"s Day???

In the past, I haven't done anything to celebrate this crash. But, this year is different!!!

I am embracing the craziness of this day in this battle. I hope you love the concept as much as I do!!!

Before we get to that I'm going to share with you my favorite practical joke on April Fool"s Day. I was a freshman in college and had two roommates. They both had 8am classes, while my first class was at 9am. They usually got up early and went to breakfast together. I usually dragged myself to my 9 o'clock class barely making it in time. Not a morning person. So, I knew they'd never suspect how I was going to "get" them for April Fool's Day. Picture this: I wait until they both go to bed and then set their clocks forward an hour. In terms of me getting more sleep, this didn't work out at all. Of course, I was hyper-sensitive to their alarms going off. Struggled not to giggle in bed and waited with anticipation for them to figure it out at the dining hall. Per my expectations, they came back and roused me with some fury (not that I was sleeping!). I laughed so hard. I'm not sure they recall this incident with the same degree of fondness as I, but there it is.

Do you have a favorite April Fool's memory???

Now, let's get down to the battle at hand.

I decided to pit two viral videos against one another. Both have been remixed into song. Both began as news stories. Both are hilarious. It's a question of this: which one do YOU like better?



Please vote for the version of this song you prefer. If you want to get into the Ins and Outs of why you like one better than the other... I LOVE long comments!

For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles. I've stopped trying to keep up with who is running a battle and who isn't. To see who is participating, go here: Stephen T. McCarthy's Battle of the Bands Blog.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Then I Kissed Her ~ Battle Results

I was doing so well.


You commented on my last blog post. I commented on your comment. I made excellent strides at pacing myself and visiting other blogs. I really thought I had it all under control.

Some of you already know that was a big misconception on my part (you posted a Battle and I was woefully absent). I am so sorry. I really hope that I am better this time. If not, I will at least begin with the folks I missed last time... sigh.

So, my mom had a hip replacement last week. I should have realized that this was going to consume my life. Alas, I didn't. And it did. She is healing well, and she's getting around much better now. So, that is the good news. But, I'm still very much on call all the time. I know I never would've made it as a doctor... yikes.

Anyway, my apologies if you are feeling neglected. (Note: I am so happy I opted out of A-Z this year. I never would have been able to juggle it all.)

So, here are the very late, once again, results from my last battle. It was surprisingly close. I suspected that The Crystals would win this due to familiarity. We tend to like what we know. (This is fact. The science is settled on this!)

Actually, the science was very much in contention based on how this turned out. I think most, if not all, of you knew the version by The Crystals, and still The Beach Boys were neck and neck in the beginning. And then, shockingly, they pulled ahead and BEAT The Crystals. Some of you indicated that you didn't much care for the song or that it was close. Others simply voted against the "wall of sound." Whatever. I was surprised at the end result.

The Crystals: 7
The Beach Boys: 11

I voted Beach Boys, but I was very torn with regard to my own vote. I've liked The Crystals version for many years. I still really like the movie Adventures In Babysitting; that song opens the movie. So, it has a special place in my teenage heart. However, I've always liked The Beach Boys and their harmonies. I wasn't familiar with the "wall of sound" until you folks started talking about it in the comments. It was then that I realized I appreciated the more stripped down (which it really isn't all that stripped) version by the boys.

For those of you who never saw Adventures in Babysitting and don't know what I was babbling about above... here you are:

If you're thinking that looks like a silly movie... why would she even like that??? I must confess I spent my teenage years singing into my hairbrush and/or my curling iron in my room. With dancing. With drama. So, I could relate to this entire scene as a teenager. It still makes me smile. Teenage girls are quite silly;)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

BoTB ~ Then He (I) Kissed Me (Her)

Hello friends! Can you believe it is mid-March? Can you believe winter decided to go for one last dump?  Sorry if you found the use of the word "dump" offensive. Seems like you can't turn a corner these days without offending someone. I know I'm getting used to it.

Speaking of offensive, I just read an article about a lady that has put out a coloring book on menstruation. Yeah, I know that's kind of gross all by itself. (Make sure you have plenty of red crayons kids!) But, the part that had me scratching my head was that this coloring book author (are these folks authors???) teaches that men and women menstruate. Confused much? Me too. I'm not sure where the boys are supposed to put those tampons, but it sounds painful to me. Kids won't be just going to the ER to retrieve those peanuts from noses with this generation. Common sense has left the building. Kiss it goodbye, folks.

