Monday has arrived – and you know that Monday means music! For the month of April, our Spotlight Dancer is our very own Alana of Ramblin’ with AM! The theme selected for this week is “In honor of Pet Owners Independence Day. Let’s use songs with these in the title or band name dogs, cats, birds, or pets in general”. Let’s get this pet party started!
Let’s start with a cat song – okay, so this song may be about a large wildcat, but what cat hasn’t thought of themselves as a ferocious wildcat whose jungle is your laundry room?
If you’ve got a little house lion at home, try singing them this song. Maybe it’ll soothe your savage beast.
Here’s The Tokens with “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”:
And just for fun, here’s The Lion King version by Billy Eichner and Seth Rogan (Timon and Pumbaa):
Next up is a song that is best described by the artist himself from his website:
“When I was a kid I worked for a rodeo company. The old timers who worked the stock and stuff in the back would carry a pint of whiskey in their pocket – they were just old cowboys. They would pull it out and say, ‘Here’s to me, here’s to you, we got screwed, so screw you, here’s to me.’ They always had some little toast. One was to hold up the bottle for a drink and say, ‘Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses.’ I kept that in my head a long time thinking I’d write it some day.
We did finally, trying to say that maybe it’s time that justice gets back into the judicial system. The big posse goes out and catches the bad guys and everybody comes back to lick their wounds, remember the ones they lost and celebrate with the ones that made it back. You raise your glass and say, ‘Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses, bartender.’ One of those conceptual deals. Soon as we got done writing it I thought man, it’d be cool if we could talk Willie Nelson into singing the Texas verse on that. Obviously he went for it and I think it’s the biggest multi-week #1 either of us ever had.”
Here’s Toby Keith and Willie Nelson with “Beer For My Horses”:
Next up is a tongue-in-cheek track from a favorite American Country artist’s fourth studio album. The song finds the artist suggesting to his girl that she could take lessons in getting along with him from his pooch. He had to battle for this song to be included on the album – he was quoted as saying:
“I had heard that song so long ago, and I brought it to the table on the last album. But I had so many people fighting against me on [it]. It was my first time as a producer, and I wanted to work well with other people. I’m a team player, so in the end, I was like, ‘I know y’all hate this song, but I’m going to record this song one day because I have one to replace it for now.’ So, we moved on to this album and I’ll never forget the day I brought it up to the people who hated that song. They went, ‘Oh my God. I cannot believe you want to record this song.’ So, all the way to the end, I just had to keep fighting about this ‘Dog’ song, and ended up recording it.”
At the end of the song, the artist produces a howl. He said:
“I didn’t plan on keeping that on there, but I did it just being funny. We listened back to it. I didn’t know they recorded the howl, and when it played, we just laughed in the studio because it was funny. So, we decided to keep it on there.”
Give a listen to Billy Currington with “Like My Dog”:
Last, but certainly not least, is a song I can’t remember where I first heard it (I think it was one of the episodes of The Blacklist), but it stuck in my head and I crank it up every time I hear it on the radio. The artist described the song as a metaphor for good and evil. She was quoted as saying:
“One summer, I was traveling in Greece on a little moped and this massive black horse had broken free in an olive grove and was going nuts. It looked apocalyptic: a seed was sown. I wrote the song years later in a tiny studio in Shepherd’s Bush. I was about to tour Scottish coffee shops and was worried about coming across like Phoebe from Friends.
At the same time I saw a brilliant guy called Son of Dave who looked like a ginger nylon 1980s’ Elvis: really raw blues with just voice and effects. I got a pedal and one of my techie friends helped me put myself and my guitar through it. It’s probably the most scientific I’ve been, but the song was written in a 10-minute burst. The lyrics where my ‘Heart stops dead’ refer to a heart murmur I had as a baby. I got into this fantasy that my heart felt betrayed and had decided to stop working. The song is about having to dig incredibly deep to find out who you wanna be.”
In 2007 Katharine McPhee was granted permission to cover the song on American Idol, in spite of the artist’s distaste for reality pop shows. She was pleased that Katherine demonstrated a bit of personality in what was otherwise a puppet show, and her appearance did the artist a lot of favors bringing the song to the forefront at the time.
Obviously it worked, since it’s still being played all these years later.
That’s a wrap for this week – see you on the dance floor!
I have the supreme honor and privilege of being a co-host with the inimitable Xmas Dolly and our musical cohort, the awesome Cathy from Curious as a CAThy, Callie of JAmerican Spice, and Alana of Ramblin’ with AM!
Want to join in the fun? It’s easy – just find a tune that rocks your boat, post it and link up – don’t forget to grab Xmas Dolly…er, um, I mean her button…over at her place here. Check out Xmas Dolly’s sidebar for the random themes we sport each week – and you can always ask for a specific theme of music you like, too. Check out the other music lovahs and let’s jam!
Alana of Ramblin’ with AM