Certain Songs I Can’t Ignore

There are some songs that are so captivating that whatever my mood, whatever else is going on, they grab and elevate. Below are three of my all-time top endorphinators. What are yours?

At their peak -which is saying something! – here are Sly and The Family Stone, “Dance to the Music”.

In the mid 1970s Ireland produced a splendid pop band called The Undertones. Apparently they are back together and touring and their Youtube performance videos are good but lack the magic of the original recording when they were babies. This is “Get Over You”.

If you are a Replacements fan, I don’t have to tell you how special this band was. Everybody else, you might get a chance to see them. Tommy and Paul – half of ’em – have reunited. I avoid most reunions because the old days can’t be resurrected, but there are exceptions (X shows are as good as ever!) and it sounds like the Mats will be one of those. Here is  “Favorite Thing” from Riot Fest in Toronto. The sound is murky. It’s the Mats.

This fourth tune is fairly new so I don’t yet know whether it will remain potent over decades as the others have. It’s a Sara Watkins fiddle tune, here played with her brother Sean.


But If You Hit a Slow Spell…

One of the all time great love songs is If You Were a Bluebird by Butch Hancock. Hancock is an amazing yet relatively unknown songwriter. I learned about him and this song by being a Joe Ely fan.

I love the fact that Butch and Joe have been friends for decades, along with Jimmie Dale Gilmore. They have solo careers but they also write songs for each other and they play together as the Flatlanders.

This post’s title comes from the lyrics:

If you were a hotel
Honey, you'd be a grand one
But if you hit a slow spell
Do you think you could stand one?

Here are two versions of the song, the first as performed by all three of the guys. Hancock is the one in the hat.

The second version is the way I learned it  – the Ely version. The video has a couple annoyances but the performance outweighs them.