The Twelve Days of Christmas (Elton style)

I haven’t quite stepped into Christmas yet, so I decided to play around with a classic and make an Elton Christmas…

On the first day of Christmas, Sir Elton gave to me…An angel in your tree

On the second day of Christmas, Sir Elton gave to me…Two teas with sugar

On the third day of Christmas, Sir Elton gave to me…Three times the beer

On the fourth day of Christmas, Sir Elton gave to me…Four walls of stone

On the fifth day of Christmas, Sir Elton gave to me…Five days a week

On the sixth day of Christmas, Sir Elton gave to me…Six-inch heels

On the seventh day of Christmas, Sir Elton gave to me…7 o’clock, I wanna rock

On the eighth day of Christmas, Sir Elton gave to me…Eight hundred dollar shoes

On the ninth day of Christmas, Sir Elton gave to me…Nine o’clock mornings

On the tenth day of Christmas, Sir Elton gave to me…Ten tin soldiers

On the eleventh day of Christmas, Sir Elton gave to me…Eleven million dollar pianos

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Sir Elton gave to me…A lifetime of music

 

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Come on, I know you’re singing it in your head!

And now I think I am in the Christmas spirit!

 

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Diamonds are this girl’s best friend

As many of you know, Sir Elton is soon to release Diamonds, the “ultimate greatest hits collection in honor of his and Bernie Taupin’s 50-year songwriting career.” (Yes, mine is pre-ordered as a Christmas present pour moi. Can’t open it until December 25th though)!

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Of course, there is an Elton John: The Diamond Club Facebook group where you can share stories and memories of your favorite diamond song. And me – being ever the contrary and wordy one – couldn’t pick just one song or one memory, so I decided to share some of my diamond moments:

I’ve been thinking about what I should say here, but it is so hard to select just one diamond song/moment for me.

Could it be when I took the shrink wrap off my very first Elton album (Greatest Hits) and gave it a spin?  That was 1974 and I’ve been smitten ever since.

Could it be the first time I saw him in concert (with just Ray Cooper) in 1979 – way up in the nose bleed section – but was thrilled beyond belief? A dream come true.

Could it be every single time I get a new album or CD and listen to it for the very first time? And it’s a sacred ritual that I must listen to it by myself.  Like he’s singing just for me.

Could it be that time when I had front row seats right in front of his piano bench and I KNOW he smiled at me?

Could it be the friends I’ve made over the years and across the globe through our shared love of everything Elton? (For friends are found on every road…)

Could it be when someone tells me that every time they hear an Elton John song, they think of me?

Could it be the light you see in someone’s eyes after they’ve seen him perform live for the first time? And how blessed I feel to have shared that experience with so many family and friends?

Could it be when I realize I’ve been a devotee for more than 40 years and how my life has been enriched and beautified by his music – and still is?

Could it be the day I decided to write a blog about what his music means to me…and then each and every time I see that someone else has actually read it?

Could it be every “next” Elton concert I have the privilege of attending? I’ve been to more than 50 and I know that I’ll leave the next one exhilarated and reaffirmed in my passion for his music and his brilliance.

Yes, it could be…and likely so many more, too.

So, what is (are) your diamond moment(s)?  Do visit the Elton John: The Diamond Club Facebook group to see what other people are saying.

And check out the Diamond Moments on eltonjohn.com, too.  Here’s one about Crocodile Rock.

 

 

 

The golden circle of life

So I finally found the time to go see Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Not normally my kind of movie, but you-know-who is in it.

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I prepared myself for the worst. I hadn’t seen Kingsman, although I’d heard it was pretty violent and very crude – but funny.

Well…

It wasn’t that bad! I actually enjoyed it.

Of course, Sir Elton was the best part (imho).  And if the laughter in the theatre was any indication, so did the rest of the movie goers.  There was noticeable chuckling during each of his scenes. (Maybe they couldn’t get over him using the F-bomb in almost every line, but so did most of the other characters).

I won’t be a spoiler, but suffice it to say that Elton plays himself in the movie (thus the F-word)? The evil Poppy has kidnapped him to be her own private piano player while she plots to take over the world. Hey, even evil-doers love Elton John!

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And he looked so sad as a captive. I just wanted to go up and give him a great big hug.

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Oh, and the costumes! So 1970s – love, love, love it! I wish I could find more images of those, but no such luck.

A few EJ songs were featured in the movie (but not on the soundtrack – why?):

 

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Jack Rabbit was a welcome surprise. Of course, I had to stay through all the credits to listen to Jack Rabbit and to see the credits to Elton and Bernard (as he was listed).

