Song Lyric Sunday: Jungle Rock

The prompts from Jim Adams are Lion, Tiger, Bear, Eagle, Shark.
The song must contain a reference to the prompt in the title or the lyrics.
If the song does not meet these criteria, please explain why you chose it.


Today’s choice is a 1950s slice of rockabilly with Jungle Rock by Hank Mizell. And who is Hank Mizell, you may well ask? According to Wikipedia:

Hank Mizell (November 9, 1923 – December 23, 1992) was an American singer, guitarist and songwriter. He is best remembered for his rockabilly single “Jungle Rock” (1958), which was obscure on its original release but reached number 3 in the UK Singles Chart in 1976. In the Netherlands, it made it to number 1.

I remember this song so well – not from the first time around, but the 1976 re-release. My mother and I would do a lindy-hop shuffle around the kitchen to it whenever it came on the radio.

Luckily, my mind blanked out the cheesiness of the accompanying video. Apologies for inflicting Pan’s People on you all again, but at least they were having fun! In my defence, I last mentioned Pan’s People a year ago! Read the post HERE for further crimes against choreography.

But now is the time to dance yourself dizzy with this rumble in the jungle – go on, swing your pants!

I was walking through the jungle just the other night
Well I heard a big a rumble and it thought it was a fight
We stopped there to listen and I began to move my feet
It was a jungle drummer doin’ a knocked out beat

It was a jungle, jungle, jungle, jungle rock
A jungle, jungle, jungle, jungle rock
A jungle, jungle, jungle, jungle rock
A jungle, jungle, jungle, jungle rock
It was a knocked out beat and I had to move my feet
It was a jungle, jungle, jungle, jungle rock

Well, I moved a little closer just to get a better view
I saw a chimp and a monkey a doin’ the Susie Q
Well a gator and a hippo was a-doin’ the bop
While a big python just a making me hop

It was a jungle, jungle, jungle, jungle rock
A jungle, jungle, jungle, jungle rock
A jungle, jungle, jungle, jungle rock
A jungle, jungle, jungle, jungle rock
It was a knocked out beat and I had to move my feet
It was a jungle, jungle, jungle, jungle rock

Well a fox grabbed a rabbit and they did the bunny hug
And the old grizzly bear was a-cuttin’ the rug
Well a camel jitterbugging with a kangaroo
And elephant a moving with a ring-dang-doo

It was a jungle, jungle, jungle, jungle rock
A jungle, jungle, jungle, jungle rock
A jungle, jungle, jungle, jungle rock
A jungle, jungle, jungle, jungle rock
It was a knocked out beat and I had to move my feet
It was a jungle, jungle, jungle, jungle rock

Songwriter(s): Hank Mizell & Ralph Simonton
© Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Carlin America Inc

Song Lyric Sunday: Up the Junction

The themes for Song Lyric Sunday from Jim Adams are Birth, Death or Life.
The song must contain a reference to the prompt in the title or the lyrics.
If the song does not meet these criteria, please explain why you chose it.


Up the Junction by the British band Squeeze, charts the life of a relationship from birth to death. The song was inspired by a 1965 TV play of the same name, which in turn was adapted from a collection of short stories by Nell Dunn.

The phrase up the junction is polite British slang for being up a certain creek without a paddle. Which is the conclusion of the song’s narrator when his drinking breaks up his family, and he’s too proud (stubborn!) to beg for forgiveness.

Fans of EastEnders will notice Michelle Collins wandering around in the video’s background and, yes, that is a young Jools Holland on keyboard.

Are you ready for a bit of musical kitchen-sink drama with some crazy half-rhymes…?