Speaking of kissing, I thought of the song for my battle a few days ago. It's not to be confused with And Then You Kissed Me by The Cardigans, which is a great song, but not it! And then, since we're having so much gender trouble these days (because genitalia no longer determines gender, which begs the question of what does if not biology... but moving on... nothing to see here) I decided to choose two versions of this song by you guessed it... different genders. So, depending on you who you ask...  then he kissed me or then I kissed her. I also decided to give you as much possible bang for your buck (man, I'm ON it today!) and go with two heavy hitters.

So, sit back and put on your listening ears. Are you ready to rumble???

The Crystals sing Then He Kissed Me. For your pleasure, I will actually consult Wikipedia on this song. It's been around. The competitor knows a lot about that!

The Beach Boys recorded their take, renaming it Then I Kissed Her.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about them both.

"Then He Kissed Me" is a song written by Phil Spector, Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry. The song, produced by Spector, was initially released as a single in July 1963 by The Crystals. It is a narrative of a young woman's encounter, romance, and eventual marriage with a fellow youth.
In 2004, this song was #493 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[1] Pitchfork Media placed it at number 18 on its list of "The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s".[2]

The Crystals version

The single is one of The Crystals' most remembered songs. The lead vocal was sung by Dolores "LaLa" Brooks. In the United States the single peaked at number six and in the United Kingdom the single peaked at number two. The single was The Crystals' third single to chart in the top ten in the United States and their second to reach the top ten in the United Kingdom. The song was also a major hit in the Republic of Ireland, reaching number three in the charts there.
The Crystals' version was used in its entirety in the 1990 film Goodfellas during the famous three-minute tracking shot through the Copacabana night club. In an homage to that scene, the song (in an artificially extended version) was used in the final episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

The song was also used during the opening credits of the film Adventures in Babysitting, as Elisabeth Shue dances and lip-syncs the song. It is also heard at the end of the film during the last scene and over part of the end credits.

It was used in a scene from The Simpsons 2006 episode "Marge and Homer Turn a Couple Play".

The Beach Boys version

The song was re-worded to the title "Then I Kissed Her" and released by The Beach Boys on their 1965 album Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) with Al Jardine on lead vocals and production by Brian Wilson. Beyond title and gender changes, new lyrics were written retelling the story of the Crystals' song from the boyfriend's point of view.

Two years after appearing on the album, in April 1967 the song was released as a single in the United Kingdom, appearing as a stop-gap release while work continued on the "Heroes and Villains" single. This was reportedly done against the band's wishes, Beach Boys band member Mike Love commented on May 7, 1967 "The record company didn't even have the decency to put out one of Brian’s own compositions. The reason for the hold up with a new single has simply been that we wanted to give our public the best and the best isn't ready yet."[3]

"Then I Kissed Her" charted at number four in the United Kingdom. The B-side of the single was "Mountain of Love", a song off the band's 1965 Beach Boys' Party! album.

  The song inspired The Sun front page headline And Then He Kissed Her on 30 July 1981, the day after the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer.[11]

Okay, now that you're on info overload, let's just play them both.

The Crystals:

The Beach Boys:

Please vote for the version of this song you prefer. If you want to get into the Ins and Outs of why you like one better than the other... I LOVE long comments!

For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles. I've stopped trying to keep up with who is running a battle and who isn't. To see who is participating, go here: Stephen T. McCarthy's Battle of the Bands Blog.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Grateful Dead or Sawyer Brown?

This is a results post on my last Battle of the Bands. The song was The Race Is On. The original recording was made by George Jones. I must say as all of the initial votes rolled in for Sawyer Brown, I was thinking I called this all wrong. I was thinkin' I shoulda put Sawyer Brown directly against George Jones. But then all of you Deadheads weighed in and it got more interesting. Just joking about the Deadhead thing. Some of you couldn't be more unDead. Ha!

The good news was that my once lopsided battle started to even out.

In the end, your votes stacked up like this:

The Grateful Dead ~ 6 votes
Sawyer Brown ~ 8 votes

So, like usual, my vote doesn't change anything at all (not that there's anything wrong with that!). I really like Sawyer Brown. In fact, I like their version even better than the George Jones original. So, my vote lands squarely with Sawyer Brown. And that increases their lead to 9 votes.