Anyway, go see it if you haven’t already.  For someone who typically doesn’t like these kinds of flicks, I was pleasantly surprised.

Here’s a few reviews (kind to EJ, of course) in case you’re not sure:

My favorite: “Someone give Elton John a Kingsman spin-off immediately!”

I’ll second that.

 

…And all that po-li-ti-cal crap

No, this isn’t a partisan rant or diatribe. I try to avoid posting political, religious or any content that could be even slightly misconstrued as controversial on social media (this blog included). I just don’t want my social experience to be about that. But some recent occurrences have made me chuckle.

Most of you probably know that U.S. President Donald Trump has dubbed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man.”

Personally, I think it’s quite funny.  I’m not up in arms about it as some EJ fans are. Given his sense of humor, I have a feeling that he probably thinks it’s quite hilarious, too. Plus, it brings EJ into the forefront of just about every news outlet, talk show, political cartoon, meme and what have you.  After all, what do they say? There’s no such thing as bad publicity. (And I don’t even think this is bad).

Anyway, here are a couple of said images that I thought were particularly chuckle-worthy:

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Speaking (or not) of politics, Bernie and Elton have penned a few songs in their day that are either overtly political or could be interpreted as having a political message (probably more than I realize).  Here are just a few that come to mind:

  • Fascist Faces
  • Madman Across the Water (is this really about Richard Nixon? I think not)
  • Postcards from Richard Nixon
  • Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher
  • Restless
  • Belfast
  • Border Song
  • Slave
  • Burn Down the Mission
  • Nikita
  • Passengers
  • Too Many Tears

I guess we could add Rocket Man to that list now! 🙂

And this list doesn’t take into account the plethora of war (especially Civil War) related songs. That in and of itself is probably blog worthy.

In case you’re wondering, the title of this blog comes from Fascist Faces, off the album The Fox (1981). I’ve always loved the way he sings “political” in this song:

But I’m tired of being linked with the K.G.B.
And all that po-li-ti-cal crap

 

Question for you: What Elton songs do you think are political? I’d love to hear from you.

Back to the main topic of this blog, we have 70- and 67-year old men getting props for a song they wrote in  1972…not bad, not bad at all.  See, boys, you’re still relevant!

And here’s some unsolicited advice from Kimoreena: If you’re upset about Rocket Man being used by Donald Trump (and now just about everyone in the world), it’s really not that big of a deal. Go with it and have a good laugh. (I mean, you have to laugh else you’ll cry, right)?

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The weight of the world

I can’t believe it’s been almost six months since my last post – and it was nearly a year between that post and the previous one! Just two posts in a year and a half! What is going on with the Kim? The Captain certainly hasn’t slowed down much.

Well…there have been a lot of things going on in my life which have kept me busy and my mind elsewhere. Be that as it may, the biggest thing to me is that I want to be thoughtful in my posts – and lately, I don’t feel like I would have been able to give The Captain and the Kim the thought and care that I expect to.  If a song carries a special meaning or memory for me, I want to describe every nuance of that. If a concert has a special moment (and don’t they all?), I want to capture that for everyone to experience. I don’t just want to post for posting’s sake.

But I’m back now.  (And yes, I can hear the cheers and applause, thank you very much).

As many of you know, I will be retiring at the end of this year.  Retiring much earlier than I had expected, but retiring nonetheless.  It’s been a long 35 years with the same company – mostly good, some not so.  All in all, though, I can say that I’ve had a good run. Time to pass the baton.

Fortune and fame is so fleeting these days
I’m happy to say I’m amazed that I’m still around

I’ve traveled to places I never thought I’d go, worked on some really cool projects, met my husband, received 7 patents, published many articles and reports, even saw Elton at a conference my company sponsored…And most importantly, I’ve met and worked with so many talented and all around good people.

You know, I have worked for the same company for more than 60% of my life.  No doubt I spent too many hours working and thinking about work.  I was distracted from my children and family much too often.  I associated my value as a person too much with my career success or setbacks.  It’s been such a big part of my life – probably more than it should have been.

There’s a long list of names that I don’t recall
Even though my memory’s good
The rain washed away the lemons and weeds
When the weight of the world weighed more than it should

Part of me is nervous about retiring, the other part is excited. (Remember, I’m a sucker for that dichotomy thing).  As I work on my resume, search for what’s out there and what’s possible, I try to lean towards the excited side vs. the nervous side. It’s not always easy, especially as my end date closes in (4 months to go as of this writing).

So…

On January 1, 2018, I want to feel like I felt the day I knew I was going to graduate from Georgia Tech.  I remember it vividly.  My advisor had just given me an “A” on my senior design project.  I did it! I was graduating! It was raining outside, but I didn’t need an umbrella – and I felt like I was flying.  That weight was definitely lifted.

