Day 2 of 2022. Took a walk in the cool air and warm sun. It felt good to breathe some air and notice beauty along the way. Roses growing through and over a fence, cactus which always make my heart smile, a dog playing in their front yard seeming so carefree. I snap a few pictures, and save a few with my mind’s eye, trying to take with me some good to help quell my anxieties. They are rattling hard inside of me lately, but I’m trying to push through them, like those roses pushing through and over the fence.

Today’s music selection came to be, at random. One song led to the next and then they all just fit. I listened to them, on repeat, while baking cranberry, raspberry, and orange muffins this morning. The tracks swirled around me, my body swaying, my lips turning up into a slight smile.

Maybe these five will do the same for you today.

Give Me Five January 2022

Give Me Five…January 2, 2022

Available to listen, and follow along throughout January, on Spotify and YouTube

Song 1: “The Kiss” by Judee Sill

"The Kiss" by Judee Sill
Judee Sill
“The Kiss” by Judee Sill – from the album, Heart Food (1973)

“Sun sifting through the grey.
Enter in,
reach me with a ray.
Silently swooping down,
just to show me,
how to give my heart away.”

How have I not heard/heard of Judee Sill until today? Her songs are like poetry and her voice lilting and full of beauty. I need to hear more.

This song, and the lyrics above, remind me how it felt to be out walking through the neighborhood today.

Reading about Judee I’m sad to learn she had a short life. Two albums and then she was gone from a drug overdose. So interesting to read that she was inspired by Bach and that her lyrics leaned into religion, especially in regards to redemption and the rapture. She sings like some kind of a folk angel, to me.

Song 2: “Strange” by Celeste

"Stra
Celeste
“Strange” by Celeste – from the album, Not Your Muse (2021)

“Isn’t it strange,
How people can change?

From strangers to friends,
friends into lovers,
and strangers again?”

This song, and Celeste’s album, Not Your Muse, are among my favorites from last year. I know I’ve shared this song before, written about it, and included it in more than a few playlists. It is so spot on what the life cycle of a relationship is, one that has a start and an end.

Something about the song reminds me of a Nora Ephron rom-com. I don’t know why, but my thoughts go right to that – especially When Harry Met Sally, which honestly I haven’t seen in years.

Song 3: “Co-op” by Beth Atwell

"Co-
Beth Atwell
“Co-op” by Beth Atwell – from the album, Already, Always (2021)

“It’s the laughter,
it’s the plunge.
Things are simple when they’re done.
Slide behind the curtain from the rough.
On the way over,
I said I love him.
I said it’s not enough.”

Another favorite song, and album, from last year. This track, especially the lyrics above, breaks me a little. It’s that knowing that you can love someone with all that you are, with all that you have to give, and it may never be enough. Not enough to make them happy. Not enough to keep them alive. Not enough to change the way they see themselves, and the world around them.

I really feel that right now.

Song 4: “Strawberry Letter 23″ by Shuggie Otis

"Strawberry Letter 23" by Shuggie Otis
Shuggie Otis
“Strawberry Letter 23” by Shuggie Otis – from the album, Freedom Flight (1971)

“Feel sunshine sparkle pink and blue
Playgrounds will laugh
If you try to ask
‘Is it cool?'”

Another artist from the 70’s that I’m surprised I’ve never heard, or heard of, until today. I think this start of the year’s theme is uncovering/discovering new 70’s songs and artists. I’ve always loved the era – the decade of my childhood – but I’m happily realizing that no matter how much I thought I knew the music from that time, there is still so much more to discover.

“Strawberry Letter 23” (I love that the number is 23, my favorite number) was written and composed by Otis. Apparently, the song is more known by The Brothers Johnson, who recorded it in 1977 – Quincy Jones as producer. I’m going to have a listen to that version, too.

I prefer the Shuggie Otis version, at least this morning.

Song 5: “Try Me On…I’m Very You” by Deee-Lite

"Try Me On...I'm Very You" by Deee-Lite
Deee-Lite
“Try Me On…I’m Very You” by Deee-Lite – from the album, World Clique (1990)

I can’t read your mind,
so you got to let me know all the time.
How it feels for it to be real –
ooh you got me you got me you got me.”

I realized today that as much as I love Deee-Lite’s hit, “Groove Is In the Heart” (honestly one of my favorite songs of all-time and one of my go-to’s when I want to dance and/or lift my mood) I’ve never explored much more of their music. The album, World Clique, that “Groove” is off of is fantastic. Very early 90’s house music/cusp of raves music. It reminds me of dancing at Alice’s House and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, in Hollywood, in 1990 – just before big warehouse raves in downtown LA started to take over the scene.

This track is so much fun. I played it in the kitchen this morning, turning the volume up, and dancing around while the muffins baked in the oven. It felt wonderful.

Give Me Five January 2022

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