I never thought it would happen
With me and the girl from Clapham
Out on the windy common
That night I ain’t forgotten
When she dealt out the rations
With some or other passions
I said, “You are a lady”
“Perhaps,” she said, “I may be”

We moved into a basement
With thoughts of our engagement
We stayed in by the telly
Although the room was smelly
We spent our time just kissing
The Railway Arms we’re missing
But love had got us hooked up
And all our time it took up

I got a job with Stanley
He said I’d come in handy
And started me on Monday
So I had a bath on Sunday
I worked eleven hours
And bought the girl some flowers
She said she’d seen a doctor
And nothing now could stop her

I worked all through the winter
The weather brass and bitter
I put away a tenner
Each week to make her better
And when the time was ready
We had to sell the telly
Late evenings by the fire
With little kicks inside her

This morning at four-fifty
I took her rather nifty
Down to an incubator
Where thirty minutes later
She gave birth to a daughter
Within a year a walker
She looked just like her mother
If there could be another

And now she’s two years older
Her mother’s with a soldier
She left me when my drinking
Became a proper stinging
The devil came and took me
From bar to street to bookie
No more nights by the telly
No more nights nappies smelling

Alone here in the kitchen
I feel there’s something missing
I’d beg for some forgiveness
But begging’s not my business
And she won’t write a letter
Although I always tell her
And so it’s my assumption
I’m really up the junction

Songwriter(s): Chris Difford & Glenn Tilbrook
© 1979 A&M Records Ltd, Universal Music Publishing Group

Song Lyric Sunday: Ghost Town

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday from Jim Adams is
Songs that feature wind or brass instruments
.
The song must contain a reference to the prompt in the title or the lyrics.
If the song does not meet these criteria, please explain why you chose it.


Today’s song contains a flugelhorn, flute, and a trombone. And is a haunting masterpiece dealing with urban decay, unemployment and violence in the inner cities. Ghost Town is by the British two-tone and ska revival band The Specials. Released in 1981, it spent three weeks at number one in the UK. And helped me get through the horror of school sports day that year.

The morning was devoted to field events and only the competitors, school prefects and games staff were allowed out. I guess they didn’t want the rest of us milling about with javelins being hurled in all directions.

The track event participants spent the morning hanging about in the gym, drinking Lucozade and posing in their house colours. The rest of us no-hopers trawled from class to class, with bugger all to do. Bored teachers would mumble things like “read the next chapter” before disappearing into their staffrooms.

My chemistry class that day should have held twenty-nine kids. There were ten of us. We whiled away the time shrinking empty crisp (potato chip) packets over the Bunsen burners. Messy, but fun! Until Gary Atkins whipped out a cassette player the size of a breeze block, and insisted we listen to a song he’d taped off the radio the night before.

From the age before Spotify

Right from the Hammer Horror opening, I was hooked. Especially sitting in a nearly deserted classroom excluded from the dubious joys of sports day: I was too short for the high jump and too uncoordinated to let fly with a discus. (Think that’s funny, you should have seen my attempts at hurdling!).

But Ghost Town is an odd and eerie song that perfectly fitted the unusual quietness of school that day. And the general mood in society that year. England was deep in recession, with riots breaking out across its urban areas as the unemployed, and the disaffected fought running battles with the police.

Happy Halloween!

This town (town) is coming like a ghost town
All the clubs have been closed down
This place (town) is coming like a ghost town
Bands won’t play no more
Too much fighting on the dance floor

Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town?
We danced and sang, and the music played in a de boomtown

This town (town) is coming like a ghost town
Why must the youth fight against themselves?
Government leaving the youth on the shelf
This place (town) is coming like a ghost town
No job to be found in this country
Can’t go on no more
The people getting angry

This town is coming like a ghost town
This town is coming like a ghost town
This town is coming like a ghost town
This town is coming like a ghost town

Songwriter(s): Jerry Dammers
© BMG Rights Management

Song Lyric Sunday: Whole Wide World

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday from Jim Adams is
Atoll, Island, Key, Lagoon, Peninsula, Reef, Tropical
.
The song must contain a reference to the prompt in the title or the lyrics.
If the song does not meet these criteria, please explain why you chose it.


Make way for Wreckless Eric’s two-chord punk paean with a whole lot of heart.

Written in 1974 and recorded in 1977, Whole Wide World is about finding your one true love, wherever and whoever they may be.

The song only reached No. 46 on the UK charts, but has attained the status of cult classic and been covered by the likes of The Lightning Seeds, Mental As Anything, The Monkees (reunion tour!), The Proclaimers and Elvis Costello.

It also made it into the 2006 film Stranger than Fiction, where Will Ferrell serenades Maggie Gyllenhaal, earning him a severe snogging.

