Sunrise, Sunset #2 – Trees, Tequila and A Bunch of Desperados

A bit of a picture post this one, as really into my new series where I intend to share pictures of sunrises and sunsets (accompanied by a relevant featured song of course). This morning I could tell there was going to be a beautiful array of orange and yellow in the sky as when I came through for breakfast, the colours were dancing across the obscure glass in the back door. I quickly grabbed my new iPhone (which has a much improved camera) and this is what I got. Sadly, most of my sunrise pictures will involve next door’s garage wall which kind of blocks our views down the hill into town. It was built before we bought the house, so we knew what we were getting, but at times likes this it would be nice not to have that big block of grey getting in the way. No matter, a fine sunrise shot whatever.

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A Scottish Sunrise, 3rd Dec 2019

I think I’ve mentioned this around here before, but back in 2009/2010 I set myself the task of taking a picture of something from the natural world, every day, for a whole year. Called my 365 Project, I ended up with a great set of pictures that recorded the seasons during the period from November 2009 until the following November. I had thought it would be a good idea to revisit the same locations a decade on, to compare the scenes, but of course that requires a fair level of commitment and so far I’ve been found wanting. What I have been able to record however makes for sobering viewing.

Exhibit A: On the 1st December 2009 I somehow managed to record the amazing sunrise on the left. Deep purple this one, with oranges so bright they looked like flames. Last Sunday was the 1st December 2019 and from the same vantage point I took the picture on the right. Not as impressive and I hadn’t even noticed before but it seems the cottage down the hill has lost its chimneys in the intervening years. Even worse is that the large tree in its garden has been chopped down, and there are now stumps instead – It used to look spectacular in summer when in full leaf, but now only one left. This got me to thinking about what else has changed so radically, and it didn’t take long.

Exhibit B: Some of the roads leading up the hill to our house were originally farm roads. Many were lined with very old Scots pines which could potentially have been there for hundreds of years. I took this fine shot on the left on a nice sunny day in November 2009. Sadly, a few years later the local council decided to cut down all but one of them, for health and safety reasons, and the shot on the right was the one I took on Sunday. Only one pine remains of the original four, and I don’t know about you, but to me it now looks really sad and lonely. Only two pictures in and already so much of the natural world had gone. Just think how I felt when I pulled into our street last week to be met with our next exhibit.

Exhibit C: The first house in our street has always been blessed with a tree that come springtime is covered in blossom. Our Japanese cherry flowers a bit later, and the blossom lasts longer, but the tree on the corner always flowers first and ends up producing a beautiful carpet of pink on the pavement. For some bizarre reason they have decided to get rid of it, to provide more light for their conservatory we suspect, but again just so sad to see yet another tree go.

But this is a music blog, and I have become side-tracked by trees, or rather the lack of them. This series is supposed to be all about songs relating to sunrises and sunsets so might as well get this one in early doors, as they say – Tequila Sunrise by the Eagles. The song wasn’t actually about the drink of the same name (that unmixed concoction made up of tequila, orange juice, and grenadine syrup which does look remarkably like a sunrise), no, it was written for their 1973 album Desperado where all the songs were based on themes of the Old West. The band even appear on the album’s cover dressed like an outlaw gang.

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Tequila Sunrise was one of the first songs where Don Henley and Glenn Fry collaborated and when Glenn came up with a guitar riff that sounded “kinda Mexican”, Don suggested the title, as they had been drinking straight tequila all night and now the sun was coming up. As for the line “take another shot of courage”, they called tequila “instant courage”, as without it they didn’t have the nerve to go and talk to women (but trust me, not always the best way to woo the opposite sex).

Tequila Sunrise by The Eagles:

So, “What’s It All About?” – A fine picture at the top there, but having revisited my pictures from ten years ago I am sad that in the town anyway, we have lost so many long-established trees.

As for the Eagles, they are one of the many bands that seemed to do just a little too well for themselves and lost their kudos along the way, becoming a tad corporate. Personally I still love listening to their songs but more because of that sense of nostalgia, remembering where I was, and who I was with, when I first discovered them. Growing up in the 1970s, if you were lucky enough to hang out at the house of a friend who had an older brother, there was usually an abundance of Eagles albums.

