Best Songs Lyrics of Modern America – Part 9 – Bread – Lovin’ Spoonful – Gordon Lightfoot – Bon Jovi

Posted by Mack W. Borgen June 24th, 2019

Blog No 101 
June 25, 2019 

The Best Song Lyrics of Modern America- Part 9

– The Poetry of Modern America –

By Mack W. Borgen

Recipient of Eight National Book Awards  

For a “cleaner” / non-email presentation of this blog and to review my other blogs, essays, and articles, please go to my website at https://www.mackwborgen.com/    

 

 Introduction and Background

Song lyrics are the real poetry of Modern America. The lyrics of our favorite songs roll around in our heads for decades. Almost unconsciously, every day we honor the words of America’s songwriters who said something in that perfect, poetic, or clever way.

Here is Part 9 of my assembled list — done over the last nine years in conjunction with my research for my last series of books, Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America.  For an explanation about the background of this Best Lyrics project, see below.

To order copies of my books, just go to http://mackwborgen.com/shop/ .

But, now, … The Best Lyrics of Modern America (From 1957 through 2015) 

The Best Lines and Short Riffs from Lighter Times and Memory Lane

The Little Old Lady from Pasadena (1964) (Jan and Dean) (Years Active 1958-2004) (William Jean Berry (B: 1941 – D:2004) and Dean Torrance (B: 1940)).

The little old lady from Pasadena

(Go granny, go granny, go granny go) …

Well, she’s gonna get a ticket, sooner or later,

‘Cause she can’t keep her foot off the accelerator.”

Goodbye Girl (1978) (David Gates) (B: 1940, Tulsa, OK) (Co-Lead singer of the group Bread).

“I know it’s hard believin’

The words you’ve heard before

But darlin’ you must trust them

Just once more.” 

The Sixties

Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind (1966) (Lovin Spoonful (Group)) (Years Active

1965-1969, 1979, 1991 – Present).

“Did you ever have to make up your mind?

Pick up on one and leave the other one behind.

It’s not often easy, and not often kind

Did you ever have to make up your mind?

… 

Did you ever have to finally decide?

Say yes to one and let the other one behind.

There’s so many changes and tears you must hide

Did you ever have to finally decide?

Sometimes you really dig a girl the moment you kiss her

And then you get distracted by her older sister

When in walks her father and takes you in line

And says ‘Better go home, son, and make up your mind.’” 

The Seventies

Sundown (1974) (Gordon Lightfoot) (B: 1938, Ontario, Canada).

“Sundown, you better take care

If I find you been creepin’ ‘round my back stairs …

Sometimes I think it’s a shame

When I get feelin’ better when I’m feelin’ no pain …

Sometimes I think it’s a sin.”           

The Nineties

Blaze of Glory (1991) (Bon Jovi (Group)) (Years Active – 1983 – Present (Except 1990-1991

and 1997-1999).

“I wake up in the morning

And I raise my weary head

I got an old coat for a pillow

And the earth was last night’s bed.

… 

I don’t know where I’m going

Only God knows where I’ve been

I’m a devil on the run

A six-gun lover

A candle in the wind.

… 

When you’re brought into this world

They say you were born in sin

Well, at least they gave me something

I didn’t have to steal or have to win.

You ask about my conscience

And I offer you my soul;

You ask if I’ll grow to be a wise man

Well, I ask if I’ll grow old.”

AND IN HONOR OF INDEPENDENCE DAY, THE 4TH OF JULY

 Country Western

Independence Day (Martina McBride) (B: 1966, Sharon, KS).

“Well she seemed alright by dawn’s early light

Though she looked a little worried and weak

She tried to pretend he wasn’t drinking again

But Daddy left the proof on her cheek

And I was only 8 years old that summer

And I always seemed to be in the way

So I took myself down to the fair in town

On Independence Day. …

Let freedom ring

Let the white dove sing

Let the whole world know that today is the day of reckoning 

Let the weak be strong

Let the right be wrong

Roll the stone away

Let the guilty pay

It’s Independence Day.”

Explanation and Background of These

“The Best Lyrics of Modern America” Blogs

Song lyrics are the real poetry of Modern America. The lyrics of our favorite songs roll around in our heads for decades. Almost unconsciously, every day we honor the words of America’s songwriters who said something in that perfect, poetic, or clever way.

About nine years ago, in 2010, when I started my research for my books, Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America. I spent much of the initial year assembling, sorting, and selecting those “memorable” song lyrics to be included in my books.

However, I eventually decided that it was necessary to exclude song lyrics from my books. This was done partly in deference to the needs of book brevity and in bowing recognition to the unavoidable subjectivity of making such selections. But it was also done because most songs are almost definitionally “intra-generational” in that they remain the separate and proud province of each generation. They are a part of each generation’s formative and collective memory – but not beyond that.

Nevertheless, as a result of that year of research, I assembled a relatively massive collection of what may be, by some measures of broad consensus, the greatest song lyrics of Modern America.

I have decided to start presenting them here for your remembrance and enjoyment. I confess that this is partly triggered by the fact that I have already done the fun, but painstaking, work of such assemblage. However, these lyrics blogs are also triggered by the fact that America needs – maybe now more than ever — to reach back and enjoy something or, as best said in 1967 by the Beatles in their song A Day in the Life” — “I read the news today, oh boy.”

Thus, starting on October 9, 2018 with Blog No. 83, I started posting some excerpts of this author’s humble suggestions of The Best Lyrics of Modern America – The Poetry of Modern America..

Get Copies of My Books

Named Best Nonfiction Book of the Year in Three Separate Categories! 

— U.S. History, Current Events, and Reference —  

Best prices. Fast shipping. Just go to http://mackwborgen.com/shop/ . All books will be signed by the author and will be shipped within five business days. My books are, of course, also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. and at select independent book stores.

All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical without the prior written permission of the author.

“An Unprecedented Clean Sweep” – 3 MORE NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS – FREE BOOKS CELEBRATION SALE

Posted by Mack W. Borgen May 27th, 2019

Blog No. 100 

PRESS RELEASE

May 28, 2019 

For Immediate Release:  PLEASE FORWARD TO APPROPRIATE EDITOR, REPORTER, OR FEATURE WRITER.
For more information or to schedule an interview or speaking engagement:
Schmitt, Schmitt & Brody Publishers, 3655 Montalvo Way, Santa Barbara, California 93105
Telephone: 805-450-2602  /Author Direct Email: mwborgen@live.com /  www.mackwborgen.com

THREE MORE NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS

“An Unprecedented Clean Sweep” for MACK W. BORGEN’S

DEAD SERIOUS AND LIGHTHEARTED

– THE MEMORABLE WORDS OF MODERN AMERICA –

May 28, 2019 – It has been announced that Mack W. Borgen has just received three more national book awards for his books Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America (Vols I-III). 

