January 1: Make the world brand new… “The World Spins Madly On” by The Weepies, an American indie pop–folk duo of married singer-songwriters Deb Talan and Steve Tannen (and one of my very favorite bands). Here’s the official video, too. LYRICS GUITAR CHORDS SPOTIFY Happy New Year!
January 3: There is work to be done… “Strike Up The Band” composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin and Millie Raush and sung by Caroline O’Connor and the John Wilson Orchestra. LYRICS & SONGFACTS SPOTIFY
January 4: The canvas can do miracles… “Sailing” by Christopher Cross. In memory of our friend John Fisher; we miss you. (And Happy Birthday to my own personal sailor, Peter; I love you.) LYRICS & SONGFACTS SPOTIFY
January 5: Lonely days are gone, I’m a-goin’ home… “The Letter” written by Wayne Carson Thompson and performed by The Box Tops. Here’s a video of The Box Tops performing the song in 1967. LYRICS & SONGFACTS SPOTIFY
January 7: UH OH! First mistake of 2019: I mixed-up Ricky Stevens’ birthday, which is tomorrow, and Jim Kremens’ birthday, which is today. Ricky: Happy EARLY birthday and Jim: Happy Birthday today (you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for your song).
You take me by the heart when you take me by the hand… “Mickey” written by Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn and sung by Toni Basil. The lyric was originally “Kitty”, then “Mickey” and today I think we should sing it as “Ricky” in honor of Broadway producer Ricky Stevens’ birthday TOMORROW. Oh, Ricky, you’re so fine…. LYRICS & SONGFACTS SPOTIFY
January 8: Sunday’s on the phone to Monday, Tuesday’s on the phone to me… “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window” by The Beatles in honor of Jim Kremens, whose birthday was yesterday and who would’ve liked nothing more than if I could’ve posted the entire second side of Abbey Road. LYRICS & SONGFACTS SPOTIFY (Happy Belated to Ricky Stevens.)
January 9: Take what you need and leave the rest… “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” by Robbie Robertson and sung here by Joan Baez, in honor of her 78th birthday. Happy Birthday, Joan, and thank you; you’ve been inspiring me and many others for our whole lives. LYRICS & SONGFACTS SPOTIFY
January 10: An absurd little bird is popping out to say: “Cuckoo”…. “So Long, Farewell” by Rodgers & Hammerstein from “The Sound of Music”. One of my favorite memories of all time is watching birthday boy Bob Connelly sing the Gretl part in an apartment in the 80’s; I’ve never laughed so hard in all my laugh. Bob, may you continue to bring laughter and joy to all everywhere you go. LYRICS & GUITAR CHORDS SPOTIFY
January 11: You’ll find that life is still worthwhile… “Smile”, sung here by Tony Bennett. This song is based on an instrumental theme used in the soundtrack for Charlie Chaplin‘s 1936 movie Modern Times. Chaplin composed the music, inspired by Puccini‘s Tosca. John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added the lyrics and title in 1954. Thanks to Adele Bayer for the suggestion. LYRICS & SONGFACTS SPOTIFY
January 13: Gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em… “The Gambler” written by Don Schlitz and performed live in 1978 by Kenny Rogers. Happy Birthday to my uncle Sam Salzman; love you! LYRICS & SONGFACTS SPOTIFY
January 16: What can one little me or you do?? “What Can One Little Person Do?” by Sally Rogers. It’s the National Day of Racial Healing; singing is the least we can do… LYRICS & GUITAR CHORDS SPOTIFY
January 20: We’re so glad you finally made it here… “You’re Aging Well” by Dar Williams. Happy Birthday to my Uncle Donny Sherman who is certainly aging well and is an inspiration to us all; I love you. Thanks, also, to all of the folks out there who are changing the signs that the signmakers made; keep fighting the good fight. LYRICS SPOTIFY
January 21: Oh, let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King and recognize that there are ties between us… “Shed A Little Light” written by James Taylor and performed by The Maccabeats and Naturally 7. LYRICS SPOTIFY
January 22: A beautiful site… “Black & White” written by Earl Robinson and performed by Three Dog Night. TODAY is the real National Day of Racial Healing; I said it before, but I’ll say it again: singing is the least we can do… (P.S. I found this song on the SOCIAL JUSTICE SONG INDEX compiled by Paul Gorski. What a great resource. Thank you, Paul.) LYRICS & SONGFACTS SPOTIFY
January 23: Wi n’ de ya ho Cherokee Morning Song sung by Walela, a trio of singers named for the Cherokee word for hummingbird. The group was founded in 1996 by sisters Rita Coolidge and Priscilla Coolidge, with Priscilla’s daughter Laura Satterfield as the third member. LYRICS SPOTIFY
January 25: Where is the shepherd for this lost lamb? “Someone To Watch Over Me” written by George & Ira Gershwin and sung by Linda Ronstadt with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. This is my favorite version of the song (from the album: “What’s New” from 1983), but there are many other wonderful versions which have lyric videos, including one by Amy Winehouse and one by Patti Austin. LYRICS & SONGFACTS SONG HISTORY SPOTIFY
January 26: Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!
“Hair!” from the soundtrack for Hair sung by Galt MacDermot (who also wrote the song with Gerome Ragni and James Rado) & Tom Pierson. Happy birthday, Leslie Lucier Marino; thanks for helping to keep our collective hair so beautiful. 🙂 LYRICS & SONGFACTS SPOTIFY
January 28: Studying about that good old way… “Down To The River To Pray” a traditional folk song sung here by Alison Krauss on the “O Brother, Where Art Thou” soundtrack. xo LYRICS & SONGFACTS SONG HISTORY SPOTIFY
January 30: Far beyond these restless swells… “The Maryanne” written by Douglass Lubahn and performed by Dreams. Thanks to Martha for the suggestion! The lyrics do not appear to be available online. SPOTIFY
January 31: Lady peaceful, lady happy… “Maybe This Time” sung by Liza Minnelli in “Cabaret” and written by John Kander and Fred Ebb. Here’s wishing peace and happiness to Sue Vaccaro, Doreen Poruban & Ellen Rosen Keller on their birthdays. LYRICS SONG HISTORY SPOTIFY