Is it a coincidence that immediately after I write a post in defense of summer we have perfect weather? The past two days were right out of a Charles O’Rear photograph. It’s nice to know Mother Nature reads this blog. That ups its total readership to 1.
Before we go any further, I’d like to go on a tangent regarding the weather and body image issues:
Every treadmill and elliptical was occupied at the gym today. Every single one. So my question is this: Who are these sick people?
No one should ever go to the gym to run on a treadmill or use an elliptical—unless, of course, you don’t want to get any real results—but on a day like today?
A day where the sky was yellow and the sun was blue?
With miles of road and trail and track at your disposal?
NOW, since this blog (somehow) counts for school I should probably be conscious of my grade and write what I think my professor wants to read.
But I just can’t do it.
After all, this is my blog and it’s pretty much all I’ve got.
And in my blog, I will splash. The pot. Whenever. The fuck. I please.
So, in celebration of our recent weather, here’s a post just for me. It’s the kind of thing I’d read in the office to salt away the workday.
I present to you the Top Five Blue Sky Songs:
(Please, rest assured that this list was put together Smilin’ Jack Ross style: These are the facts, and they are undisputed.)
5.) “Mr. Blue Sky,” Electric Light Orchestra
I don’t know what song has been used in the most movies, television shows, commercials, etc.—my guess is Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky,”—but “Mr. Blue Sky” has to be up there.
You might remember it from the Volkswagen commercial. Or the Sears commercial. Or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or The Game Plan or Megamind or Paul Blart: Mall Cop or The Invention of Lying or Role Models or…well, you get the point.
The reason for its promiscuousness ? It’s an instant good mood song, which makes sense since Jeff Lynne wrote it after spending two sunless weeks in Switzerland only to emerge from his chalet one morning to see the day moon chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool over the Alps.
And just like “Mr. Blue Sky”, that’s a sight that’ll turn anyone’s frown upside down.
(Before we move on, can be talk about Jeff Lynne for a minute? The ELO frontman not only wrote “Fire on High”,”Livin’ Thing”, “Evil Woman”, “Turn to Stone”, “Do Ya”, “Telephone Line”, “Strange Magic”, and “Don’t Bring Me Down”, but his additional writing credits include “I Won’t Back Down” and “Free Fallin'” for Petty and “Handle with Care” and “End of the Line” for the Traveling Wilburys.
Are you fucking KIDDING me, Jeff Lynne?
It’s a shame he’s going to have to die before people remember/realize how ridiculously awesome he is.)
4) “Goodbye Blue Sky,” Pink Floyd
This song should most assuredly not put you in a good mood.
Full disclosure: “Goodbye Blue Sky” is the first Pink Floyd song I can remember hearing—I did a spot-on “Look mummy, there’s an airplane up in the sky” imitation as a six year old—so we have history.
Nevertheless, you have to admire any song that transcends its intended commentary.
While Roger Waters wrote it about the Blitz, “Goodbye Blue Sky” remains relevant thanks to what Waters considers a modern day “cultural bombing”.
If you had the pleasure of seeing The Wall Live you might remember bomber planes dropping—in lieu of German bombs—dollar signs, euro signs, religious symbols, and corporate logos during this song.
In other words, the flames are long gone but the pain lingers on.
As true today as it was when it was written.
3) “Bullet the Blue Sky,” U2
Quick: What’s this song about?
You’ve heard it more times than you can remember, but of course you don’t know. And why would you? Who actually listens to the lyrics?
Here’s a free lesson: During the Salvadoran Civil War (1979-1992), the United States—namely, the Reagan administration—provided financial support to the Salvadoran regime while ignoring ho-hum details such as the death squads, child soldiers, and human rights abuse that said regime was responsible for.
Quick: Why would the United States do this?
You’re right! It was all in an effort to thwart communism.
Arguably U2’s angriest recording, “Bullet the Blue Sky” has everything a U2 song needs.
Inspired by social, political, and/or economic inequity? Check.
Biblical reference? Check. (“Jacob wrestled the angel / And the angel was overcome” is an allusion to Jacob’s return to Bethel.)
Bono drifting into spoken word during the bridge? Check. (One hundred! Two hundred!)
The Edge doing the Edge things? Check. (This song is possibly the Edge at his Edgiest as his guitar slides really do echo those fighter planes.)
Good in concert? Double check. (I don’t care if you hate U2—seeing this song in person will knock you on your ass.)
Now that I think about it, “Bullet the Blue Sky” is such a great song it pretty much justifies the atrocities it was written about.
Am I right, El Salvador?!
(I swear that was a joke.)
2) “Blue Sky,” The Allman Brothers Band
Where to start with this one?
First, Dickey Betts wrote “Blue Sky” about Sandy “Bluesky” Wabegijig, his Native American girlfriend whom he eventually married.
Second, Dickey and Bluesky had a daughter named Jessica. Dickey wrote a song—“Jessica”—about his daughter, too.
Third, there’s no fucking way there is a mother/daughter combo out there that can lay claim to two better songs than “Blue Sky” and “Jessica”.
Fourth, “Blue Sky” was Dickey’s debut as the Allman’s lead vocalist and it changed everything. The Allmans became the Allmans because of this song.
And most importantly, Duane Allman and Dickey start the song’s bridge solo with Duane as lead and Dickey as rhythm only to switch half way through. At 2:28 they synch up, and if your dick doesn’t move when that happens you should call your doctor.
Simply put, this is the kind of song that reminds us of why we listen.
1) “Blue Skies,” Ella Fitzgerald
I’ll let you decide for me:
You come at the Queen, you best not miss.
The Queen stay the Queen.
If you didn’t see this coming you need to do yourself a favor and devote some time to Lady Ella.
At the very least, letting her enrich your life will make the past 1,000 plus words of nonsense worth it.
Is it quitting time yet?