I fully intend to be back here on the 15th with another battle. I've even got some battles floating around my brain. However, I'm totally psyched for what I have planned on April 1. I'm really looking forward to that one, so please come back for it, as it will be unlike anything I've done here.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

BoTB ~ The Race Is On

Hey all. I did post a very late results post a few days ago. For those of you who don't feel like jumping back one post, I Won't Dance finished in a tie (8-8). I got the pleasure of deciding the winner (for once, maybe twice). And that means that Frank Sinatra came out on top. I love his version of that song. I also included my backstory with that song (if you're interested). There's almost always a backstory.

Anyway, it's the 1st of the month again. That means I had to dig up another song to do battle.

I first heard today's song in the early 90s. I had no idea (until today) that this song had been covered so many times. Wow. So, if there is another version to which you are particularly partial you can inform me in the comments. You can't vote for it, but you can yak all about it.

What is this song????


Ole Possum (George Jones) recorded it first (I do believe). I'm not even going to consult wikipedia on this. I'm simply going to trust my memory.

The Grateful Dead liked it so much that they recorded it in 1981 on their Reckoning album. That is the first contender in this very fast battle.

Sawyer Brown recorded it in 1989 on their album The Boys Are Back. It's also pretty darn fast;)

Please vote for the version of this song you prefer. If you want to get into the Ins and Outs of why you like one better than the other... I LOVE long comments!

For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles. I've stopped trying to keep up with who is running a battle and who isn't. To see who is participating, go here: Stephen T. McCarthy's Battle of the Bands Blog.

Monday, February 27, 2017

I Won't Dance... Revealed

Stephen T. McCarthy said in the comments that this battle was C-L-O-S-E, and I knew that, but I've been struggling with a stomach bug for nearly two weeks (since I posted this battle). It's been one of those crazy things that is bad, then is good (deceptively better), and then WHAM, it comes back. I think I might finally be past it, but I must say it's been energy depleting... big time!

All that said, I was excited to finally having a rousing battle on this here blog. In point of fact, this battle was so close that in the end your votes came out 8 for Frank Sinatra and 8 for Jane Monheit and Michael Buble.

What's that? I get to break this tie!!! I can't remember the last time that happened. Has it ever happened? I'm not sure. If so, it's been so long I don't recall it.

So, what are MY thoughts on this song (since they are actually important)... for once. Or maybe twice.

Sit back, and I'll tell you a little story. When I was in high school, the choirs performed a nearly gala-like concert in the spring. It was really something. There were song skits. People wore costumes for their "specialty songs". There were always four solos (two men, two women). Everyone wore formal attire (usually your prom clothing). It was da bomb. It wasn't just a concert; it was an event. The concert choir sat on glass boxes (2 people per box) when they weren't singing. I realize I'm not adequately describing this thing, but it was classy. Seriously. That is not my usual dose of sarcasm. Our high school was 10-12 grades, so I remember very clearly staying after school in the 10th grade just to watch the rehearsals leading up to this thing. I remember sitting in the front rows thinking about when this would be ME. Of course, I wanted a solo (that didn't happen), but that's okay. I was in a song skit. I was also in Swing Choir. In other words, I achieved most of my goals for senior year.

Anyway, one of the senior guys (his name was Mark) was a soloist my sophomore year. For the record, he was NOT the senior I had the worst crush on (a crush which began in 7th grade, fizzled out when he moved on to high school, and resumed full force my sophomore year). No, that guy was the OTHER soloist. Ironically, I can't recall what he even sang. But, Mark, my not-crush, sang the song I Won't Dance. OMG. If I wasn't fully in the throes of my crush on the other guy, Mark would've been my new crush simply because of that song. I loved that song. (Sadly, this is the sort of reasoning behind many of my crushes as I've traveled through this thing we call "life.")

That story told you nothing about Sinatra or the duet, but plenty about me and my history with the song I Won't Dance.

So, moving on... I think Buble is a fantastic singer and entertainer. I really love him the more I hear him. I thought Jane Monheit was just okay on this song. In some places, she struck me as nasal-sounding, which I didn't care for much. I think their VIDEO is wonderful. Entertaining as all get out. Such big personalities. I am a fan of personality. But, Frank Sinatra kills this song. I thought that McCarthy's comment about RING A DING-DING was particularly on target. I'm going from memory here, but he said something like, "How can you not vote for the guy who effectively uses Ring A Ding-Ding as a lyric?" Ironically, every time I get to that line in the song I smile. I just love it. IMHO, Sinatra does everything right. He's upbeat. Jazzy. But, oh so smooth. It all just glides off the tongue. So sweet. Ring A Ding-Ding, we have a winner.

Take us home (but we won't dance to get there)...

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My Anti-Valentine's Day BoTB... You're Welcome

Hey all. Once again, I dropped off the face of the blog. It's a bit like falling down in heels, but not quite.