And who wouldn’t kiss the love of their life after they’d searched the entire planet for you?

When I was a young boy
My mama said to me
There’s only one girl in the world for you
And she probably lives in Tahiti.

I’d go the whole wide world
I’d go the whole wide world just to find her

Or maybe she’s in the Bahamas
Where the Caribbean Sea is blue
Weeping in the tropical moonlit night
Because nobody’s told her about you

I’d go the whole wide world
I’d go the whole wide world just to find her
I’d go the whole wide world
I’d go the whole wide world
To find out where they hide her
I’d go the whole wide world
I’d go the whole wide world just to find her

Why am I hanging around in the rain right here
Trying to pick up a girl
Why are my eyes
Filling up with these lonely tears
When there’s girls all over the world

Is she lying on a tropical beach somewhere
Underneath a tropical sun
Pining a way in a heat wave there
Hoping that I won’t be long
I should be lying on that sun swept beach with her
Caressing her warm, brown skin
And then in a year or maybe not quite
We’ll be sharing the same next of kin

I’d go the whole wide world
I’d go the whole wide world just to find her.
I’d go the whole wide world
I’d go the whole wide world
To find out where they hide her

I’d go the whole wide world
I’d go the whole wide world just to find her
I’d go the whole wide world
I’d go the whole wide world
To find out where they hide her

Yeah!
Whole world

Songwriters: Erik Frank Goulden
© Imagem London Limited

Song Lyric Sunday: This One’s For John Peel

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday from Jim Adams is
Communication, Information, News, Telephone
.
The song must contain a reference to the prompt in the title or the lyrics.
If the song does not meet these criteria, please explain why you chose it


Teenage Kicks was the debut single by The Undertones, a Northern Irish punk band. Released in 1978, the song made the giddy heights of number 31 on the UK charts. Despite the best efforts of John Peel, who said of the song: It doesn’t get much better than this! And requested a line from it be inscribed on his gravestone.

John Peel was a British DJ and a law unto himself: If he liked your music, he played it. Sometimes twice in a row, as he did with Teenage Kicks. He played any genre and didn’t care if you’d recorded it in your mum’s bathroom or a professional studio. An attitude borne out by the legendary Peel Sessions: Where bands recorded and mixed their songs in a day, giving the music a raw edge.

You may wonder why I’m banging on about a guy who half the planet has never heard of, but bear with me on this one. Peel’s eclectic playlists opened generations of young British ears to music beyond the mainstream. And he was a godsend to unsigned acts. Having your demo played on his show bought you a step closer to landing a record deal.

Such was Peel’s appeal (sorry), most Brits over thirty can tell you where they were when they heard the news he’d died. My husband was doing a course in Totnes at the time. The announcement came over the radio, and everyone, bar two people, stopped what they were doing and stared at each other in shock and disbelief.

The two guys who hadn’t clocked the gravity of the news are excused because one was a Yank and the other a Canuck. And bless them, they thought the British reserve was crumbling because the Queen had died.

But back to the song. It mentions the word telephone and combines an infectious guitar hook with adolescent angst and heartbreak. Has the mating call of the greater-spotted teenager ever been bettered?

Are teenage dreams so hard to beat?
Every time she walks down the street
Another girl in the neighbourhood
Wish she was mine, she looks so good

I wanna hold her wanna hold her tight
Get teenage kicks right through the night

I’m gonna call her on the telephone
Have her over ‘cos I’m all alone
I need excitement oh I need it bad
And it’s the best, I’ve ever had

I wanna hold her wanna hold her tight
Get teenage kicks right through the night, all right

Are teenage dreams so hard to beat?
Every time she walks down the street
Another girl in the neighbourhood
Wish she was mine, she looks so good

I wanna hold her wanna hold her tight
Get teenage kicks right through the night

I’m gonna call her on the telephone
Have her over ‘cos I’m all alone
I need excitement oh I need it bad
And it’s the best, I’ve ever had

I wanna hold her wanna hold her tight
Get teenage kicks right through the night, all right

I wanna hold her wanna hold her tight
Get teenage kicks right through the night, all right

Songwriter(s): John O Neill
© West Bank Songs Ltd.

John Peel (30 August 1939 – 25 October 2004)