Just in case you don’t remember what a tequila sunrise drink looks like, here is it – The one we are most familiar with originated in Sausalito, California and those gradations in colour certainly do resemble a sunrise. One of the first alcoholic drinks I remember consuming at our local nightspot was indeed a tequila sunrise and probably because it looked and tasted like a soft drink – An expensive 1970s alcopop.

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Until next time….

Tequila Sunrise Lyrics
(Song by Glenn Fry/Don Henley)

It’s another tequila sunrise
Starin’ slowly ‘cross the sky
Said goodbye
He was just a hired hand
Workin’ on the dreams he planned to try
The days go by

Ev’ry night when the sun goes down
Just another lonely boy in town
And she’s out runnin’ ’round

She wasn’t just another woman
And I couldn’t keep from comin’ on
It’s been so long
Oh and it’s a hollow feelin’
When it comes down to dealin’ friends
It never ends

Take another shot of courage
Wonder why the right words never come
You just get numb
It’s another tequila sunrise
This old world still looks the same
Another frame

The Eagles, Relationship Trouble and “I Can’t Tell You Why”

I always wondered how I would fit this song into the blog but today seems to be the day. Without giving too much away, someone very close to us is going through heavy duty relationship stuff at the moment and of course it ends up affecting us all.

Until we uploaded all our CDs onto the computer a few years ago I don’t think I would have remembered this song by The Eagles from their 1979 album “The Long Run”, but after rediscovering it, I think it has become the one I gravitate to most from their vast back catalogue – I Can’t Tell You Why is about a broken relationship, and what is to be done about it. Those opening few bars of music followed by the first few lines of lyric, still sends shivers up my spine every time I hear it.

Look at us baby
Up all night
Tearin’ our love apart
Aren’t we the same two people
Who lived through years in the dark
Every time I try to walk away
Somethin’ makes me turn and stay
I can’t tell you why

I Can’t Tell You Why by The Eagles:

Unless you have been really lucky in love you will no doubt recognise what the couple in the song are going through. When all is not going well in a relationship, and the two of you have reached breaking point, there can be these emotional “all-nighters” of discussion and argument which invariably never lead to a satisfactory conclusion. Of course staying up all night to “tear your love apart” is not the wisest choice – As Mama Cass sang, “The darkest hour is just before dawn” and not the time to make life-changing decisions.

The song itself ends up having no real conclusion and leaves the listener with an intentional melancholy (it certainly has that effect on me). The couple in the song are neither reconciled nor torn apart, and the song fades out on this point of uncertainty.

As someone who shared a flat with five other girls as a student, then with three other girls in my twenties, we had our fair share of “relationship-trouble” and there were many emotional all-night sessions like the one in the song. Wouldn’t change any of it however as I think it is a necessary part of the journey to finding “the one” (as per Bridget Jones). Doesn’t mean to say it makes it any easier however to watch your young people suffer as you did in your younger days – Cross fingers all will sort itself out soon as I don’t have the constitution for all this any more, even vicariously.

I have written about The Eagles before and of how their albums were a staple of my high school years, often listened to whilst hanging out at friends’ houses. Their line-up changed several times over the years but in 1977 bass player Timothy B. Schmit replaced Randy Meisner. When he joined the band, he brought a portion of the song I Can’t Tell You Why with him (loosely based on his own experiences). He then worked on it with Don Henley and Glenn Frey who were credited as co-writers. Timothy, he of the enviably long, dark locks, performed lead vocals on it and Glenn Frey (RIP) was once quoted as saying that “I Can’t Tell You Why” and “One Of These Nights” were the two Eagles songs he would put into a time capsule to represent their best work. Sounds fair to me.

So, “What’s It All About?” – This love stuff ain’t always easy and even at my age, I still can’t tell you why…..