Mich over at The Bastard Henry sent me some artwork that she painted:

I will post another photo once I find a frame. To that end, I really should post a picture of the card and bookmark that Birgit made me. Maybe it'll be a two for one photo once I get my rear in gear. That means I will also have to figure out how to download the pictures off my phone onto my computer. (Can we all say it together? NOT TECH SAVVY.) Thankfully, Mich sent me this photo or I'd be trying to describe the artwork. This also explains why Birgit's lovely card and bookmark are still not on this blog...

Let's move on to why you're actually here. I'm back for Battle of the Bands.

I debated how to proceed for this battle. I've come to not care so much for Valentine's Day. I think that probably has a great deal to do with spending the better part of my life single. However, I have come to appreciate February 15 a great deal. That's when all the Valentine's candy goes on sale. There really should be TWO holidays. The 14th lands in the maybe column of happiness, whereas the 15th is a slam dunk. Anyway, I thought about all manner of song styles to try and help me decide on this battle. I was afraid if I chose anything too anti-love you'd think I was also terminally depressed. Let's face it, I have an inexplicable love for horribly depressing songs.

I present to you with a great deal of fondness (drum roll, please) I Won't Dance. It's the perfect amount of upbeat paired with my anti-Valentine's Day sentiments. I think I've found two worthy contenders for this battle. Your comments (aka voting) will confirm or deny this theory.

First up is Ol' Blue Eyes with his rendition of this spicy song!

Another fabulous rendition comes from Jane Monheit and Michael Buble! This video is super fun, but if you think it might sway your vote close your eyes. You can watch it AFTER you vote. Totally worth it as they are ever so enjoyable to watch. But this is a LISTENING contest.

Please vote for the version of this song you prefer. If you want to get into the Ins and Outs of why you like one better than the other... I LOVE long comments!

For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles. I've stopped trying to keep up with who is running a battle and who isn't. To see who is participating, go here: Stephen T. McCarthy's Battle of the Bands Blog.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Magic 8 Ball Rules The Day

I should've known better than to doubt Stephen T. McCarthy's Magic 8 Ball. M8B said that The Foundations would beat Alison Krauss on Baby, Now That I've Found You two to one. And sho 'nuff it's looking pretty much that way. How did it all shake out?

ALISON KRAUSS: 5 (inc. my vote)

Sheboyganboy VI left a comment for the first time at this blog on this battle. He said this:

I rarely get around to visiting BOTBs other than Stephen McCarthy's and Tossing It Out, but I'm glad I stopped by here this time!

Over the years of BOTB, I have occasionally read complaints by other BOTB hosts that sometimes lesser known versions of songs are not given a decent listen by the voters because the “hit" song was just too familiar.  Maybe they are right.  That’s what I think is happening here with “Now That I’ve Found You.”

Like others here, I heard this song over and over again in the mid-sixties.  It brings back memories of laying on the beach at Del Mar and listening to my AM portable transistor radio.  The Foundations do it well, but it feels about a minute too long as originally done.  They built it up a little too much, Buttercup!

Allison Krause, though - I say in dramatic disagreement with some other comments here - makes it interesting.  She makes it her own, and the bluegrassy fiddle solo at around 2:00 was very fun.  Then her vocal stylings and harmonies that follow are just excellent.  I’ve been a fan of her for years, and this take on the song just reinforces my belief.
 A vote for Allison.

I suggest that your readers listen again and see if it grows on them.  I’ll bet it does.  They have a few days to change their votes.

His comment pretty well sums up my own feelings on Alison's cover of this song. The Foundations drag out the ending of this song for what seems like a very long time. No one loves the 80s more than I do, but when I started singing karaoke I realized how lazy writers/singers were when it came to ending the song. Repeating the chorus a hundred times gets really old. Funny that I didn't notice it until I was singing it in front of an audience. And then it became crystal clear. The Foundations seem to have looked into their own magic ball, saw the 80s, and decided to use that formula on the ending of this song. Aside from that, I don't have any complaints with The Foundations and this song.

What I like about Alison's cover is that it truly is a unique cover. She put her on stamp on this song making it very different from the original. 

Even though this wasn't a horse race by anyone's definition, I heartily enjoyed this match up. I hope to put together something for next time that you truly struggle with... now that is the BEST kind of Battle of The Bands. 

