Monday has once again arrived without much fanfare (right? any fanfare over there?) aside from Mother Nature inundating California with excessive weather, our heat is continuing for a few more days, and the wildfires all around our state have initiated an ‘Air Quality Alert’ everywhere. The smoky haze makes for pretty sunsets, but lousy breathing. Just sayin’.
But since it is Monday, that of course means music! Our friend and regular MMMM participant, Robin of Songbird’s Crazy World chose this week’s theme: “Since we’re in “the dog days of summer”, let’s put together songs about animals” Let’s get this animal party started!
Let’s start with a duo that has been a long-time favorite of mine because they’re genuine and quirky. And genuinely quirky. An unconventional pair who were brought together back in 1998 after one had been fired from the original group he founded (Lonestar), and the other was playing at a club that the former’s girlfriend wanted to go see perform. A mutual friend introduced them after the show and told them they should get together and write a song.
The rest, as they say, is history – the two collaborated and won the hearts of fans of multiple genres. You’ll know what I mean when you see them perform this next song that happens to be one of many of my favorites.
Here’s Big & Rich with “Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)”:
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”:
Next up, 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 featuring Willie Nelson with “Beer For My Horses”:
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 in bringing the song to the forefront at the time.
Obviously, it worked, since it’s still being played all these years later.
Without further ado, here’s KT Tunstall with “Black Horse And The Cherry Tree”:
That’s a wrap for this week – see you on the dance floor!
For this new year, the 4M crew is operating a bit differently. If you have a theme idea, submit your request by email. Each person’s suggestion(s) will be credited accordingly – unless someone wants to volunteer for the monthly co-host spot, then we won’t be looking for anyone to fill it in 2023. It’s tough to commit for 4-weeks. The object is to keep things fun!
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!