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30 Day Song Challenge – Day 15 – A Song You Like That Is A Cover

Astute readers will (and did) notice that in my haste to make sure I got yesterday’s post up on time, i accidentally skipped a day1. So here is the entry that was skipped, and tomorrow we’ll be back on track.

This is another hard one to pick a single song. I’m a huge fan of covers2, especially covers that do something really interesting and different with a song that transform in a way that feels entirely organic and natural. I mean, I also love covers that are just gimmicks,3, but someone taking a song and really turning it into something personal is always a treat.

So I’m using this entry to share a favourite track from one of my favourite musicians, Richard Thompson. At a 2000 tribute to Joni Mitchell, he performed this rendition of her classic song, “Woodstock”, and it delights me every time I hear it.


  1. Amusingly, the song I picked for the out of order challenge would have also been a valid entry here 

  2. and if you are too, you should subscribe to Brian Ibbott’s magnificent podcast, “Coverville” 

  3. such as those produced by Hayseed Dixie, Me First And the Gimme Gimmes, or Richard Cheese 

30 Day Song Challenge – Day 16 – A Song That’s A Classic Favourite

Today’s challenge invites us to share a song that’s a classic favourite.

I have no idea what this means. Seriously, I’ve been thinking about it all day, and I have no idea.

So, here’s my favourite Beatles cover, “Dear Prudence” by Souixie And The Banshees

30 Day Song Challenge – Day 14 – A Song You’d Love to Be Played At Your Wedding

Today’s challenge invites us to share a song we’d love to be played at our wedding. There’s a few songs that come to mind here; songs that were “our songs” early in our relationship, that meant a lot to us. When Larissa and I first got together, I was living in Atlanta and she in New Hampshire, so we spent a lot of time burning up the phone lines at night, and spending about one weekend a month actually together, which is as often as we could manage between finances and other commitments. On one of her first trips down, she gave me a copy of a mix-CD that included this wonderful song, and it quickly became a talisman for us. (I eventually leanred to play it, so that I could sing it to her myself.) Here’s Anne Hills, with “Follow That Road”.

30 Day Song Challenge – Day 13 – A Song You Like From the 70s

Today’s challenge invites us to share a song we like from the 70s. This is another huge lift, as so much of the music I grew up with, both at the time it was current, and later when it was the cornerstone of “classic rock” radio formats, came from that storied decade. There’s the birth and maturation of heavy metal. There’s the cradle of punk. And disco. 1 And that’s not even mentioning such mainstays of my record collection as Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, or The Carpenters2

But the more I pondered this, I realised that in my musical pantheon, there is one figure who stands astride all the rest like a colossus. So, for the second time in this challenge, I give you the immortal David Bowie, today with his 1977 single “Sound and Vision”


  1. Hush. It was never cool, but you could dance to it. 

  2. who are probably rarely mentioned in the same sentence, but this is my blog, so you have to deal with my eccentricities. 

30 Day Music Challenge – Day 12 – A Song From Your Preteen Years

Today’s challenge invites us to share a song from our preteen years.   While one could take this as “anytime before you were a teen”, I’m going to go with the narrower sense of the word meaning “immediately before you were a teen, so roughly between the ages of 10 and 12, which in my case, gives me a range of roughly 1980 – 1983.

In addition, I’m going to pick a song that I was actually fond of at the time, rather than one I discovered later.   Because we didn’t have cable TV in 1981, the only time I ever saw the newfangled music videos everyone was talking about was on an NBC late night program called “Friday Night Videos”, and the songs that featured in its heavy rotation were special to me.  This song, in particular, I remember being especially fond of, every time it would come up.   Something about that wonderfully slinky saxophone and Rindy Ross’s sultry vocals sparked something in my preadolescent imagination, and besides, Quarterflash is an *awesome* band name.  Here’s their 1981 hit single, “Harden My Heart”.

30 Day Song Challenge – Day 11 – A Song You Never Get Tired Of

First up, apologies for not posting yesterday – we had a major windstorm in Seattle, and my Internet was down all evening. Rather than post twice today, I’m just going to pick up where I left off.

Today’s challenge invites us to post a song we never get tired of. This, again, is an embarrassment of riches category, because I tend not to get tired of things I like, and that includes a tremendous amount of music. But in terms of falling in love with a piece of music so completley that it crowds out everything else, well…there’s been very little in my life as overwhelmingly obsessive as when I bought the cast recording of “Hamilton”. In this day and age of having entire catalogs of songs at your disposal, I tend to listen to an album once, and then it goes into the shuffle; it’s rare for me to listen to a particular album all the way through over and over again.

I listened to “Hamilton” on repeat for nearly six months.

While it’s tempting to just post the entire album, that’s not a *song*, so I’m going to pick a song from the show, and rather than pick one of the obvious tracks like “Alexander Hamilton” or “My Shot”, I’m going to focus on one that I don’t see bandied about as often, but I think is worth singling out. Here’s Renée Elise Goldsberry and the cast of Hamilton with “Satisfied”.

30 Day Song Callenge – Day 10 – A Song That Makes You Sad

Day 10 of the song challenge invites us to share a song that makes us sad. Just as with happy songs, there’s a nearly infinite list. Like any great art, music is all about evoking an emotional response, and sad songs are a genre all their own. My pick for today is one that completely wrecked me when i first heard it, and even today, it hits me like a truck. One of his last recordings, Glen Campbell wrote “I’m Not Going To Miss You” for his wife, as he begin his ultimately fatal struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

30 Day Song Challenge – Day 9 – A Song That Makes You Happy

Day 9 of the song challenge invites us to share a song that makes us happy.  This is another prompt where there are literally hundreds of songs I could choose from – I used to have a playlist in iTunes entirely comprised of pick-me-up songs, that I could turn to when I needed that energy.

For today, though, one of the most reliable songs from that list.  here’s The Vince Guaraldi Trio, with “Linus and Lucy”

Describe your favourite book

Image result for winter's tale mark helprinIn my Facebook memories this morning, I came across my post a few years ago reacting1 to the news that they were making a movie of Mark Helprin’s “Winter’s Tale”, which I have long held is my favourite novel ever. 2  One of my friends asked me what the book was about, and re-reading my reply, I’m rather pleased with it.

“It’s a story about love. It’s a story about the love of passion, the love of seasons, the love of family, and the love of place. It’s a story about justice, and transcendence, and redemption. It’s a story about seeking, and wanting, and needing. It’s a story about what changes, and what never changes, and the bridge between the two. It’s a story about magic, and reality, and about the wall of clouds that separate one from the other and then weave them together as tightly as the threads in a tapestry.

But more than anything, it’s the story of a city, and the story of a girl, and the story of a man, and the story of his horse.”

What’s your favourite book, and how would you pitch it to someone if you wanted to entice them to read it?


  1. with no small amount of trepidation, which turned out to be entirely justified 

  2. I read it once a year at least, and have done every year since I first discovered it in 1988. 

30 Day Song Challenge – Day 8 – A Song About Drugs or Alcohol

On the eight day of the 30 Day Song Challenge, we’re sent 8 miles high and invited to post a song about drugs or alcohol. I considered several options, but decided to go with this old favourite, a song I loved deeply long before I understood what it was about. Here’s Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, with “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)”

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