“Take this ring, Master, for your labours will be heavy; but it will support you in the weariness that you have taken upon yourself. For this is the Ring of Fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill.”

― Círdan to Gandalf in The Return of the King, Appendix B, JRR Tolkien

Congratulations again to Zurvan, upon whom was bestowed the Braveheart Bonus by boldly bringing a burst of Bowie…bandwidth…bumblebee butts…baking…during our last DJ thread.  In accordance with the ancient laws, he won the right to choose this week’s DJ theme.

Before beginning, behold my blabbering and blustering bout…damn it….prior to starting, I’d like to make a few remarks.  I’ve been told I have a way with words and I think there are times I should put whatever I have to offer to use, whenever it might do some good.

You know what I want?  What my own ideal use is for RVS?  It’s to inform and discuss and make you feel better about life without lying to you.  I don’t want to sell you on any agenda I have.  I don’t want to talk about the issues and how they help or hurt Candidate X or further Agenda Y.  It’s not about what I want it to be about.

It’s about us.    I want to talk about how the issues of the day are affecting you and understand what’s happening in the hearts and minds of normal people rather than the ambitious freaks who drive all of this nonsense.

Although RVS isn’t strictly a politics and news site (or an “adult material” site according to at least one of our friend’s employers), much of our discussion revolves around current events.  Big deal, because Bing brought up billions and billions of blogs billowing–aaaagh.  There are many sites that do this.  What’s tricky about this one is that when you’re constantly following the news and writing about politics, it’s very difficult not to succumb to the negativity that the present environment is seething with.

I’m not very old, but I’m not young either.  Over 40.  I’ve been politically “woke” for over 20 years and I have never seen it this bad in terms of anger and hatred.  Yeah, I know.  There have always been plentiful periods of political partisanship percolat–this is part of the ebb and flow of things.  There has always been unspeakable violence, grieving families, and bitter recriminations.  What’s different now is that you can’t escape it, no matter who you are or how hard you try.

What this has done is make us unhappy.  People are fearful and upset.  What’s wrong with us?  It’s hard to understand why this is such a dark time.  We’re prosperous and generally peaceful.  Sure, there are wars going on but they don’t affect us.  We’re not starving.  I’d argue that we’re safer and more comfortable now than was ever thought possible even fifty years ago.  Why are we so bitchy and sad?  It’s as if somebody left the basement door open and demons are just wandering out.

It’s because we’re waging a mental, perhaps even a spiritual, fight.  Like Eldritch Abominations, just knowing about these horrible things in the world and (wrongly) thinking that we’re helpless to do anything about them drains our energy.  Worse, we’re seeing cynical and mean-spirited people attempt to manipulate us, polarize us, and in the process they depress us.  I hear lots of good people say, “Ah, I’m just going to shut the news off.  Totally disconnect.  I’ll feel better then!”  They do.  For a short time.  The escape from the negativity doesn’t last long because it’s saturated in every form of media and it creeps into our personal relationships and then our own hearts.

That’s one reason, anyway.  The other reason that they don’t stay away for good is because they care about other people and what’s happening to our world.  If you’re still reading, can you use the word “polarization” somewhere in your first comment so I’ll know who’s shirking?  Thanks.

We each have it in us to make the world a better place and the only reason we don’t is because we underestimate our own power level.  My opinion is that it starts with a genuine compassion and willingness to understand others.  It comes easier to some people than others.  I grapple with maintaining an open mind and keeping the darkness at bay.  Yet when I’m at my best and focused, I like to believe that I help other people when I make them feel better.  Sometimes all it takes is some humor and sometimes I just need to understand what someone is trying to express.  Anybody can do that, really.  They just have to care.

Today, I’m asking all of our readers to fight the darkness.  How?  All you have to do is shine your inner light at it.  Yeah, I said that corny shit.  Can you believe it?  You cannot control the world or change it simply with good intentions, of course.  What you can do is refuse to be manipulated and controlled.  You can also choose to heal, understand, inspire, and cheer up others.