I Can’t Tell You Why Lyrics
(Song by Don Henley/Timothy B Schmit/Glenn Frey)

Look at us baby
Up all night
Tearin’ our love apart
Aren’t we the same two people
Who lived through years in the dark

Every time I try to walk away
Somethin’ makes me turn and stay

I can’t tell you why

When we get crazy
It just ain’t right
(Try to keep your head on, girl)
‘Cause girl I get lonely too
You don’t have to worry
Just hold on tight
(Don’t get caught in your little world)
‘Cause I love you

Nothin’s wrong as far as I can see
We make it harder than it has to be

I can’t tell you why
No, baby, I can’t tell you why
I can’t tell you why

Every time I try to walk away
Somethin’ makes me turn around and stay

I can’t tell you why
No, baby, I can’t tell you why
I can’t tell you why
I can’t tell you why, yeah

No, baby
Ooooh, I can’t tell you why

Glenn Frey, The Eagles and “Lyin’ Eyes”

After last week’s shock news of the death of David Bowie, I had hoped it would be some time before the blog would end up being about the death of another ’70s rock legend but here we are again. Woke up this morning to the news that Glenn Frey from The Eagles had died yesterday aged 67.

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Got me thinking that we are maybe at the tipping point, where our post-war baby boomers who entered the music industry in the ’60s and ’70s and by their own admission lived a hedonistic drug-fuelled lifestyle, are now maybe running out of luck. I don’t know the details of his death and don’t really want to delve into all that, but a pattern is definitely emerging here. Again, as with Bowie, I am really sorry for his family and friends who will no longer be able to spend time with him but for the rest of us, we will always have those fantastic songs.

I have decided therefore to make today’s featured song Lyin’ Eyes from 1975 as it was one of The Eagles’ early ones where Frey performed lead vocals. If this blog is supposed to reflect the soundtrack to my life, Lyin’ Eyes definitely played a large part in forming the soundtrack to the mid ’70s. I was still at school and not really old enough for pubs and clubs, but local bands were regularly booked to play the town and village halls in our area. Their music of choice tended to be cover versions of songs by soft rock bands such as The Eagles, and Lyin’ Eyes (all 6 minutes of it) was most definitely a favourite. If a boy you weren’t too keen on asked you to dance, but you were far too polite to refuse, it was a very long song.

Lyin’ Eyes by The Eagles:

By the time we got to 6th year at school, everyone owned their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 album and many an evening was spent hanging out with friends listening to it. I have just double-checked but already knew that Lyin’ Eyes was track number 3 on side 1. I miss that nowadays with digital downloads – We knew exactly where, on every piece of vinyl, our favourite tracks lay. The technology of the day didn’t involve touchscreens or keyboards, you simply had to pick up the arm of the record-player and place it gently on the record – If you had good control and eyesight you could seamlessly jump straight to the song of choice and in my case it was often Lyin’ Eyes.  RIP Glenn.

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Lyin’ Eyes Lyrics
(Song by Don Henley/Glenn Frey)

City girls just seem to find out early
How to open doors with just a smile
A rich old man
And she won’t have to worry
She’ll dress up all in lace and go in style

Late at night a big old house gets lonely
I guess every form of refuge has its price
And it breaks her heart to think her love is
Only given to a man with hands as cold as ice

So she tells him she must go out for the evening
To comfort an old friend who’s feelin’ down
But he knows where she’s goin’ as she’s leavin’
She is headed for the cheatin’ side of town

You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you’d realize
There ain’t no way to hide your lyin eyes

On the other side of town a boy is waiting
with fiery eyes and dreams no one could steal
She drives on through the night anticipating
‘Cause he makes her feel the way she used to feel

She rushes to his arms,
They fall together
She whispers that it’s only for awhile
She swears that soon she’ll be comin’ back forever
She pulls away and leaves him with a smile

You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you’d realize
There ain’t no way to hide you lyin’ eyes

She gets up and pours herself a strong one
And stares out at the stars up in the sky
Another night, it’s gonna be a long one
She draws the shade and hangs her head to cry

She wonders how it ever got this crazy
She thinks about a boy she knew in school
Did she get tired or did she just get lazy?
She’s so far gone she feels just like a fool

My, oh my, you sure know how to arrange things
You set it up so well, so carefully
Ain’t it funny how your new life didn’t change things
You’re still the same old girl you used to be

You can’t hide your lyin eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you’d realize
There ain’t no way to hide your lyin’ eyes
There ain’t no way to hide your lyin’ eyes
Honey, you can’t hide your lyin’ eyes