Borgen’s Volumes I and III were named Best Book of the Year and received 2019 National Indie Excellence Awards — WINNING BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR IN 3 SEPARATE CATEGORIES  –  Current Events, U.S. History, and Reference. 

In competition with contestant authors from hundreds of other independent presses, Borgen’s Volume I (Years 1957 – 1997) was named Best Book of the Year in both the U.S. History and the Reference categories AND Borgen’s Volume III (1994-2015) was named Best Book of the Year in the Current Events category.

These awards were announced just six weeks after Borgen’s Volume III  received the Silver Award from the Independent Book Publishers Awards which included contestant authors from university presses, independent publishers, and self-publishers. Previously, Borgen’s Volume I was recognized by the San Francisco Book Festival (Runner-Up – General Nonfiction Category) and the New York Book Festival (Honorable Mention – Best General Nonfiction Book of the Year).

Mack W. Borgen is a resident of Santa Barbara, California and a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of California at Berkeley (Honors in Economics).

FREE BOOKS

AWARDS CELEBRATION BOOK SALE

NEXT 10 DAYS ONLY

UNTIL FRIDAY, JUNE 7TH

 For every set of Borgen’s 3-Volume, easy reading Dead Serious and Lighthearted you purchase (just go to at https://www.mackwborgen.com (Book Ordering) ….

You also will receive a FREE SET of Borgen’s first books, The Relevance of Reason – The Hard Facts and Real Data about the State of Current America (Volume I – Business and Politics) and Volume II (Society and Culture).    

Order a set or sets of Hard-Backs of Dead Serious ..Get matching FREE Hard-Back Set(s) of The Relevance of Reason

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 Details:  Orders must be placed by on or before Friday, June 7th. Your FREE Books will not show on the standard Book Ordering Page, but YOU WILL AUTOMATICALLY RECEIVE YOUR FREE SET or SETS right along with your ordered set(s). NO Extra Shipping Cost. Schmitt & Brody Publishers will pay for the shipping of your FREE set or sets of Relevance of Reason books for all orders received by June 7th at mackwborgen.com (Book Ordering). 

Books authored by Mack Borgen
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTHOR OR BOOKS
More information about the author, these award-winning 2018-2019 books, the author’s 2013 national award-winning series The Relevance of Reason, or to order a Media Kit (with the books’ respective Fact Sheets), please see www.mackwborgen.com. Borgen’s books are available from Amazon or Direct-from-Publisher at https://www.mackwborgen.com  (Book Ordering).
FOR REVIEW COPIES OR
TO SCHEDULE A MEETING, SPEECH, OR INTERVIEW
For complimentary review copies or to schedule a meeting with or speech by Mack W. Borgen, please contact Schmitt & Brody Publishers at SchmittBrodyPublishers@gmail.com or contact Mack W. Borgen directly at 805-450-2602 or mwborgen@live.com.

DEAD SERIOUS AND LIGHTHEARTED

The Memorable Words of Modern America –

Volumes I (1957-1976), II (1977-1993), and III (1994-2015)

“A herculean task … Packed with cultural highlights and pivotal moments from a

                       wide array of sources.” Kirkus Reviews 

“An expansive and eye-opening collection.” Clarion Reviews 

“Opening this book feels like unlocking a time capsule” U.S. Review of Books 

“Teaches the history of Modern America … in a captivating way.” Reader’s Favorite 

“A ‘must read.’ The brilliance of Borgen’s books lie in their breadth … and his

                        powerful page-by-page commentaries….” Michael Levin, New York Times                                                              Bestselling Author

“Deserves a place in our higher education curriculum.”   Reid A. Olsen, Education and

                         Business Consultant, Chicago, Illinois

My special and sincere thanks and gratitude to all of my family, friends, associates, distributors, consultants, and editors who have helped and encouraged me over the last years or who have written and posted reviews of my works.   

A Beg for Humility – The Phrase That Could Save America

Posted by Mack W. Borgen May 20th, 2019

Blog No 99
May 21, 2019 

A Beg for Humility

and

 The Phrase That Could Save America 

By Mack W. Borgen
Author, National Award-Winning Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America  (3 Volumres); The Relevance of Reason – The Hard Facts and Real Data about the State of Current America (2 Volumes)

Certain things are clear and crisp. They are beyond dispute, disagreement, or debate.

Alaska is big. Rhode Island is small. Rivers are wet. We’re out of milk. Baby needs new shoes. This author can’t dunk. And so it goes. On and on.

But many things are not. Many things such as the role of government and most social and political issues are not clear. They not easily resolved. Instead, they engender strong disagreements which too often degenerate into heated debates. And for that reason, it is time that we — as a people, a community, and a nation — re-learn how to work our way through our disagreements and re-learn how to conduct productive debates.

Hopefully, this brief article may help. Hopefully, the use of one small phrase might help to save our country.

Recently, I wrote about America’s steady drift from a place of frustration to a place of anger. And that drift must likewise be reversed and re-directed. The use of this one small phrase might help get our country going in the right direction.

The bad news is that something must be done. The good news is that something can be done. However, there must be a common and committed willingness for us to re-tool the style and manner of our social and political discussions. We can no longer communicate through stares and glares. We can no longer wait and listen for code words. We can no longer sit quietly with our arms folded in thunderous silence.

Instead, slowly, we must change the nature and tone of our national conversations. I am well-aware, as Butch Cassidy once said, that “there are no rules in a knife fight.” Fortunately we are not (quite) there yet, but it is high time for the pendulum to swing back.

Blind intransigence and the relentless display of personal or political party allegiances can no longer be viewed either as acceptable or honorable. They can no longer be bragged about as some kind of silly proof of one’s resolve or ideological commitment.

