July Shuffle 3.0


The dog day of summer are upon us!  No better time for a shuffle post!  Important news at the end of this!

Help I’m Alive, Metric: Sometimes we feel like we are left for dead and nobody cares.  But it is up to us to make sure we get up and keep going.  We all have an inner strength in us and we have to access that when we are down.

Dust In The Wind, Kansas: One of the earliest songs I remember hearing back in the day.  The harmony during “All we do…” is like angels singing from Heaven.  This song always helps me to put things in perspective.  We are only on this earth a short time, historically speaking.  In the vastness of the universe, we are less than a speck of dust.  It’s actually a bleak outlook of life, but at the same time I have to believe that everything and everyone matters.

It’s Time, Imagine Dragons: This was their breakout song.  “Now don’t you understand, I’m never changing who I am.”  This song represents who I am.  For good or bad, take me as I am.  I have good and bad in me.  We all do.

Brilliant Disguise, Bruce Springsteen: Trying to figure out who we are as a teenager is a pain in the ass.  You have no idea who you are because your life hasn’t even kicked into high gear yet.  We all wear different faces.  One for work, one for family, one for friends.  I have to think the truest face is the one looking back at you in the mirror.  “So tell me who I see, when I look in your eyes…”

Let’s Dance, David Bowie: Bowie’s first single after “Under Pressure”, his awesome duet with Queen, was a stroke of genius.  It was 1983 in the beginning of a musical renaissance.  Bowie put it out there with this song and succeeded.  It was the MTV generation, and Bowie slopped it up like milk for a cat!  Always reminds me of the Spring of 1983 and all that came with it.

Jesus of Suburbia, Green Day: The band’s best song, bar none!  When “American Idiot” came out in 2004, I had just moved back east from California.  We were staying with some friends in Philadelphia.  I was working a part-time job.  We had time on our hands as we made a very tidy profit selling our house in Menifee.  When I bought this CD at Tower Records in Northeast Philadelphia and this song came on, I wound up driving for hours and playing this song over and over.  Clocking in at 9:06, it is a “story” song, in the vein of American Pie.  But a modern-day version.  If you’ve never heard this song, I strongly suggest finding it and just listen.

Get Off Of My Cloud, Rolling Stones: My favorite Stones songs are the ones from the 1960s and early 1970s.  They could do no wrong.  This song is one of my “anger” songs.  When you are in a great mood and life is good and someone just keeps trying to bring you down, you have to ignore them.  If they have a good reason, that is one thing.  But if they are just doing it to be difficult, I don’t have time for you.

Love To Be Loved, Peter Gabriel: “Let it go, let is pass, let it leave.  From the deepest place I grieve.  This time I believe.  And I’ll let go, I’ll let go, I can let go of it.  Though it takes all the strength in me, and all the world can see. I’m losing such a central part of me.  I can let go of it.  You know I mean it, you know that I mean it.  I recognize how much I’ve lost but I can not face the cost.  Cause I love to be loved.  Yes, I love to be loved.”  I wouldn’t dare try to put my own meaning behind this song when Gabriel does it so well.

Break Your Heart, Gaslight Anthem: We all have secrets.  Every single one of us.  The first time I heard this song, I was driving back home from work on Route 13 in Smyrna.  I pulled over to an area where folks go fishing by a pond on the border of Smyrna and Dover.  I played the song again.  I saw something in my mind.  An ending.  It wouldn’t happen for a long time, but I recognized it dancing on the outskirts of my mind.  It took a long time for the dance to reach center stage and when it did, it broke my heart.

How Long, The Eagles: In 2007, the Eagles returned with a studio album after a very long 27 year wait.  This was the first single.  They sounded like they hadn’t aged at all.  It brought back that 10 year old from Roanoke, VA with a southern accent who didn’t have a care in the world.  “What you get is not quite what you choose.”  Truer words have never been spoken.

Princes Familiar, Alanis Morrisette: This is from the singer’s unplugged album that came out at the end of 1999.  It was at a time of new hope for me.  Hope is a funny thing.  You think that something new can replace the old pains.  But sometimes it just creates new pain that makes the old pain look like nothing.  In other words, screen your actions very carefully.

