That One Song

Playing Guitar Around a BonfireIt’s no surprise I am a hopeless music lover. You can take my TV, Internet, and books away, but don’t you ever think about taking my music away. It is a huge part of who I am. I use music to relax, to motivate, to reflect, to inspire and to express what my meager words cannot.

That being said, many people have “that one song” that expresses something about them that cannot be expressed in any other way. For me, it goes back to a song I first heard when I was a small boy.

When I was a child, I use to sit around a bonfire with my mother and her old no-name guitar. It was probably 25 years old by the time I was born in 1977. We would usually have a few friends over. It wasn’t anything fancy, but for me those were some of my most cherished memories.

We would sing many songs from Bluegrass, Folk, to Pop Rock. Songs including Fox On The Run by Tom Hazzard, House Of The Rising Sun by The Animals, Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin, and Hotel California by The Eagles. But, the song that always stood out the most to me, the song that has more significance in my life was Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

As a young, impressionable boy, to sit and watch my mother play and sing this song for me, looking me square in the eyes, it had a profound effect that I will never forget. While I cannot play the guitar, yet, it is my hope to one day do this very thing for my son. It may seem corny to some, but these are the simple things that leave the greatest impression.

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Simple Man – Lyrics

Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say.
And if you do this
It will help you some sunny day.
Take your time… Don’t live too fast,
Troubles will come and they will pass.
Go find a woman and you’ll find love,
And don’t forget son,
There is someone up above.

[Chorus:]
And be a simple kind of man.
Be something you love and understand.
Baby, be a simple kind of man.
Oh won’t you do this for me son,
If you can?

Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold
All that you need is in your soul,
And you can do this if you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

[Chorus]

Boy, don’t you worry.
You’ll find yourself.
Follow your heart,
And nothing else.
You can do this,
If you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

[Chorus]

Baby, be a simple, be a simple man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby, be a simple kind of man

Fading to Grey

Of all my passions, of all the things I have spent the most time doing, of all the things I cannot live without, music is very high on the list. While I’m no music expert, I am an audiophile and I simply cannot live without my music.

The last couple days, I’ve been really digging a good mix from one of my favorite bands, Jars of Clay. They are a very talented group with a sound that ranges from mellow and introspective, to up-beat and toe-tapping. While listening to this mix, the thought passed that, if I had one choice of a song to be stuck in my head forever, I would want Fade to Grey from their Much Afraid (1997) album to be it.

I express myself through the music I’m listening to and Fade to Grey is one of those songs that, when I need it the most, lifts me up and puts my feet back on the right path. It is a very emotional song for me as it speaks to my past and present. I won’t go into sappy emotionalism or into an autobiography here. Suffice it to say the lyrics of the song have very deep meaning for me. See lyrics below video.

Fade To Grey

It’s not hard to know what you’re thinking
When you look down on me now
Your trance of love is seeking
To turn this world around
But in my state of blind confusion
No God can pull me out
I see your love is willing
To turn me inside out

And then I see you there
The lonely tears I cry
I wish they’d release me

It’s in despair that I find faith
Summon the night to bow down to day
When ignorance is bliss
Save me from myself

[Chorus:]

And then I see You there
With Your arms open wide and You try to embrace me
These lonely tears I cry
They keep me in chains and I wish they’d release me
Cold is the night but
Colder still is the heart made of stone, turned from clay
And if you follow me
You’ll see all the black, all the white fade to grey

Fade to grey
Fade to grey

[Chorus x 2]

Putting aside the lyrical significance of this song, Fade to Grey is just an all around wonderful song to listen to if you can appreciate music for music’s sake. From the very first note, to the climax, through the chorus and all the way to the end, you feel the passion of this track. This song has such a well written and produced build up that, at its climax, I found tingles running down my spine and I simply could not resist the urge to tap my feet and drum my hands on my knees. Yeah, it’s that good!

In the last few years, I’ve probably heard this song a few hundred times and I’m not kidding when I say I could put it on repeat and play it all day long. Now, from some people, that would be no big surprise, but from me, that’s saying a lot! I rarely like to listen to the same song twice in a day. Often times I won’t play the same song twice in a week. I have a large music collection and I love diversity in music. But this song, of all the songs in my collection, is the one song I would want stuck in my head for eternity, if I could only choose one.

If you are a music lover, you owe it to yourself to check out this album. Even at 18 years old, this album simply rocks!

You’ve read my 20 cents, now it’s your turn!
If you could only pick one song to be stuck in your head for eternity, what song would it be?

7 Bassists That Simply KICK ASS!

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me, but I’m a serious music fan. There’s very few things I love more than a driving beat and some wicked bass work. Here’s a list of some of my favorite bassists of all time strutting their stuff.

Enjoy!