Until next time... 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

BoTB ~ Baby, Now That I've Found You

 Fellow bloggers, once again blogging has gotten away from me. I could say I was disheartened by my last Battle of the Bands (true), but that isn't the sum total of what's going on here. Never is, right? I'm struggling a bit with "where do I go from here?" given that life is beginning to look more positive for me.

I confess that I did have a bad bout with migraines a few days ago. Interestingly enough, I think it's because I'm also having trouble with my sinuses (allergies?), which caused my vestibular issues to become issues (again) and my migraines to become problematic (again). I really thought I was in for another ear infection, which was really bad (understatement), and I freaked out for about two days. My ENT doctor confirmed there was no infection, but lots of drainage, which probably started it all. BUT, the really interesting thing for me was having the migraine again. It was two days of pure hell, which turned into enlightenment when I grasped that was EVERY day for fourteen years. Fourteen years. This all began in January 2003. Those two days were miserable, but when I remembered that every day used to be like those two days... well, let's just say gratitude became the prevailing attitude.

Anyway, I shall endeavor to be better in the next week about visiting your blogs. I really appreciate taking this journey with you.

On to the battle at hand! My friend, Stephen T. McCarthy, consulted his Magic 8 Ball on this battle (after getting a whiny response from me about my last battle results). Oh wait... what were those results? Dolly Parton stomped all over Al Green and Annie Lennox until their egos were the size of my pinkie finger. Dolly ran away with 12 votes (inc mine) while Al and Annie only netted 3. It was very sad. So, Stephen lent me an ear and offered to consult on my potential match-up. According to Magic 8 Ball, The Foundations are going to heartily beat Alison Krauss (my two contenders today) by 2 to 1. Even so, I'm going forth with this battle. I think Magic 8 Ball might be off on those odds. The Foundations has familiarity going for them since they recorded this song first, but Alison Krauss sings like an angel (in my humble opinion). So, let the battle begin!

The song is Baby, Now That I've Found You. I'll let The Foundations go first (since they actually recorded it first).

And, here is Alison Krauss.

Please vote for the version of this song you prefer. If you want to get into the Ins and Outs of why you like one better than the other... I LOVE long comments!

For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles. I've stopped trying to keep up with who is running a battle and who isn't. To see who is participating, go here: Stephen T. McCarthy's Battle of the Bands Blog.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

BoTB ~ Put A Little Love In Your Heart

 One would think that I'd have been more on top of this Battle of the Bands. But Nooooo.

Before I get down to the meat of this post (read: Battle), I just want to thank you for the kind comments on my last post. I realize that I sound like a person very much stuck in the past. In reality, I'm better (as in much better) than I was. I used to be sad about Jack's suicide all the time. Now, just sometimes. Days like his birthday and the anniversary of his death are particularly tough. Most of the time, I feel confident that he is in a much better place. I think God understands things that we don't. In any event, just wanted you to know I wasn't a basket case (well no more so than you already thought I was). And since I started taking the iodine, even LESS a basket case and more an energized, migraine-free person (again, most of the time). If this is news to you, go back a few posts to The Fight for My Life. Things are looking up in the land of Robin (still!).

After all that I was going (stress was) going to choose a song for this battle that I had in mind for my Soundtrack of My Life Series (am I still doing that???), but I decided against because 1) that is chronological and we aren't there, and 2) It's a Jack Song, and I fear that it would make you change your mind about my "basket case state." Instead, I decided to go with something upbeat and positive, which is a true reflection about how I feel regarding 2017. I'm excited. I think this is going to be an amazing year!!!

The song is Put A Little Love In Your Heart. The song was originally performed by Jackie DeShannon in 1969. I'm not going to use that version. Instead, I'm going with two covers. Drum roll please.

Al Green and Annie Lennox recorded the song in 1988 for the film Scrooged. It was a hit for them. They are battling it out with the legendary Dolly Parton.  I went to Wikipedia for information on the covers only to find out that Wikipedia doesn't know everything. Point of fact, they have no mention of Dolly's take on this song. Sigh. Of course, that doesn't really matter since this is all about who does it better (rather than being a learning experience for you). So, sit back and let your ears determine who puts more love in your heart! Vote in the comments. I'll tabulate in approximately a week. Then we find out who wins this epic love battle!

Al Green and Annie Lennox...

Dolly Parton...

Please vote for the version of this song you prefer. If you want to get into the Ins and Outs of why you like one better than the other... I LOVE long comments!

For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles. I've stopped trying to keep up with who is running a battle and who isn't. To see who is participating, go here: Stephen T. McCarthy's Battle of the Bands Blog.