I Think I’m Paranoid, Garbage: In the fall of 1998, I was knee deep in a new life.  I got a new job at Advanta Mortgage.  As a loan officer, we had 90 days to get a certain quota or we lost our job.  I struggled with this.  We had to build up our pipeline and get 15 new mortgages.  I had 14 with days left and another set to close on that 15th day.  That morning they wanted to cancel their loan.  I was doomed.  For hours and hours, I struggled to get through the day.  I didn’t have another job lined up and rent was due.  Around 4pm, another borrower who was approved called me up.  They had canceled their mortgage application but changed their mind.  Now they wanted it.  We scrambled, my boss and I, to get a closing set up by 5pm.  It happened.  One of the most insane days of my life.

Heaven, Better Than Ezra: “If we twist their arms they know not what they do is wrong.”  I’ve always tried to do the right thing.  I haven’t always succeeded.  No one is perfect.  But I believe there are people on this earth who purposely don’t care.  They don’t care that their actions have a huge impact on many.  They are greedy and selfish and care only about lining their own pockets.

Save The Best For Last, Vanessa Williams: This song is the absolute opposite of how love should be.  If you are saving the best for last, that relationship is doomed.  If you want a relationship, whether it is romantic, friendship, business, or whatever, you have to give.  You can’t wait until things go south and then bring out the best in you.  It has to be constant and repetitive.

Flaws, Bastille: If all you do is point out the worst in a person, don’t be surprised if that’s what you get in return.  If you want to kill a person’s soul, the best way to do it is to point out their flaws every single day.  The trick for the victim is to either ignore it or walk away from it.

Texarkana, R.E.M.: I made it a point to play this song when I was driving through the Texas panhandle when I drove across the country to move to California.  Land that was flatter than Delaware.  Tumbleweeds blowing across the road.  Desolate, sandy, like the Dust Bowl went through this land and left a permanent mark.

Piu Bella Cosa, Eros Ramazotti: This will most likely be the only “pop” song in Italian that will appear on these shuffle mixes.  When I lived in Sweden, I would hear songs in different languages all the time.  This song was huge in the summer of 1996.  I would hear songs in Swedish, English, Norwegian, Finnish, Italian, French, Spanish and more.  In America, we live in an insular society.  But for the rest of the world, they embrace the rest of the world.  Especially in Europe.

Divine Thing, Soupdragons: What ever happened to this band?  They were awesome!  This ditty reminds me of the Spring of 1992.  I had just gotten out of a two year plus relationship, I graduated from Bucks County Community College, I was transferring to Cabrini College in the fall, and I worked a freelance job up in Connecticut.  That job required me to go up to CT once a month to hand in my work and collect a paycheck.  I would go up for about 4-5 days depending on what was going on.  It was near where I used to live in NY so I always had someone to see or hang out with, as well as my friends from work.  I would stay with my Aunt and Uncle in NY.  It was a very fun spring/summer where I didn’t really have to answer to anyone.

The Light, The Disturbed: I’m not one for heavy metal.  Some of it is good.  Just not my thing.  But this song I love!  “Sometimes darkness will show you the light.”  Very true.  Sometimes that light is truth.  Kind of describes my whole blogging journey.  Dig deep enough, and some light shines into that darkness exposing what lays beneath.

Dreamer, Toni Childs: Situational depression.  It is real.  I’ve been through it a few times in my life.  When life just piles up on you and your mind faces the full brunt of it like a jetliner coming right at you.  It breaks you.  It destroys you.  It makes you not want to get up in the morning.  You want to hide and run at the same time.  There is a dangerous trap with this kind of depression.  It can swallow you whole if you let it.  When you get out of it, you charge into life with renewed vigor and grace, but damn, it sucks to be in it.

Night: Snow Part 1, George Winston: On a hot and humid day like today, as I sit on my porch typing this, I long for snow.  I love snow.  I hate driving in it, but the actual thing, looking out your window and seeing it falling… to me it is one of the most peaceful creations in the universe.  Everything becomes still and quiet.  At night, during snow storms, I like to just go outside and see it falling through the street lights.

In A Big Country, Big Country: This single from the Scottish band hit the airwaves in 1982.  Whenever I hear this song I think of the video of these weird looking dudes screaming “shattered” as it echoes through vast landscapes and mountains.  We make the most of the land we live in.

The Unforgetable Fire, U2: I heard this song for seven years but it wasn’t until an old friend passed away in 1992 that it really hit me.  I was driving up to New York for his funeral when I heard it.  It kind of became a theme song for this sad day.  Whenever I hear it, I think of Smiley the Terrible.