And the weight of the world is off my back
When we fell, we got up
And crawled out the cracks
Excuse me if I take some comfort in that
Happy today, happy to play
With the weight of the world off my back

Well, I’ve had a different weight for 35 years – and it will feel good – scratch that, it will feel awesome – when that weight is lifted, too. Wish me luck!

And now, for your listening pleasure:

 

Weight of the World – Peachtree Road (2004)

30 Day Elton John Song Challenge

I’ve seen this challenge floating around Facebook, and I thought I’d make it a real one – let’s make it a 30 Day Elton John Song Challenge!

30DaySongChallenge

As you can see from my list, I only had to “stretch” it a couple of times.

Day 1: A song you like with a color in the title
Blues for Baby and Me

Day 2: A song you like with a number in the title
Between 17 and 20

Day 3: A song that reminds you of summertime
Amoreena

Day 4: A song that reminds of you someone you’d rather forget about
Someone Saved My Life Tonight

Day 5: A song that needs to be played LOUD
The Bitch is Back

Day 6: A song that makes you want to dance
Club at the End of the Street

Day 7: A song to drive to
Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)

Day 8: A song about drugs or alcohol
Heavy Traffic

Day 9: A song that makes you happy
Blessed

Day 10: A song that makes you sad
Empty Garden

Day 11: A song that you never get tired of
Tiny Dancer

Day 12: A song from your preteen years
Your Song

Day 13: One of your favorite 70s songs
Come Down In Time

Day 14: A song you would love played at your wedding
The One

Day 15: A song that is a cover by another artist
We All Fall in Love Sometimes (Jeff Buckley)

Day 16: One of your favorite classical songs
Carla/Etude

Day 17: A song that you would sing a duet with on karaoke
Bad Blood

Day 18: A song from the year you were born in
Sixty Years On (I was born in 1960)

Day 19: A song that makes you think about life
Blues Never Fade Away

Day 20: A song that has many meanings to you
Original Sin

Day 21: A favorite song with a person’s name in the title
All the Girls Love Alice

Day 22: A song that moves you forward
Friends

Day 23: A song that you think everyone should listen to
The Greatest Discovery

Day 24: A song by a band that you wish were still together
Grow Some Funk of Your Own

Day 25: A song by an artist no longer living
Mandalay Again (with Leon Russell)

Day 26: A song that makes you want to fall in love
Pinky

Day 27: A song that breaks your heart
American Triangle

Day 28: A song by an artist with a voice that you love
Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters 

Day 29: A song that you remember from your childhood
Bennie and the Jets

Day 30: A song that reminds you of yourself
I’m Still Standing

 

It was hard to pick just one song for each day, but that’s my list. (And by the looks of all the songs without links to them, I’ve got some blogging to do)!

So what would your 30 days of Elton John songs look like?

 

 

You went from purple wings to the real thing at last

I am stunned. The world is stunned. Prince. Dead at 57.

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From Elton himself (on Instagram):

“This is truly devastating news.

The greatest performer I have ever seen. A true genius. Musically way ahead of any of us. Sang with him twice on stage. What an honour.

Rest in peace you purple warrior.”

Alas, I was never fortunate enough to see Prince perform live.  The closest I came was his Super Bowl halftime performance (in Miami, not very far from me)…which imho was the best Super Bowl halftime ever. And leave it to South Florida, it rained one of those infamous and torrential downpours during his performance, but that did not faze Prince…Honestly, he was so magical one might have thought he made the rain happen himself.

Now, I don’t know every Prince album and song like I know a certain someone else’s. Not even close. But his music was a big part of my life in the 1980s, and I can honestly say that I never turned off a Prince song when it came on the radio.

My favorite song of his is “When Doves Cry” (and I have a fondness for “Raspberry Beret”).  And in the coming weeks, I hope to discover more.  I suspect there’s a lot out there that I will love.

From the beginning, it was clear the Prince was not only unabashedly unique, but he made it cool for anyone to be different, to be whoever you are, no apologies necessary; he was a true ground breaker in every sense of the words; and he was oh so very sexy. Plus he rocked – no, he owned – the color purple.

So pardon me, Bernie, as I borrow some of your recent words to make sense of Prince’s untimely and way too early passing. As always, thank you for the inspiration.

You were a light for the living
And you spoke of peace and love
With two wings and your old Gibson
You brought blessings from above
You were here and you were gone
Just a heartbeat from the past
But you went from purple wings
To the real thing at last

RIP Prince Rogers Nelson.

 

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