The world needs more people like that, doesn’t it?  Well, be that person, just for today if you can. Nothing is stopping you, I shit you not.  Nothing even can, unless you’re convinced otherwise.  Be positive and kind and hold your own light high.  Others will follow.  Little by little, we can make it better.  We will start with ourselves.

In that vein, Zurvan and I are determined to help you break whatever negativity grips you.  Today, you are being liberated.  Set free from the despair and anger.  When you feel the warmth, please share it with someone else today.  Not everyone is lucky enough to have a group like ours, online or IRL.   Here are the categories for this week’s music thread.

  • I’m Looking at the Man in the Mirror — Songs that drive you to be a better person.  I’m really curious to know if you have any selections that changed your life.  I think many of this have something like this among our favorite albums.  I certainly do!
  •  Walking on Sunshine — Songs that make you happy!  Music has a huge impact on our moods.  Our Lightworkers need inspiration to lead the way.  Give it.
  •  Turn on Your Heart Light –Songs that inspire hope in humanity.  Regale me with your selections that evoke faith, selflessness, sacrifice, and The Power of Love.  We just need to hear that everything is going to be okay from someone we can trust.  There are more powerful forces at work than those that depress the people in your lives.  Reveal them.

Tom Bombadil Bonus.  Take the song in your heart and do a good deed for someone else after you read this.  Save someone.  Pay something forward. Really go out of your way, I’m serious. The harder you work at it, the stronger you will feel.  The reward is the knowledge that you proved the world has fine folks in it to at least one person.  That’s what people need most at this stage.  Please explain what you did in the comments.  Modesty is not necessary.

This is an open music thread.  All are welcome to participate.  To do so, just share a song consistent with one of the given themes or you can just claim the bonus.  Songs will be added to the embedded playlist as fast as I can get to them.

Zurvan: It’s your week, so you’re first up.  Thank you for a much-needed suggestion!  Everybody needed this, I think.  The order of dedications typically has no importance, but this was your idea and the rest of us are happy to follow.

I have an absurd soft spot for sappy 1980’s-ish love songs.  Nothing redeems us or leads us to strive for becoming better people than love.  Nor do we do anything greater in our existence except that which we do in the name of love.  I’ll be doing these songs like crazy for the whole thread, but they very much are what works best for making me feel happy (I can be such a fag sometimes).

You get one of my favorites in this realm and a very strong opening:

Open Arms by Journey

pfluffy: This song never fails to cheer me up and I always remember that you’re the one who introduced me to it years ago.  Thanks for sharing something that makes me happy, you wild woman.

Sunshine Superman by Donovan

Santino: So someone seriously said something stating silly sentences send a sense of silliness assuming certain starting sounds synch similarly?  Here’s another alliterative title that’s good vibes.

Tongue Tied by Grouplove

Grendel: The music near the end of Fellowship of the Ring, oh, my feelz.  Everything about LOTR brings out the best in me emotionally.   The whole soundtrack puts my mind on an elevated plane I can’t even begin to describe.

The Breaking of the Fellowship. 

Rich Taylor: I don’t think there’s another song more inspiring than this one that was written by someone who so truly needed to become a better human being…and actually did.

Amazing Grace by John Newton as performed by Judy Collins.

WVR: This song is very much in line with the post.  I interpret it as carrying on the best you can as a regular person, regardless of what happens in the larger scheme of things.

Ordinary World by Duran Duran

Want a dedication of your own next week?  Make a contribution.

29 comments

  1. For me Birdhouse in Your Soul by They Might Be Giantsis guaranteed to pull me out of the deepest of funks. It’s just a relentlessly cheery cheery sounding song, and takes me back to the days before life had truly started grinding me down.

    Get Through This – Art of Dying. This song was always a favorite because it reminded me to not let the bastards at work see me sweat, regardless of how terrible the assignment.

    Waking Lions – Pop Evil. I really like the message of this song. It’s been on the radio for a few weeks (that I’m aware of), but this morning is the first time I’ve caught more than a 20 second snippet and I really dig it.