If You Leave, OMD: Where were you in the Spring of 1986?  I was a sophomore in high school.  I was a “drammie” as us theater types were called in my high school.  There were the “freaks”, the “jocks”, the “nerds” and so on.  “Pretty In Pink”, the movie starring some of the folks in the “Brat Pack”, launched this song to the world.  Everyone had a label then.  Schools are very different now.  We aren’t allowed to brand people by the groups they hang out in.  I grew up in an elite area.  Tons of money.  Not really my family, but you had to fit the part.  That meant getting the latest clothes and brands for the time.  It was the height of the 1980s, with President Reagan screaming about Russia’s nuclear arms.  Some of us who lived back then are the ones calling the shots now.

Eden, 10,000 Maniacs: “We are roses in the garden, beauty with thorns among our leaves.  To pick a rose you ask your hands to bleed. ”  This is a song about taking chances in life.  At least that’s the way I see it.  Sometimes taking a chance means asking yourself to be hurt.  Sometimes it is the only way.

Just Like Heaven, The Cure: Quintessential 1980s song!  This one reminds me of so many things.  Her.  My grandmother’s death.  Senior year of high school.  Parties.  Working.  Kryptons.  Ridgefield.  The reservoir.  Echoes of the Past.  St. Elizabeth Seton.  Danbury Mall.  The ride.  White-out.  Emmaus.  Comics.  Music.  All of it.  Wouldn’t trade it for the world.

The Mission, Ennio Morricone: One of my favorite movies of all-time is “The Mission”.  This movie resonates with me a lot these days.  It is about two men.  One a priest, the other a rebel, both were stationed at a mission in South America.  The mission is set for invasion by an army.  The priest believes in peaceful resolution, the rebel thinks they need to fight.  Meanwhile, the rebel tries to find peace in his soul for his past transgressions.  It is a thought-provoking movie, about lifting yourself up beyond your past and becoming a new person.

Part of Me, Part of You, Glenn Frey: By far my favorite of Frey’s work as a solo artist.  While many remember this song from “Thelma and Louise”, I remember it as a liberation type of song.  I talked about depression earlier.  In the fall of 1990, I went through a very crippling depression that rendered me useless for months.  The following Spring, I picked up the pieces again.  I made new friends and began to assert more control in my life.  I realized that any time I am at the bottom I need to reach out to those around me the most.  I had a sense of inner peace.  That depression helped me to put some demons to bed once and for all.

Winter Has Come, Ramin Djawadi: For years, all I heard was “Winter Is Coming”.  Then, Winter finally got here.  It kind of sums up my life right now.  The thing I thought I dreaded the most actually wasn’t.  The games continue, but I refuse to give them the importance they once had.  But that means it is a time for action, not thoughts or words.

Life Must Have It’s Mysteries, Zimmer, Hans: We can’t know everything.  It is impossible.  Some things, we just aren’t meant to know.  We can search and attach meaning to this or that, but sometimes it boils down to things we do not own.  Thoughts, feelings, and actions.  We may think we know, but unless you own those things, it is opinion.  I do my best to make peace with that, but I fail miserably on occasion.  Each of us has our own story.  This is mine.

Poet, Bastille: “I have written you down now, you will live forever.”  I write a lot.  Mostly about education in Delaware, but other stuff too.  For me, it is all about transparency and justice.  Equality and equity.  Exposure and light.  Righting wrongs.  Sometimes I write about deeply personal things, such as these shuffle mixes.  Some may like it, others may hate it.  But these are my words.  Put on something that didn’t exist thirty-five years ago.  This internet thing.  In some aspects, this writing of mine is a journal.  That I share with the world.  It isn’t a newspaper article in the typical aspect.  I put my heart and soul in it and with that comes tons of opinion.  I don’t expect an agreement with everything.  But these words are my own and I put them out the best way I can.  With that being said, it is time for a break.  I’ve written a lot of words lately.  Tons.  But the soul needs to rest sometimes.  It needs to take a look at what has gone before and prepare for the future.  I realized this last night as I was sitting on The Green in Dover, in front of Legislative Hall.  It was quiet and peaceful all around me.  A few cars passing by, not a soul walking around.  I knew this break was coming, but my soul-searching in the heart of Dover last evening on a hot and muggy night made this conclusion inescapable.  I’ll be back in a week or two.  With all the stuff you’ve come to expect from this blog.  Hopefully my battery recharge will result in more focus and direction.  I will be around on Facebook, but I really want to limit the education talk if possible.  I have no doubt I will break my own “rules” with this, but just a request.  For those who know me best, they know exactly what is going on with my life now and why I need this.  For those who don’t, trust that I will be back.  God bless!



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