The Isley Brothers, Summer Breeze and Time for a Holiday!

It was only supposed to be for a year, a year when I did something just for me for a change, but I kept on going…… and going…… and going. Although the plan was simply to write an occasional post about a random song from my past, it’s kind of grown arms and legs of late and I’ve being enjoying it all just a little bit too much!

BUT

1.5 years on

150 posts published

500 plus views per week

…… it’s definitely time for a short break as I have become seriously addicted – I’ve mentioned this before and the feedback was that as an addiction it’s one of the least harmful ones, which is true, but when it adversely impacts on the rest of your life it’s definitely time to indulge in a bit of cold turkey. It has now become apparent that I have let too many other things slide over the past year and poor Mr WIAA’s business (which I supposedly manage for him) is being sorely neglected – Here are a couple of the lovely things he can make, but because of the blogging, I haven’t spent nearly enough time marketing them for him of late so now it’s time to right that wrong.

I have tried the whole cold turkey thing before but this time I need to be a bit more disciplined, so if I suddenly pop up on your sidebar you have full permission to castigate me for falling off the wagon. My American Odyssey series of posts has led me to New York City which is a fine, if possibly hot and stuffy, place to spend the summer – I can indulge my fantasy of living the life of New York columnist Carrie Bradshaw in her brownstone Manhattan apartment. Failing that, it will simply have to be a summer spent at my castle in the Scottish Highlands (joke).

balmoral
Balmoral Castle!

But which song to include before I have bit of a holiday? – An easy call actually as I have been trying to shoehorn it in for a while now but Summer Breeze by The Isley Brothers is one of my all-time favourite songs and it was included on the playlist I put together for last week’s summer solstice get-together in the garden.

Summer Breeze by The Isley Brothers:

This Seals and Crofts cover was released in 1974 and reached No. 16 in the UK Singles Chart. The Isley Brothers were one of the first black groups to form their own label and managed, with the help of early member Jimi Hendrix, to inject rock influences into their music. I have however just made a wonderful discovery – Jim Seals, one of the writers of this song, is the older brother of Dan Seals otherwise known as England Dan of England Dan and John Ford Coley fame. One of the very first posts in this blog was about the song I’d Really Love To See You Tonight which is also a favourite of mine (link here). Considering that song also references a warm summer breeze, I feel as if I’ve come full circle!

So “What’s It All About?” – Sometimes we need to take some time out in order to redress the balance in our lives. I think I probably spend a good 20 hours a week on the blogosphere and it’s a 20 hours I just don’t have at the moment – I hope to return fully refreshed in August.

Until next time….. enjoy that summer breeze, “blowing through the jasmine in your mind”.

I know I will.

Summer Breeze Lyrics
(Song by Darrell Crofts/Jim Seals)

See the curtains hangin’ in the window, in the evenin’ on a Friday night
A little light a-shinin’ through the window, lets me know everything is alright

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind

See the paper layin’ in the sidewalk, a little music from the house next door
So I walked on up to the doorstep, through the screen and across the floor

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind

Sweet days of summer, the jasmine’s in bloom
July is dressed up and playing her tune
And I come home from a hard day’s work
And you’re waiting there, not a care in the world
See the smile a-waitin’ in the kitchen, food cookin’ and the plates for two
Feel the arms that reach out to hold me, in the evening when the day is through

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind

England Dan & John Ford Coley, Warm Winds and I’d Really Love To See You Tonight

Listening to Lyin’ Eyes yesterday and reminiscing about The Eagles’ great music got me thinking about all the other ’70s American artists we loved to listen to. There were a group of them living in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles who collaborated to create amazing American country rock – Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne and Bob Seger.

For teenagers in rural Scotland, the lyrics in their songs conjured up something totally other-worldly – “Dark desert highways”, “Blue bayous” and “Tequila sunrises”. Also until then I hadn’t really listened to the lyrics of songs properly, it was always about the melody or the artist (typical teenage girl) but these guys were telling a whole story in a song. Yesterday’s Lyin’ Eyes tells an incredibly sad story and makes me realise how lucky I am to have married my best friend and not had to resort to “the cheatin’ side of town”. (One of the best lines ever in a song.)

Anyway, by chance when I was in the car today, this song came on the radio and although more from the soft rock/easy listening camp, it totally reminded me of those great American songs from that mid ’70s era. I’d Really Love To See You Tonight was in the UK Singles Chart in September 1976 and told the sweet story of a guy who just wanted to “hang out” with (probably) an old girlfriend, no strings attached. It was recorded by England Dan and John Ford Coley and was their biggest hit in the UK.

I’d Really Love To See You Tonight by England Dan & John Ford Coley:

They definitely weren’t teen idols (see picture below) but there is something about this song that I’ve always loved – What not to love about the line “there’s a warm wind blowing the stars around, and I’d really love to see you tonight”. Where we lived there was never, ever a warm wind blowing and the stars were usually hidden by cloud, so something really exotic and romantic-sounding.

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I am partial to a “story song” and re-reading these lines, know that I’ve been there. Sometimes it’s just really nice to meet up with an old boyfriend, post-breakup, knowing you are never going to get back together but just to reminisce about good times. All very lovely until you bump into them with their new girlfriend in which case the pain comes right back, but tolerable if you’ve put on a great outfit that day and perfected the hair and makeup. My 16-year-old self didn’t know about any of that as not really had any great romances yet, but boy did I enjoy listening to that line about the warm wind blowing the stars around.

I’d Really Love to See You Tonight Lyrics
(Song by Parker McGee)

Hello, yeah, it’s been a while
Not much, how ’bout you?
I’m not sure why I called
I guess I really just wanted to talk to you
And I was thinking maybe later on
We could get together for a while
It’s been such a long time
And I really do miss your smile

I’m not talking ’bout moving in
And I don’t want to change your life
But there’s a warm wind blowing the stars around
And I’d really love to see you tonight

We could go walking through a windy park
Or take a drive along the beach
Or stay at home and watch tv
You see, it really doesn’t matter much to me

I’m not talking ’bout moving in
And I don’t want to change your life
But there’s a warm wind blowing the stars around
And I’d really love to see you tonight

I won’t ask for promises
So you don’t have to lie
We’ve both played that game before
Say I love you, then say goodbye