    Born For Greatness – Papa Roach. Papa Roach is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine, and I’ve always liked them as a positive counterpoint to the darker strain of music I usually listen to.

  2. For me Birdhouse in Your Soul by They Might Be Giantsis guaranteed to pull me out of the deepest of funks.

    That’s one of my wife’s favorites. I tend to skip it because I have to be in a certain frame of mind for it. There isn’t any polarization around it, it’s just VERY cheery, as you say.

    This one is pretty similar for me. I might not want to sing along with it when it starts, but I always end up doing that within the first minute.

    Underground by Ben Folds Five – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPgtMCg7ftU

    Papa Roach is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine

    You often have to go with how music makes you feel, not whether you simply know it’s good or bad or it’s outside of a preferred style. That’s why I’m never shy about sharing my own guilty pleasures. Focus more on the pleasure, less on the guilt, right?

    It’s like this song. I don’t like this song nor am I especially fond of the band, but I enjoy this song. It puts me in a good mood, so it can’t be bad.

    In the End by Linkin Park – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVTXPUF4Oz4

    I mean, this happened.

  3. Thanks for sharing that Billy Graham clip. Graham was not only an inspiration but a reminder that the work is not finished, much more is still left to do.

    Simple Man– A life well lived is it’s own reward.

    Forever Young– Kindness, charity, faith and love keeps us all young. You can bet that when Rod is on his death bed, he will look fondly back at the times that he got to sing with his daughter.

    Minutes To Memories-“Family and friends are the best things I’ve known, be the best you can, an honest man’s pillow is his peace of mind”, JCM wrote about all the important things in life.

  4. I commend your goal of addressing the polarization of politics in the US.

    https://youtu.be/j7leQB_Oe_k

    I’m not a fan of the Rolling Stones, but I can’t
    think of a song that can inspires me more than You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

    Party in the USA – https://youtu.be/M11SvDtPBhA

    I’m not ashamed to admit that I love this sing. It’s a heart warming story and I can’t not groove to it every time I hear it.

    Try – Blue Rodeo
    https://youtu.be/hkMaBy6EX0w

    One of those love songs that make me feel all funny in the belly. Takes me back to my Red Lobster X-mas party, when I got to dance with a co-worker who was my crush and sing this into her ear.

    I’m faithfully with you on Journey – https://youtu.be/OMD8hBsA-RI

  5. Thanks Will.i.am.

    Open Arms is a terrific one.

    #1 – So…circa 1997, I was going through a rough patch in life. In between listening to NIN, and a few other bands that helped fuel my depression and what were at the time suicidal thoughts, I came across a song (or more accurately, the music video) that made me stop and pause. That song was The World I Know by Collective Soul. It didn’t cure my depression, but it was enough to make me analyze what was happening in my life. I can still remember the feelings I had at the time. It’s one of the reasons I find Collateral Beauty a fantastic movie.

    #2 – Too many to list.

    You are the New Day – King’s Singers

    Clair de Lune

    Rise Today – Alter Bridge

    Hall of Fame – The Script

    Beautiful Day – U2

    Where the Streets Have No Name – U2

    In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel

    Beethoven’s 5 Secrets – The Piano Guys

    #3 – Gotta have The Power of Love

  6. Polarization.

    First of all, thank you Zurvan for a great topic!

    What makes me happy?

    Marilyn Monroe – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkFPeUPcx2M

    “What’s Your Name, Honey?” LOL! First time I saw “No Business Like Show Business” I had to rewind to be sure what I saw. I have an almost obsession with Monroe – fascinating woman for “Womes’s Day” this week. Monroe blazed trails for women back when it wasn’t cool and before Madonna was a thought.

    Nick Cave – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORAyUF2Qs7Y

    Should have done that one last week!

    The epic of Gilgamesh
    A pretty little black A-line dress
    I give to you
    The spinal cord of JFK
    Wrapped in Marilyn Monroe’s negligee
    I give to you
    I want nothing in return
    Just the softest little breathless word
    I ask of you
    A word contained in a grain of sand
    That can barely walk, can’t even stand
    I ask of you

    Who doesn’t smile at least a little at this one?