Please know that I enter upon this subject with trepidation. Arguably, the rules of debate are themselves matters of tactics, strategy and even philosophy — all far beyond my simple mind to understand. Thus, I enter upon this subject gently and with caution. I rely only upon my perception that most Americans are well-aware that the current style of our public discourse and the tone of our civic discussions are non-productive. Oftentimes, they are even counter-productive.

Before proceeding, it should be noted that there are some instances where adamancy is necessary; where crispness of style is expected and necessary; and where voices may need to be raised. For example, in the context of emergencies or in the giving of military orders, there is no time for debate or discussion. Thus, this article is limited to our social and political conversations — those conversations held in Washington, at the statehouse, at our town meetings, over our dinner tables, and in our backyards.

Certainly, the place to begin is to remember that sometimes each of us may be wrong – about almost anything. I make 13 errors a day — and that is just out of habit.

It is a stubborn reality that almost nothing is simple. Sometimes, even what we may believe as the simplest of rules aren’t true in any particular circumstance. I mean, let’s face it.

Sometimes the early bird does not catch the worm.

Sometimes a penny saved is not a penny earned.

Sometimes disputes, even honest disputes, cannot be amicably resolved

without litigation and lawyers.

Sometimes we do not have the luxury of standing still until we really see.

Sometimes peace cannot be preserved and wars are necessary.

And regardless of one’s religious beliefs, it is hard to imagine that God is really a Democrat or a Republican.

We also must remember that every answer and every idea abuts other powerful laws of the universe such as the Law of Unintended Consequences and, of course, Murphy’s Law.

But there is more. Wholly apart from maters of complexity, unintended consequences, and Murphy’s Law, in any given conversation and at any given moment, we could be suffering from errors of facts, interpretation, or misunderstanding. We may be suffering from an issue of poor timing or from too brief or too lengthy a presentation. And lastly, we are always and definitionally speaking with people who through no fault of their own have had different experiences — people who are burdened by their own biases and demons; who may be members of a different generation; and who were raised in different places and environments. We may all live in America, but there are limits to our “shared history.”

Talking can thus be difficult. Influencing others can be challenging. And the risk of being wrong is always with us. For these reasons alone, real leaders are hard to find. But chanting followers are everywhere.

And for all of these reasons, disagreements should rarely necessitate anger.  Disagreements should not become the building blocks of hate or the basis for the endless Hatfield-McCoy grudge feuds which seem to be everywhere.

With great fear of sounding preachy, I humbly suggest that now — almost as a matter of our national preservation — we remember that we could be wrong about nearly any position we take, any idea we float, any agenda we push, or any compromise we reject.

To close-mindedly believe otherwise is costly from another perspective as well. For even if tact and patient listening run counter to our instincts or our emotions about a given subject, a conversational environment of displayed respect must be maintained. This is the only means of reasonable discussion, persuasion, influence, and social and political progress.

Be assured that this article is self-directed as well. For I, probably like you, have passionately held opinions. I, like you, have strong likings and dislikings of certain individuals, agendas, and policies — from the offensive words and behavior of some politicians to the miserable state of our health care system; from wealth inequality to the monetizing of our political system. My list, probably like yours, is endless.

Nevertheless, we cannot exercise the arrogance of “knowing” that we are right? There is oftentimes a possibility that we may be wrong? The truth may actually be somewhere in that sticky-mucky middle?

So, apart from the phrase that can save America which is discussed below, the following seven quick remembrances could be useful in affecting our national conversation.

         1 . Style is substance;

         2 . Discussion is valuable;

         3 . No one has all the answers;

         4 . Things are rarely simple;

         5 . Respect is a tool which can lead to reciprocation;

         6 . Open minds always hear more and hear better; and

         7 . We are all in this together.

And while proposing ideas for the conducting of our national discussions is tricky and plagued by risks of both error and unintended condescension, it is hardly a new subject.

In variant forms, this subject has been recurrent in American history — from Dale Carnegie’s 1936 How to Win Friends and Influence People to the shallow but bestselling lightness of Anthony Harris’ 1967 I’m O.K. You’re O.K and its minions of progenies of similarly titled books — admittedly my favorite being I’m O.K. You’re Full of Shit.

But, seriously, it is time for Americans to take stock once again. It is time for us to reel it in. Hiring damage control firms to protect for our companies is not enough. Scrolling for comforting memes and like-minded tweets will not ease our thoughts. Clenching our fists and biting our lips will not contain our anger. And retaining life coaches to guide our lost souls is not going to do the trick.

So how about some shared and common humility? And thus, this article is offered as a raw beg for humility. We Americans need to swallow some of our self-serving and self-deceiving sense of exceptionalism and start our discussions with the simple phrase, “I could be wrong, but.” More precisely stated, I could be wrong, but we must start our discussions with the simple phrase, ‘I could be wrong, but.”

I could be wrong, but this short prefatory phrase might help our discourse. At first, it will be burden. Eventually, however, it should become as common as “good morning,” “what’s happening,” “another round,” and “till later.” 

 I could be wrong, but I believe that by any measure it is better than “up yours,” “eat (whatever).” “f*** (you or off),” “shut up,””whatever,” and the indignant “not in this lifetime” closer.It will take a lot more than a phrase to save America, but this may be one place to start.

And so, how does one end a linguistic rant such as this?

How about …

I could be wrong, but … 

I could be right.

Thank you

– –

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Best prices. Just go to http://mackwborgen.com/shop/ .

Books authored by Mack Borgen

All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles and reviews, without the prior written permission of the author. For a “cleaner” /non-email presentation of this blog and to review my other blogs, essays, and articles, please go to my website at mackwborgen.com.

Don McLean’s “American Pie” and Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” – America’s Best Song Lyrics – Part 8

Posted by Mack W. Borgen April 30th, 2019

Blog No 98 

May 1, 2019 

The Best Song Lyrics of Modern AmericaPart 8

– The Poetry of Modern America –

By Mack W. Borgen
Author, National Award-Winning Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America – Volume I (1957-1976), Volume II (1977-1993), and Volume III (1994-2015) (Published 2018-2019)The Relevance of Reason – The Hard Facts and Real Data about the State of Current America – Volume I (Business and Politics) and Volume II (Society and Culture) (Published 2013-2014).
All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles and reviews, without the prior written permission of the author. For a “cleaner” /non-email presentation of this blog and to review my other blogs, essays, and articles, please go to my website at mackwborgen.com.

