Hello Monday! Today is kind of a bittersweet day as it is my BFFL’s (Best Friends For Life) birthday, but as you know she died unexpectedly 3 years ago and I still miss her terribly. I’ve felt adrift without my ‘Ride-or-Die’ still living this life with me.
We met in the 1990’s when she was working as a teller at a bank, and I was temping as a bookkeeper for a law office making their deposits – that instant chemistry that’s so rare, we became fast friends.
We helped each other through some really rough times in our lives. And of course celebrated to the max on the highlights as well.
We’d always talked about buying property in Montana to have horses to ride every day, and enjoy our future golden years sitting on the porch drinking spiked iced tea. Sadly it was not meant to be.
Since it is Monday, you know that Monday means music! This week is a freebie week, so grab your favorite tune(s) and come dance with us, will you? Today I’m sharing music to honor my BFFL on her heavenly birthday.
Let’s start with a song from this favorite artist’s newest album. Grief and loss are recurring themes on his new album – over the course of the past few years, he has endured several trying moments. From the loss of his grandmother, his wife’s cancer diagnosis, and the death of his best friend, he has been through the wringer.
But as age-old adages hold, grief is part of getting older, and in this song, the artist deals with growing pains, as the number of loved ones around him seems to be getting smaller.
Is this the end of our youth? When pain starts taking over / I just don’t know if I can ever just let it go / Everything’s falling apart, our love is real, it never closes / I guess it’s all part of life, but I can’t help but be alone / We spend our youth with our losing hearts wide open / And in the dark, it’s in the next, the end of youth
The artist hopes the music will resonate with fans dealing with various forms of grief:
“I sent this record to the record label, and they were like, ‘Is it a breakup album?’ And it’s not. It’s an album about… grief and depression and stuff. I feel that I don’t want to give too much context and hammer it home…I want people to listen to it and relate it to their own life.”
Get ready for some goosebumps, here’s Ed Sheeran with “End Of Youth”:
Next up is another song from the same artist that captures the overwhelming emotions that gripped him when his friend died. It hit him like a thunderous locomotive, leaving him speechless and consumed by pain (I can relate).
The phrase “life goes on” is a reminder that life continues even in the face of challenges, setbacks, or changes. It emphasizes the resilience and forward movement of life itself, suggesting that despite adversity, people must carry on, adapt, and continue. However, the artist will never stop grieving the loss of his friend (I can relate to this, too). He said:
“I know death and grief is a thing that everyone goes through, and everyone has jobs and everyone has lives, and everyone just has to get back to it. You’re sort of given this period of time where you’re expected to grieve and to be sad, and then that’s supposed to end and you’re supposed to go back to normal life. I just didn’t feel like I wanted to, and I still don’t feel like I want to. I don’t feel like you have to get over stuff. I don’t think it’s something that is a must; I think it’s something you can live with and something that if you want to cry you can cry.”
The artist marked his inaugural ACM Awards stage appearance on May 11, 2023, with a rendition of this song. The performance took a country twist as surprise guest Luke Combs accompanied him on the stage.
This artist kicked off the performance with the first verse, and as the song unfolded, Combs entered the stage and sang the second verse. To conclude the performance, the two superstars joined forces, blending their voices in harmonious unity. When asked about their collaboration, this artist said:
“We met, like 2018. I heard Luke’s music through a friend, and then I posted something online and we sort of got in touch and performed together. And, yeah. We’ve just been friends for like five years now. So it’s been great.”
Give a listen to Ed Sheeran featuring Luke Combs with “Life Goes On”:
Next up is yet another song from the same artist that most definitely expresses emotions. It definitely spoke to me. I tell you what, the release of this newest album couldn’t have happened at a more fortuitous time.
So I’m dancin’ with my eyes closed / ‘Cause everywhere I look, I still see you / And time is movin’ so slow / And I don’t know what else that I can do
The artist said:
“This song is about losing someone, feeling like every time you go out and you expect to just bump into them, and every thing just reminds you of them and things you did together.”
I guess I could just pretend / The colors are more than blue / But I lost more than my friend / I can’t help but missin’ you
“You sorta have to take yourself out of reality sometimes to numb the pain of loss, but certain things just bring you right back into it. Blue was Jamal’s color, but now is all I feel. And I guess music helps heal, so I’m dancing with my eyes closed to try get through it.”
The video shows the artist being followed by a big, fluffy blue creature, which represents grief. As the song progresses, the creature gradually increases in size, serving as a visual metaphor for the growing intensity of his sorrow. The 1950 comedy-drama film Harvey, whose plot revolves around a man named Elwood P. Dowd (played by James Stewart) and his friendship with an imaginary 6-foot-tall rabbit named Harvey, inspired the visual.
“When I was thinking of concepts for [this song’s] music video, I wanted to make a video inspired by movies like ‘Harvey,’ where the main character has an imaginary friend who’s a giant rabbit that no one can see.
There’s also a book I read my daughters where sadness is encapsulated by an imaginary creature. Often sadness is something that follows you around, engulfing the rooms you’re in, and you can feel and see it, but no one else around you can. So, I decided to create my own big blue monster for the video. He gets bigger and bigger as the video goes on, til he takes up whole rooms and is all I can see, just like sadness.”
Get ready to have those emotional heartstrings tugged again, here’s Ed Sheeran with “Eyes Closed”:
Last, but certainly not least, we’re going to end on a high note – Peggy absolutely loved 80s music, any time an 80s song would come on, she’d crank it and dance or sing along – or both! We had a lot of fun doing ‘Random Dancing‘ before iCarly was doing them…heh! So we’re going to go with one of mine and Peggy’s favorites of that era – this song happened to be this artist’s first single released as a solo artist, and is the song that made her famous.
The song was a huge part of 80s culture, it became an anthem for female attitude and set fashion trends as the video shows the artist wearing bright, outrageous clothes that looked like they came from a thrift store (they often did). It set the stage for artists like Madonna: independent women wearing cheap, yet fashionable clothes with a taste for garish accessories.
The video, which ran constantly on MTV, features the wrestler Captain Lou Albano as the artist’s father, and also the artist’s real-life mother, who had no acting experience but did just fine. It won the first ever award for Best Female Video at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards.
Let’s have Random Dancing in Peggy’s favor – here’s Cyndi Lauper with “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”:
That’s a wrap for this week – have a great Monday! See you on the dance floor!
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!