    In the Summertime – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG0oBPtyNb0

    My good deed is getting my Dad (safely out of the hospital for now) a phone. I found out that my brother and Dad are sharing one so I am sending one. It will probably go out there tomorrow.

  7. Whew. This was needed. I’ll respond to each of you as I can, but I want to keep adding selections so I can listen tonight.

    A rare instance of some Christian rock I appreciate.

    Meant to Live by Switchfoot – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXcrEVFZOXs

    This song is just wonderful. Great feelings.

    The Adventure by Angels and Airwaves – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXcrEVFZOXs

    No end to the perfect U2 for this theme. Probably a third of their songs work and ALL of the Joshua Tree. But this one is particularly inspiring.

    Pride (In the Name of Love) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHcP4MWABGY

  8. There’s an article I read a while back (I think it was on Cracked) that outlined why, despite the polarisation, now is actually an amazing time to be alive…. that makes me happy.

    1. Bridge Over Troubled Water. It’s been covered a million times (and I love covers) but it always reminds me how little you have to do to make a huge difference to someone. The Artists for Grenfell charity version is really emotional.

    2. Its the end of the world and I know (But I feel fine) – not only is it a happy tune, it’s hilarious trying to actually sing it…

    Also #2 – I went to see Bruno Mars last week, and I’ve never seen someone just give out pure joy with their music. The Uptown Funk encore was great.

    3. I’ll cover you – RENT. I directed this show a couple of times, and in amongst all the angst and fervour is this little gem that shows what love actually is – being there for each other. Best cast I ever worked with. And the reprise – blimey.

  9. I did us a Spotify playlist, as I’ll be driving a bit today an wanted something to listen to. If you search RVS – Lightworkers edition, you should find it.

  10. Here’s something to cheer you guys up. From the “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” files.

  11. Sister Christian by Night Ranger
    I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight by Cutting Crew
    Rosanna by Toto

    gods, i love these songs…

  12. since Open Arms has already been taken.., love that song…
    i op for Journey’s Faithfully i think it covers 1 2 and 3 for me.,.
    for #1 this song i found a week ago, does it for me. Uncle Lucius – Keep The Wolves Away

    #1 Cats In The Cradle-Harry Chapin this hits me.. every time.

    @2 i jsut can help myself, i jsut wnat to move, dance sing along with these.
    Jim Croce – Bad Bad Leroy Brown
    Jim Croce – Greatest Hits – You Don’t Mess Around With Jim
    Ray Stevens – The Mississippi Squirrel Revival
    IT’S A LONG WAY TO THE TOP (IF YOU WANNA ROCK ‘N’ ROLL) – AC DC
    Toby Keith – Beer For My Horses ft. Willie Nelson
    i love love this version of this song. i wan to sing when i hear this..
    Darius Rucker – Wagon Wheel
    Queen – Fat Bottomed Girls (Official Video)
    David Allen Coe – Finger Fucking Sally NOT SAFE FOR WORK! or near any female for that matter.
    Otis Redding – (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay (Official Video) this is such a great song.
    Martha & The Vandellas – “Dancing In The Street”
    Bonnie Tyler – Holding Out For A Hero (Video)remember this from Footloose and Masquerade?

  13. A few more before I call it a night.

    For a sad song, at least melodically, this Elton John tune is pretty inspirational. It’s about redemption.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZRRd4bW91c

    This song always puts me in a good mood. I get lost in the story and envision myself gallivanting in a park.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Mnw9uiYggU

    Finally, a sweet love song that turned me on to the best rock band there is today.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pgum6OT_VH8

  14. More walking on sunshine. Thinking back, I realized that I spent an inordinate amount of time listening to the Dr. Demento radio show, and an awful lot of comedy albums. So with that in mind:

    Last Will and Temperment (Boot to the head) – The Frantics
    Dungeons & Dragons – The Dead Alewives
    The Talking Goat – Adam Sandler
    Fatty McGhee – Adam Sandler
    The Dead Parrot – Monty Python

    Actual Music, more or less:
    Boats ‘n Hoes – Step Brothers
    It’s Cold Outside (Red Dwarf Credit Song)
    Tongue Tied (Red Dwarf)
    Liquor and Whores – The Trailer Park Boys
    Who’s Got Your Belly? – Bubbles and the Shitrockers
    The entire Blue album from Weezer takes me straight back to 7th grade every time I listen to it, but out of the entire album In the Garage had the most impact on me at the time, since a band singing about the X-men and Dungeons and Dragons was both unheard of and unspeakably awesome.

  15. There’s an article I read a while back (I think it was on Cracked) that outlined why, despite the polarisation, now is actually an amazing time to be alive…. that makes me happy.

    Best of times, worst of times it seems.

    RENT. I directed this show a couple of times

    I really do need to ask you more about what you do one of these days. Every now and then you drop a nugget like this that’s truly intriguing. Did you and Lee first come into contact through the entertainment industry or was it just the blogging?

  16. So…circa 1997, I was going through a rough patch in life. In between listening to NIN, and a few other bands that helped fuel my depression and what were at the time suicidal thoughts,

    We had parallel lives, it seems. I was always angry in those days. So angry. The music didn’t cause it, of course, but I unquestionably was indulging in hate, sadness, and other “down” feelings. When I finally did turn things around, my musical tastes changed accordingly.

    I still listen to the old stuff, now and again, but the emotional connection isn’t there anymore. It isn’t as good and that’s the way I like it.

    Still, this has always struck me as one of Marilyn Manson’s more heartfelt songs. It’s a sad song, but I get a message that our time is short and you need to treasure those around you. You might not get the chance to say what you really feel.

    Last Day on Earth – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRmu2RQ9-L8

  17. For a sad song, at least melodically, this Elton John tune is pretty inspirational. It’s about redemption.

    Good choice. I can’t believe that one wasn’t in my collection. Just fixed that.

  18. I realized that I spent an inordinate amount of time listening to the Dr. Demento radio show, and an awful lot of comedy albums.

    When I was in the Army, I took a snippet of that Adam Sandler bit “Sex or Working Out” and queued it up to where it does the “two guys fucking” part (2:00) and ended it where he says “And whaddya think?”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We8MeWpyBgA

    Then I set that as my voicemail message on the phone line in my barracks room. One day, this guy left a message where he ranted about it. Was something like:

    “I’ll tell you what I think. I think that is some bullshit! I don’t even know whose number this is, I called the wrong number by mistake but that is some bullshit! Take that shit off!” Beeeep.

    My roomate and I laughed our asses off.

    Fast forward a few months after I had moved out. We transferred the phone line to my roomate and he never changed the voicemail greeting. He got a call one day from the Platoon Sergeant and it went to voicemail. Yeah.

    The sergeant said to him, “Your 1st Amendment privileges are revoked” and made him change it. Was fun while it lasted.

    I’ll never understand how I got away with so much. It reflects poorly on my old chain of command, to be honest.

  19. Fuck me in the goat ass was my go to profanity for the longest time but I had to stop using it when my co-workers got to be so young as to be unfamiliar with Adam Sandler as anything other than star of mediocre direct to Netflix comedies.

    I haven’t listened to a ton of his comedy skits in forever because they have aged really poorly in terms of content.

    Monty Python on the other hand is something I’m dying to introduce my kids to once they hit their teens.

  20. Monty Python on the other hand is something I’m dying to introduce my kids to once they hit their teens.

    My kids love The Holy Grail. The part with the killer rabbit does it every time. They’ve also seen some of the other skits, but it takes a certain age to “get” some of the greater and more sophisticated humor. I have a tremendous love for “Life of Brian”. I’m not sure at what point they’ll be up to it.

  21. It really was a fantastic theme recommendation–much needed too. I look forward to using the others you provided very soon.

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