As we enter another round of political elections, how about 

 

Dear Friends and Readers, 

Join-My-Blog Invitation: Invite your family members, friends, and associates to receive my monthly blogs. I will happily add them to my Blog circulation list.  There is no charge of any kind, and they can easily unsubscribe at any time.

Just forward me their email addresses or your friends can just contact me directly at mwborgen@live.com, and I will add them to my circulation list.  

Introduction and Background

Song lyrics are the real poetry of Modern America. The lyrics of our favorite songs roll around in our heads for decades. Almost unconsciously, every day we honor the words of America’s songwriters who said something in that perfect, poetic, or clever way.

Here is Part 8 of my assembled list — done over the last eight years in conjunction with my research for my last series of books, Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America.  For an explanation about the background of this Best Lyrics project, see below.

Also, see Book Sales Special described below. Just go to Book Ordering Tab or click at http://mackwborgen.com/shop/ . All directly ordered books will be signed by the author and shipped within 5 business days. Free shipping for orders of 10 or more books for your family, friends, or clients.

          But, now, … 

The Best Lyrics of Modern America – Part 8

– From 1957 through 2015 –

Enjoy.

The Seventies

American Pie (1971) (Don McLean) (B: 1945, New Rochelle, NY). 

“I can still remember how that music used to make me smile

 And I knew if I had my chance

That I could make those people dance

 And maybe they’d be happy for awhile.  …

 But February made me shiver

 With every paper I delivered

 Bad news on the doorstep

 I couldn’t take one more step.  … 

I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck

With a pink carnation and a pickup truck

 But I knew I was out of luck

 The day the music died.  …  

 I started singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie,

 Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry

 Them good ole’ boys were drinkin’ whiskey ‘n rye

 Singin’ ‘This’ll be the day that I die’ …

 Now for 10 years we’ve been on our own

 And moss grows fat on a rolling stone,…

 A generation lost in space

 With no time left to start again , …  

 And in the streets, the children screamed

 The lovers cried and the poets dreamed

But not a word was spoken

The church bells all were broken  …  

And the three men I admire most

The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost

They caught the last train for the coast

The day the music died.

The Eighties

We Didn’t Start the Fire (1989) (Billy Joel) (1949, The Bronx, NY).

(Author’s Note: This song by Billy Joel is about 100 events which occurred between 1949, the year of his birth, and 1989, the year of the song’s release. It is here included because, in a sense and in the opinion of this author, there are some historical narrative parallels in the structures of this song and Don McLean’s American Pie as excerpted above).

“We didn’t start the fire

It was already burning

Since the world’s been turning …

Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British Politician Sex,

J.F.K. blown away, what else do I have to say? … 

Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again,

Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock

Begin, Reagan, Palestine, Terror on the airline

Ayatollah’s in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan,

Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide,

Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz

Hypodermics on the shores, China’s under martial law,

Rock and roller Cola wars, I can’t take it any more. …

We didn’t start the fire ….”

Country Western 

Bye Bye (Jo Dee Messina) (B: 1970, Framingham, MA).    

“Bye bye love, I’ll catch you later

Got a lead foot down on my accelerator

And the rearview mirror torn off

I ain’t never lookin’ back

And that’s a fact. … 

Don’t think all those fears are gonna hold me here

Like they’ve done before

You’ll find what’s left of us

In a cloud of dust on Highway 4 

And I know it sounds trite

I’ve seen the light.” 

Explanation and Background of These

“The Best Lyrics of Modern America” Blogs

Song lyrics are the real poetry of Modern America. The lyrics of our favorite songs roll around in our heads for decades. Almost unconsciously, every day we honor the words of America’s songwriters who said something in that perfect, poetic, or clever way.

About nine years ago, in 2010, when I started my research for my books, Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America. I spent much of the initial year assembling, sorting, and selecting those “memorable” song lyrics to be included in my books.

However, I eventually decided that it was necessary to exclude song lyrics from my books. This was done partly in deference to the needs of book brevity and in bowing recognition to the unavoidable subjectivity of making such selections. But it was also done because most songs are almost definitionally “intra-generational” in that they remain the separate and proud province of each generation. They are a part of each generation’s formative and collective memory – but not beyond that.

Nevertheless, as a result of that year of research, I assembled a relatively massive collection of what may be, by some measures of broad consensus, the greatest song lyrics of Modern America.

I have decided to start presenting them here for your remembrance and enjoyment. I confess that this is partly triggered by the fact that I have already done the fun, but painstaking, work of such assemblage. However, these lyrics blogs are also triggered by the fact that America needs – maybe now more than ever — to reach back and enjoy something or, as best said in 1967 by the Beatles in their song A Day in the Life” — “I read the news today, oh boy.”

Thus, starting on October 9, 2018 with Blog No. 83, I have started posting some excerpts of this author’s humble suggestions of The Best Lyrics of Modern America.

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD and SPECIAL PRICES – Order Your Copies of My Books

With contestants from the more than 1,078,000 books published in the United States and with contestants from university presses, independent presses, and self-publishers, Mack Borgen’s Dead Serious and Lighthearted – Vol III (Years 1994-2015) will be received a 2019 IPPY Award – the Independent Publisher National Book Award for Best Nonfiction Book of the Year – Silver Award (Reference) at the IPPY Awards Ceremony in New York ion May 29, 2019.

Get your copies today of the entire 3-volume set — just $45.99 (Paperback) or $69.99 (Hardback) for all 3 volumes.

Just go to Book Ordering tab — http://mackwborgen.com/shop/ . All books will be signed by the author and will be shipped within five business days. My books are, of course, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. and at select independent book stores.

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Press Release – National Book Award for Mack W. Borgen

Posted by Mack W. Borgen April 14th, 2019

Blog No. 97 

PRESS RELEASE

April 15, 2019 

For Immediate Release:  PLEASE FORWARD TO APPROPRIATE EDITOR,

REPORTER, OR FEATURE WRITER.

For more information or to schedule an interview or speaking engagement:

Schmitt, Schmitt & Brody Publishers, 3655 Montalvo Way, Santa Barbara, California 93105
Tel: 805-450-2602 // Author Direct Email:  mwborgen@live.com // Website:  www.mackwborgen.com

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

April 15, 2019 – An Independent Publisher National Book Award has been awarded to Mack W. Borgen for his book Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America – Volume III (1994-2015). 

In competition with contestant authors of the over 1,078,000 books published in the U.S. in 2018 by university presses, independent presses, and self-publishers, Borgen’s book received the Silver Award for the Best Nonfiction Book of the Year (Reference). 

The award will be presented at the 2019 Awards Ceremony during the BookExpo America Convention in New York on May 28, 2019. 

– – –

Mack W. Borgen is a resident of Santa Barbara, California and a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of California at Berkeley (Honors in Economics). 

Books authored by Mack Borgen

DEAD SERIOUS AND LIGHTHEARTED

The Memorable Words of Modern America – Vols I (1957-1976), II (1977-1993), and III (1994-2015)

“A herculean task … Packed with cultural highlights and pivotal moments from a

               wide array of sources.” Kirkus Reviews 

“An expansive and eye-opening collection.” Clarion Reviews 

“Opening this book feels like unlocking a time capsule” U.S. Review of Books 

“Teaches the history of Modern America … in a captivating way.” Reader’s Favorite 

“A ‘must read.’ The brilliance of Borgen’s books lie in their breadth … and his

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Wilson Phillips, Brad Paisley, Barbara Lewis – The Best Song Lyrics of Modern America – Part 7

Posted by Mack W. Borgen April 9th, 2019

 
Blog No 96 
April 10, 2019 

The Best Song Lyrics of Modern America- Part 7

– The Poetry of Modern America –

By Mack W. Borgen
Author, National Award-Winning Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America – Volume I (1957-1976), Volume II (1977-1993), and Volume III (1994-2015) (Published 2018-2019)The Relevance of Reason – The Hard Facts and Real Data about the State of Current America – Volume I (Business and Politics) and Volume II (Society and Culture) (2013-2014).
All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles and reviews, without the prior written permission of the author. For a “cleaner” /non-email presentation of this blog and to review my other blogs, essays, and articles, please go to my website at mackwborgen.com. 
Dear Friends and Readers, 
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The Best Song Lyrics of Modern America- Part 7

– The Poetry of Modern America –

Introduction and Background

Song lyrics are the real poetry of Modern America. The lyrics of our favorite songs roll around in our heads for decades. Almost unconsciously, every day we honor the words of America’s songwriters who said something in that perfect, poetic, or clever way.

Here is Part 7 of my assembled list — assembled over the years in conjunction with my research for my last series of books, Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America.  For an explanation about the background of this Best Lyrics project, see below.

Also, please see my publishers new Direct-From-Publisher Special Book Sales Offerings. Just go to http://mackwborgen.com/shop/ . All directly ordered books will be signed by the author and shipped within five business days. Free shipping for orders of 10 or more books for your family, friends, or clients.

But, now, … The Best Lyrics of Modern America – – From 1957 through 2015 –

Enjoy. 

The Sixties 

Baby, I’m Yours (1965) (Barbara Lewis )(B: 1943, Salem, MI).    

     “Baby I’m yours

     And I’ll be yours until the sun no longer shines,

     Yours until the poets run out of rhyme

     In other words, until the end of time.”       …

     “(U)ntil the mountain crumbles to the sea.” 

     “‘Till the stars fall from the sky.”  

     “’Till the rivers all run dry.”  

     “’Till the poets run out of rhyme.” 

Fire (1968)
(Arthur Brown) (B: 1942, Yorkshire, England)     

      “I am the god of Hell Fire and I bring you

     Fire…”   …

     “Fire, to destroy all you’ve done.

      Fire, to end all you’ve become.”

The Seventies 

Walk Away from Love (1976)

(David Ruffin) (B: 1941, Whynot, MS – D: 1991 (Age 50), Philadelphia, PA). 

     “But those arms you’ve got around me

      Will let me go someday

      And I’d rather leave you holding on

      Than pushing me away

      So I’m leaving, yes I am

      This time I’m playing it smart

      I’m gonna walk away from love

      Before love breaks my heart.” 

Grease (1978) (Frankie Valli)(B: 1934, Newark, NJ).

     “There ain’t no danger we can go too far,

     We start believing now that we can be who we are”  …

     “They think our love is just a growing pain

      Why don’t they understand, it’s just a crying shame.”  … 

     “We take the pressure and we throw away

     Conventionality belongs to yesterday.”    

     “This is the life of illusion

      Wrapped up in trouble … faced with confusion.”

The Nineties

Hold On (1990) (Wilson Phillips (Group)) (Years Active: 1989-1993, 2004, 2010-Present).

     “Don’t you know things can change

     Things’ll go your way,

     If you hold on for one more day.”

Vogue (1990) (Madonna) (B: 1958, Bay City, MI).

     “What are you looking at

     Strike a pose, Strike a pose …

     Vogue, vogue, vogue.”   

    “All you need is your own imagination

     So use it  – that’s what it’s there for …

     Go inside, for your finest inspiration

     Your dreams will open the door….”

Country Western 

He Didn’t Have To Be” (Brad Paisley) (B: 1972, Glen Dale, WV).             

     “I met the man I call my dad when I was five years old

     He took my mom out to the movie, and for once I got to go,

     A few months later I remember lying there in bed

     I overheard him pop the question

    And I prayed that she say yes.” …

    “And then all of a sudden, oh it seemed so strange to me

     How we went from something’s missing to a family

     Looking back all I can say about all the things he did for me

     Is that I hope I’m at least half the dad he didn’t have to be.” 

Explanation and Background of These

“The Best Lyrics of Modern America” Blogs

Song lyrics are the real poetry of Modern America. The lyrics of our favorite songs roll around in our heads for decades. Almost unconsciously, every day we honor the words of America’s songwriters who said something in that perfect, poetic, or clever way.

About nine years ago, in 2010, when I started my research for my books, Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America. I spent much of the initial year assembling, sorting, and selecting those “memorable” song lyrics to be included in my books.

However, I eventually decided that it was necessary to exclude song lyrics from my books. This was done partly in deference to the needs of book brevity and in bowing recognition to the unavoidable subjectivity of making such selections. But it was also done because most songs are almost definitionally “intra-generational” in that they remain the separate and proud province of each generation. They are a part of each generation’s formative and collective memory – but not beyond that.

Nevertheless, as a result of that year of research, I assembled a relatively massive collection of what may be, by some measures of broad consensus, the greatest song lyrics of Modern America.

I have decided to start presenting them here for your remembrance and enjoyment. I confess that this is partly triggered by the fact that I have already done the fun, but painstaking, work of such assemblage. However, these lyrics blogs are also triggered by the fact that America needs – maybe now more than ever — to reach back and enjoy something or, as best said in 1967 by the Beatles in their song A Day in the Life” — “I read the news today, oh boy.”

Thus, starting on October 9, 2018 with Blog No. 83, I have started posting some excerpts of this author’s humble suggestions of The Best Lyrics of Modern America.

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Prison Is the Price of Guilt – The College Admissions Scandal

Posted by Mack W. Borgen March 20th, 2019

Blog No 95 
March 20, 2019

College Admissions Scandal

– –

Prison Is the Price of Guilt 

By Mack W. Borgen
Author, National Award-Winning Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America – Volume I (1957-1976), Volume II (1977-1993), and Volume III (1994-2015) (Published 2018-2019)The Relevance of Reason – The Hard Facts and Real Data about the State of Current America – Volume I (Business and Politics) and Volume II (Society and Culture) (Published 2013-2014).
All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles and reviews, without the prior written permission of the author. For a “cleaner” /non-email presentation of this blog and to review my other blogs, essays, and articles, please go to my website at mackwborgen.com.

The college admissions scandal has been the talk of the nation for the last week. The list of alleged offenders includes numerous wealthy people — CEOs; corporate founders, owners, and officers; an actress and a fashion designer; a casino operator and a vineyard owner; a doctor and a lawyer; multiple fund managers and venture capital executives; and, just for good measure, a parenting advisor and author.

The reasons for the wide media coverage are both understandable and deserved because the scandal is unique in so many respects.

First, the scandal touches universities, communities and families from coast to coast – from Yale to University of Texas to USC. It is not an isolated hurricane in Houston or a foothills wildfire in California. It is not a political fight in D.C. or financial debacle from Wall Street. No, the college admission scandal is geographically widespread. It is everywhere. It affects and offends nearly all Americans.  

Second and worse yet, the scandal tampers with our families. It affects our kids. It squelches our and their dreams. It fans our cynicism. For some, it diminishes their (last and best) hopes. 

Third, and possibly most importantly, the scandal is easy to understand. It is not twisted by complexities. It does not get lost in the numbers. Instead, the cheating is simple, straightforward, and down-home dirty. And it is readily, albeit tragically, believable.

As a result, the reactions of nearly all Americans are similar, if not unanimous. Unlike so many issues of our social, cultural, political, and economic lives, the offensiveness of the college admissions scandal is unique because it is easily understood;  because it is similarly viewed; and because our shared reactions are this time unburdened by predisposition or personal bias.

Scandals in America are a dime a dozen. They clutter out headlines. They dominate the Internet. But most thoughtful Americans usually want to first know the facts and understand the details. What happened? How did it happen? Who was involved? Are there two sides to the story? Was there justification or provocation?

But that is not the case with the cheating scandal. We admittedly don’t know the details, but we feel we know the facts. We feel like we know what happened. We feel like we already know the facts. And this level of certainty is unique.[1]

We do not need to rely upon commentators to explain what happened. We do not need lawyers to detail the crimes. We do not need to listen for code words or weigh excuses and defenses. There are none.

Thus, once again, this scandal is easy to understand. It stinks, and, worse yet, it underscores all of those deep-rooted cynicisms which many of us so steadfastly try to set aside.

But one aspect and one huge risk of the college admissions scandal have not yet been addressed. To some Americans, these two matters will be seen as posing a serious threat and potential harm to our country. To other Americans, these matters will be seen as the long, awaited and triggering opportunity for “fix” our country.

The Drift from Frustration to Anger

Normally, social, cultural, political, and economic tensions bubble for years; for decades; sometimes for centuries. But sometimes, a single event triggers “everything” – the shooting of an obscure Archduke triggered World War I; the Black Monday Crash of 1929 brought on the Great Depression; the 1957 beep–beep of an orbiting basketball-sized Sputnik which led to formation of NASA and the acceleration of the Cold War; the assassination of JFK ended Camelot and sobered a nation overnight; Reagan’s exhortation to Gorbachev echoed throughout so many corners of the USSR that it accelerated the long-awaited demise of the USSR. More recently and more tragically emphatic, there was 9/11. It, too, just one horrific event, changed everything.

The college admission scandal certainly would not rival these events except when it is placed in the context of America’s growing fears about income and wealth inequality. America is not panicked about the fact that the top 1% of wealthy Americans now holds the same wealth as the “bottom” 95%.[2] But American’s are angry. They are pissed. And, in that context, the college admission scandal feeds the narrative. It confirms worst fears. It insults us with the hard reality that the playing field is more unequal than ever.

And though it is not yet obvious, the college admissions scandal has the potential to change everything. The scandal, almost by itself, may greatly accelerate the demands for serious change in this country. This is not offered as the screech of an alarmist, but again, because this scandal is unique.

Exactly because of the scandal’s notoriety and its wide-spreadedness (not a word, but it should be) and because of the massive media coverage, the scandal may, in time, come to be viewed as one of the sober beginnings of a tectonic shift in American politic and social life.

It will further our country’s drift from frustration to anger.

One certainly can argue that there are many components of American society which beg for change. The role of government will be debated until long after the cows come home. Racial tensions are sad, tragic, and wrong, but they will continue to be cynically viewed by some Americans as NIMBY-containable. Maybe The Wall needs to be built. Maybe it doesn’t. But the truth is that I, like most of you, haven’t been to a Texas border town in years. Health care issues are serious and important. But there are pros and cons to weigh with respect to almost every reform proposal. Even debates about the quality of education in our schools are burdened by the many-sided complexities of funding, student-teacher ratios, curriculum selection, and, more recently, even school safety issues.

But, the college admissions scandal is again unique due its confirming clarity. And when it is so publicly confirmed that rich people buy their kids’ way into some of America’s finest schools by simple cheating and bribing – then hell can break loose. Alumni ties and donor contributions have long been understood to open admissions gates — but proof of bald-ass bribery and cheating at some of America’s finest schools is hurtful news.

Admittedly, it is too early to know the lasting consequences of the college admissions scandal. However, it is here suggested that the college cheating scandal may accelerate the drift of the American people from frustration to anger.

But there is one more aspect, which this author refers to as a “risk, which will soon be become a major and lasting component of this scandal.

Prison Is the Price of Guilt.

Fines Are Merely the Cost of Errors.

The Real Risk of the College Admissions Scandal – Monetizing Our Judicial System 

Over the years, I have written on numerous occasions about the monetizing of our judicial system; about how the imposition of fines are too readily and too often used in the place and stead of good old-fashioned incarceration. See, for example, my article “Money Can Be Paid – But Time Must be Served – The Misuse of ‘Deferred Prosecution Agreements’ and How Guilty Corporate Executives Avoid Prosecution and Incarceration.”[3]

But the risk of fines rather than incarceration will soon be before the courts in the context of the college admissions scandal. Judges will soon be asked to approve plea agreements or impose sentences. And these plea agreements and sentences must include incarceration.

If this country is going to routinely send young poor men and women to prison for using drugs or for robbing a 7/11 in order to punish and send a message, then it must likewise send older rich men and women to prison for bribery and theft in order to punish and send a message. The subject of the theft is unimportant – cash from a till or an admission slot to college. They are merely different kinds of products.

And thus, prison incarceration must be a component of the imposed sentences —- because prison is the price of guilt. Fines are merely the cost of errors.

We have all paid fines and their many variants – parking and speeding tickets, late fees and overdraft charges, tax penalties and interest. But prison is where guilt is paid. That is where one “does time” for his or her misdeeds. One has to go to the “up the river” “to the big house.” My use of such jargon is not intended to trivialize the need for prison time to be imposed. Instead, it is used to underscore the massive difference between fines and prison.

It’s downright sweet that Felicity Huffman, aka Defendant Felicity Huffman, found it necessary to retain a crisis public relations team this week, but that both misses the point and is the point. The college admissions scandal is not a matter of public relations. It is not a mere civil wrongdoing. It is criminal.

The courts cannot be distracted by the defendant’s charitable contributions; by the fact that their crimes may be first-time offenses; or even by the fact that these people on paper may have led “blameless lives.”

As noted above, it is sad that the defendants includes a doctor, a lawyer, an associate professor, a fashion designer, a casino operator, multiple corporate and equity fund CEOs and managers and multiple corporate founders and executives, a vineyard owner, and maybe worse of all, a parenting author. But who cares? They are now defendants. And when given a number, they will all sound the same.

Thus, the forthcoming risk of the college admissions scandal is that if these cases are dismissed by the mere imposition of fines, this would further confirm the monetization of the criminal justice system. Instead, America cannot allow wealthy individuals to buy themselves out of trouble any more than it can allow them to buy their kid’s into college. Thus, even though fines must be part of each sentence, they cannot be all of the sentences.

And while it is far beyond the scope of this article, this author should note that it may be a “fine” time (pun intended) to follow the lead of other countries and to discard fine amount schedules. Instead, the amount of one’s fine should be based upon one’s income or wealth. Variations of this have been done for years in Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain, and even Argentina. While there could be some initial constitutional challenges to such income- or wealth-based impositions,[4] this author believes that these objections can and should be easily overcome. As well and recently said by one writer (admittedly in the context of mere traffic fines) “a billionaire and a nurse shouldn’t pay the same fine.”[5]

CLOSING

This author readily acknowledges the heated words of this article. Normally, I do not comment upon such recent and current events. Furthermore, in full disclosure, this author has a son who will soon be applying for college admission.

However, the subject of income and wealth disparity and the dangerous slant of our legal and judicial system have been addressed by this author on many occasions – and the college admissions scandals embodies everything about which I have been writing.

Lastly, my viewing of the widely-reported passions attendant to the college admissions scandal – both in and of itself and as a last straw – convinces me that there may soon be a further shift — from frustration to anger.

It is time to act responsibly. But it is also time to act.

FOOTNOTES

[1] This level of assured and ready disgust is unusual because, as noted in one of my earlier books, The Relevance of Reason, America is usually (and almost unavoidably) a separated nation. In the context of most scandals, we are separated — by geography, by age, and by generational association. We are normally separated by the circumstances of our birth and by the strength or weakness or even presence of our families. From an early age, we become further separated by what each of us has seen and by the sense of hope which may (or may not) have been instilled in us. We are also separated by the quality and (later) the extent of our respective educations and by the availability of opportunities. Many of us are separated by a wide array of ethnicities, heritage, race, creed, and color and even by our height, weight, gender, health, tastes, and religious associations.

Even more, we are separated by our attitudes, by our dispositions and inclinations, and by our varying levels of empathy. Usually by early adulthood, we are further separated by the whims of luck, by our respective accumulation of experiences, by our jobs or professions, by our finding of love and possibly by the blessing presence of children and close friends. Time and money allowing, we welcome, but are again separated, by our various hobbies, sports, affiliations, and interests.

But, as noted above, all of these “separations” disappear in the context of the college admissions scandal.

The Relevance of Reason – The Hard Facts and Real Data about the State of Current America – Volume I (Business and Politics) and Volume II (Society and Culture) (2013).

[2] Interesting comparative note: At the beginning of the Great Depression and even after the increase in wealth disparity which resulted from the Roaring ‘20s, the top 1% of America’s wealthy families only held an amount of wealth equal to the bottom 30%. Thus, that 30% has now grown to 95%. In other words, on an averaging basis, wealth disparity in America has grown worse by about 7.5% per decade for nine decades. There’s finally almost no wealth left to be taken. 

[3] Mack W. Borgen Blog No. 56, February 23, 2015 at https://mackwborgen.com .

[4] The Constitutionality of Income-Based Fines, 85 Univ of Chicago L. Rev 1869 (Dec., 2018).

[5]  Schierenbeck, A., “A Billionaire and a Nurse Shouldn’t Pay the Same Fine for Speeding,” The New York Times, March 15, 2018.

 

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Buffalo Springfield – Allman Brothers – Childish Gambino – The Best Song Lyrics of Modern America – Part 6

Posted by Mack W. Borgen March 13th, 2019

Blog No 94 

March 15, 2019

The Best Song and Most Memorable Lyrics of Modern America- Part 6

– The Poetry of Modern America – 

Author, National Award-Winning Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America – Volumes I (1957-1976), II (1977-1993), and (III (1994-2015).
All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles and reviews, without the prior written permission of the author. For a “cleaner” /non-email presentation of this blog and to review my other blogs, essays, and articles, please go to my website at mackwborgen.com.

 

 Introduction and Background

Song lyrics are the real poetry of Modern America. The lyrics of our favorite songs roll around in our heads for decades. Almost unconsciously, every day we honor the words of America’s songwriters who said something in that perfect, poetic, or clever way.

Here is Part 6 of my assembled list — done over the last eight years in conjunction with my research for my last series of books, Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America. For an explanation about this Best Song Lyrics project, see below.

Also, please see my publishers new National Book Awards Direct-From-Publisher Book Sales Offerings. Just go to http://mackwborgen.com/shop/ . All books will be signed by the author and shipped within five business days. Free shipping for orders of 10 or more books for your family, friends, or clients.

But, now, … 

The Best and Most Memorable Song Lyrics of Modern America

– From 1957 through 2015 –

Enjoy.

The Simpler Themes and Memory-Triggering Titles of the Late 1950’s:           

Party Doll (1957) (Buddy Knox) (B: 1933, Happy, TX – D: 1999 (age 65), Bremerton, WA).

                           “Well all I want is a party doll,  …

                           Come along and be my party doll”

 Peggy Sue (1958) (Buddy Holly) (B: 1936, Lubbock, TX – D: 1959 (Age 22), Clear Lake, IA).

                        “Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue,

                        Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty Peggy Sue”

Endlessly (1959) (Brook Benton) (B: 1931, Lugoff, SC – D- 1988 (Age 56) Queens, NY).

                        “Higher than the highest mountain

                        And deeper than the deepest sea,

                        That how I will love you, oh, darling, endlessly.”

The Sixties 

For What It’s Worth (Stop. Heh, What’s That Sound). (1966) Buffalo Springfield (Active Years 1966-1968, 2010-2012).

                        “There’s something happening here.

                        What it is ain’t exactly clear.

                        There’s a man with a gun over there.

                        Telling me I got to beware.”

                       “I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound

                      Everybody look what’s going down.”

                      “There’s battle lines being drawn

                      Nobody ‘s right if everybody’s wrong

                      Young people speaking their minds

                     Getting so much resistance from behind.” 

                     …

                     “What a field-day for the heat

                    A thousand people in the street

                   Singing songs and carrying signs

                   Mostly say, hooray, for our side.”

                   “It’s time we stop ….”                       

Ballad of the Green Beret (1966) (Barry Sadler) (B: 1940, Carlsbad, NM – D: 1989 (Age 49) Murfreesboro, TN).

                    “Fighting soldiers from the sky

                     Fearless men who jump and die

                    Men who mean just what they say

                    The brave men of the Green Beret.”

                    . . .

                    “Silver wings upon their chest

                    These men are America’s best.”

Tell It Like It Is (1967) (Aaron Neville) (B 1941, New Orleans, LA).

                   “Life is too short to have sorrow,

                   You may be here today and gone tomorrow.” 

The Seventies

Ramblin’ Man (1973) (Allman Brothers Band) (Years Active: 1969-1982, 1989-2014).

                   “Lord, I was born a rambling man,

                   Tryin’ to make a livin’ and doin’ the best I can.

                  And when it’s time for livin’,

                  I hope you’ll understand,

                  That I was born a travellin’ man.”

The Eighties 

Another Brick in the Wall (1980) (Pink Floyd) (Years Active: 1965-1995, 2005, 2012-2014).

                   “We don’t need no education

                   We don’t need no thought control

                   No dark sarcasm in the classroom

                   Teachers leave the kids alone.”

                   …

                   “I don’t need no arms around me

                   And I don’t need no drugs to calm me

                   I have seen the writing on the wall.

                   Don’t think I need anything at all.” 

The 2000s 

This Is America* (2018) (Childish Gambino / Donald Glover). (B: 1983, Edwards AFB, Kern County, CA).  * This No. 1 song, released in 2018, falls outside my definition of the years of Modern America (1957-2015), and it is too early to know whether its lyrics will become “memorable.” However, these lyrics are included because they well-evidence the changes in the style, linguistics, subject matter, and tone of America’s song lyrics. Viewing of music video recommended as well.

                 “This is America

                 Don’t catch you slippin’ up

                 Look at how I’m livin’ now

                 Police be trippin’ now

                Guns in my area

                I got the strap

                I gotta carry ‘em.”

              …

              “This is America

              Don’t catch you slippin’ up…

              Look what I’m whippin’ up.”

            …

             “Look how I’m geekin’ out

              I’m so fitted

             I’m on Gucci

             I’m so pretty …

            You go tell somebody

            You muthaf***kas owe me

            Grandma told me.”

Explanation and Background of These

“The Best Lyrics of Modern America” Blogs

Song lyrics are the real poetry of Modern America. The lyrics of our favorite songs roll around in our heads for decades. Almost unconsciously, every day we honor the words of America’s songwriters who said something in that perfect, poetic, or clever way.

About nine years ago, in 2010, when I started my research for my books, Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America. I spent much of the initial year assembling, sorting, and selecting those “memorable” song lyrics to be included in my books.

However, I eventually decided that it was necessary to exclude song lyrics from my books. This was done partly in deference to the needs of book brevity and in bowing recognition to the unavoidable subjectivity of making such selections. But it was also done because most songs are almost definitionally “intra-generational” in that they remain the separate and proud province of each generation. They are a part of each generation’s formative and collective memory – but not beyond that.

Nevertheless, as a result of that year of research, I assembled a relatively massive collection of what may be, by some measures of broad consensus, the greatest — or at least most memorable — song lyrics of Modern America.

I have decided to start presenting them here for your remembrance and enjoyment. I confess that this is partly triggered by the fact that I have already done the fun, but painstaking, work of such assemblage. However, these lyrics blogs are also triggered by the fact that America needs – maybe now more than ever — to reach back and enjoy something or, as best said in 1967 by the Beatles in their song A Day in the Life” — “I read the news today, oh boy.”

Thus, starting on October 9, 2018 with Blog No. 83, I started posting some excerpts of this author’s humble suggestions of The Best Songs Lyrics of Modern America.

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Multiple National Book Awards

Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America

Volume I (1957-1976) (508 pp)

Volume II (1977-1993) (400 pp)

Volume III (1994-2015) (570 pp) 

The Relevance of Reason – The Hard Facts and Real Data about the State of Current America

Volume I – Business and Politics (408 pp)

Volume II – Society and Culture (438 pp) 

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