Songs that have many meanings to you

memories of Scudder Hall

sister sledge.we are familyFor the prompt “A song that has many meanings to you,” I tried to stay within the sprit.

Hang On to Your Life – Guess Who (#43 in 1971) – A rock song,. the album version of which ends with Psalm 22. Yes, I’ve added it to a Biblical mixed tape.
Harvest Moon – Neil Young (1992). For a previous relationship, I considered this “our song,” complete with dancing. Still makes me slightly misty-eyed.
When Love Comes to Town – U2/B.B. King (#68 in 1989)- the BB elements make it one of my favorite U2 songs.
Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor (#1 for four weeks in 1990) – Prince wrote this and his version is very good. But this take moves me greatly.

Losing My Religion – R.E.M. (#4 in 1991) – As a Christian, I relate to this a LOT, actually.
Celtic Rock – Donovan (1970). This reminds me of gatherings of my friends in the Mid-Hudson of New York State, and specifically of Scudder Hall, my dorm as a freshman in college at New Paltz.
Let My Love Open The Door – Pete Townshend (#9 in 1980). Townshend used to complain that people thought this was a romantic love song when it was supposed to be about a higher power.

King Harvest – The Band (1969) – The last song from one of my favorite albums from high school days. A friend of mine edited the high school yearbook and on the page for the band was a picture of The Band.
Levon – Elton John (#24 in 1972). I’m not sure WHAT this song is about, and I’m OK with that. It’s either named for Levon Helm of The Band or not.

We Are Family – Sister Sledge (#2 for two weeks pop, #1 RB in 1979). Strong affiliation with the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team, the team with Dave Parker and Willie “Pops” Stargell. I rooted for them against the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series, and the Pirates came back from a 3-1 deficit to win.
Elvis Is Dead – Living Colour (1990). Some folks said that a black band shouldn’t be doing rock. Living Colour ignored that talk.

Pirate music throwback: We Are Family

Rodgers and Edwards suggested that they write and produce a song for the label’s least established act

The family was going to the movies. I got out of the car and walked a little bit ahead, hoping unsuccessfully to to exchange an old Spectrum Theatre card to get into the entity run by Landmark. They stopped taking them at the end of 2016, alas!

But the Daughter said that I had to wait. She asked, “And do you know why?”


“Because” – and then she sang “We are family.”

I asked her how she knew it; she’d heard it from some school mates. Did she know who sang it? “Sly and the Family Stone?”

“Sister Sledge. But a good guess, actually.”

I’m reminded of the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team, who used the song as the team’s theme song that season. It went to #2 pop and #1 r&b on the Billboard charts. It also went to #1 in Canada, and it was Top 6 in the UK, Italy, New Zealand, and Switzerland.

The Pirates had stars such as Willie Stargell, Dave Parker and Bill Madlock. They got to the World Series but were down three games to one in a seven-game series. Then I did something uncharacteristic: I bet a couple dollars on the Pirates in Game 5, which they won. I did likewise for Game 6, in which they were likewise successful. But I chickened out on Game 7, when they won the Series.

From the Wikipedia:

“We Are Family” was the first song that Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards wrote for any other act than their own band Chic… Atlantic Records President Jerry L. Greenberg wanted the pair to write and produce for other acts on the label, which Rodgers and Edwards considered far too big and established, e.g., The Rolling Stones, Bette Midler… The pair suggested that they write and produce a song for the label’s least established act, and that if they got them a hit record, then they could take the challenge of writing for a bigger act.

There’s a We Are Family Foundation, which “amplifies the world’s most influential, creative young people who are positively affecting our planet to power their work and ideas forward.”

Listen to We Are Family here or here or here (12″ version)

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial