Music in The Hippies Who Meant It

At the head of each chapter of The Hippies Who Meant It there is a reference to a song or poem that seemed particularly meaningful to me as I wrote that section of the story.  Unhappily, it’s not possible to find original recordings for all of them, but YouTube does take us back in time to hear — and sometimes see — why they were embraced by young people of the 60s and early 70s.

I chose most of the songs and poems because of a particular line or lines, but I discovered from Janet E Cameron, author of Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World that I would have to get permission from the copyright holders and pay for it.  Faced with a huge task and an uncertain outlay of money, I took her advice that the title of songs are not copyright, and accordingly the chapter headnotes just give titles.

If you’re interested, here are the songs and poems, along with the reason I chose them.

CHAPTER 1  March and Countermarch

“Don’t you know you’re on the eve of destruction.”

I wanted to open the book with a song that caught the urgency and even desperation felt by many young people of the 60s.  Anxiety about the Cold War and revulsion from the Vietnam War was personal: if you were a young male American, you could be sent off to fight and quite possibly die.  If you were Canadian, it was not your fight, but you might well have relatives and friends who were or could be drafted, shipped out and brought back in a body bag.

Eve of Destruction P. F. Sloan  youtube 

CHAPTER 2  House Raising

Tell her to buy me an acre of land/ Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, / Between the salt water and the sea sand

Centuries old, this song not only captured the spirit of all homesteaders’ hope of owning land, but also as performed by Simon and Garfunkle all but the first stanza counterpoint images of peace and war, weaving the two together in disturbing fragments of contradictory emotions.

Are you going to Scarborough Fair
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine

Tell her to make me a cambric shirt (deep forest green)
Parsley sage rosemary and thyme
Without no seams nor needle work (blankets and bedclothes the child of the mountain)
Then she’ll be a true love of mine (sleeps unaware of the clarion call)

Tell her to find me an acre of land (a sprinkling of leaves)
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (washes the grave with silvery tears)
Between the salt water and the sea strand (A soldier cleans and polishes a gun)
She’ll be a true love of mine

Tell her to reap it with a sickle of leather (War bellows blazing in scarlet battalions)
Parsley sage rosemary and thyme (General order their soldiers to kill)
And gather it all in a bunch of heather (And to fight for a cause they’ve long ago forgotten)
Then she’ll be a true love of mine

Are you going to Scarborough Fair
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine

Traditional,Scarborough Fair” Performed by Simon and Garfunkle youtube

CHAPTER 3  A Midsummer Nights Dream

Come and trip it as you go / On the light fantastic toe

I’ve always loved this line of Milton’s L’Allegro because for me it evokes dancing made up as the dancer goes along — the essence of hippie dance.  (And there are no royalties to worry about!)

— Milton, L’Allegro  text

CHAPTER 4  Winter

Canadian artist, Canadian winter.  Love in a cold climate.  Longing “just to hold the hand I love on this winter’s night with you.”

Song for a Winter’s Night Gordon Lightfoot youtube 

CHAPTER 5  Spring

This is a perfect song of the seasons.  There was a moment when Gordon Lightfoot wrote it down, I know, but he took dictation from some archetypal wellspring that was always there.  The pussywillows and cat-tails start and end the song and each stanza in it, evoking the timelessness of the natural world into which Joe, Beth and Dick have entered.

Pussywillows, Cat-Tails Gordon Lightfoot youtube

CHAPTER 6  Georges Ride

The biker’s anthem is the only possible headnote for George, the once-was biker.

Born to Be Wild — Mars Bonfire, performed by Steppenwolf youtube 

CHAPTER 7  Allemande Left

The song’s title is the theme of the chapter.

Youve Lost That Lovin Feelin’ — Phil Spector, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil  youtube

CHAPTER 8  Rondo appassionato

Hello, I Love You, Won’t You Tell Me Your Name?  Jim Morrison youtube

The Doors’ song is a hippie cliché, but it is also as timeless as Romeo’s line, “Whoever love who loved not at first sight?”

This chapter has three parts, hence three songs.  Cohen’s Suzanne is a very stoned song made of kaleidoscope images while “travelling blind.”

Suzanne — Leonard Cohen youtube 

Clapton’s guitar wept through the third segment of this chapter as I was writing.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps — Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton youtube

CHAPTER 9  Adagio con amore

This song is here for one line:  “Look around you all you see are sympathetic eyes.”  But that would have cost too much, and anyway the rest of the song is worth recalling for itself and the movie for which it was written, which I imagine as part of the North Mountain people’s experience.

Mrs. Robinson — Simon & Garfunkel youtube

CHAPTER 10 Officer-like Qualities

I put this song at the top of Chapter 10 almost as a placeholder, because I couldn’t decide between Lightfoot’s Leaves of Grass and Buffy St Marie’s Universal Soldier (who really is to blame).  When I wrote this chapter, on the cutting-room floor of my mind were the old soldier’s letters from the front, asking “did she mention my name?” and  somehow the alternatives got forgotten.

Did She Mention My Name? — Gordon Lightfoot youtube

CHAPTER 11  Paying the Piper

Not only the invitation to the hills but also the haunting Scottish lilt of this song are music for the beginning of the relationship between Anna and Michael.

Come by the hills to the land where fancy is free …— W. Gordon Smith text

CHAPTER 12  Triple Concerto

The opening line, “Loved I two men equally well,” makes the song Beth’s.

Angels and Devils the Following Day — Dory Previn youtube

CHAPTER 13  Advent

The song is about reminiscing, which is appropriate for the whole book. More specifically, the lines that fit this chapter are:

A time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence
A time of confidences

Read more:  Simon And Garfunkel – Old Friends/Bookends Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Old Friends/Bookends — Simon and Garfunkel youtube

CHAPTER 14  Nativity

Michael says he doesn’t know any songs about birth that aren’t Christmas carols.  I don’t know any about the Wise Men, so this had to do.

We Three Kings — John Henry Hopkins youtube

CHAPTER 15  Toymaker

Stevenson’s song is naive and without guile.  Like Dick.

I will make you brooches / And toys for your delight … Robert Louis Stevenson text

CHAPTER 16  Nuptials

This one was an easy choice.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want — The Rolling Stones  youtube

CHAPTER 17  Rap Session

The chapter is a conversation about drug dealers: the song a condemnation of the drug trade from a pot-head’s point of view.

The Pusher  Hoyt Axton youtube   First recorded by Steppenwolf youtube

CHAPTER 18  Calling the Tune

The lines that spoke to me about Dick in this chapter are,

Asking only workman’s wages
I come looking for a job
But I get no offers

But there’s also the wonderful lines about self-deception that resonated in my head as I wrote.

Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest

The Boxer Paul Simon youtube 

CHAPTER 19  Minstrel

Another lover’s song that Michael feels on his pulse;

“Something in the way she moves attracts me like no other lover…”

Something The Beatles

CHAPTER 20  The Assassination of Herman OShaunessy

“I can’t get no satisfaction.”  Headnote for a chapter in which nothing goes right.

Satisfaction The Rolling Stones youtube

CHAPTER 21  Dolls House

Melanie’s lament.  She really doesn’t know what’s happened.  She wants to live in a book so that she won’t have to come out and see what they’ve done to her song.  Dick’s problem.

Well, it’s the only thing that I could do half right
And it’s turning out all wrong

Melanie – What Have They Done To My Song Ma Lyrics | MetroLyrics

What Have They Done to My Song Ma — Melanie Safka youtube

CHAPTER 22  Presto ma non troppo

This song had to go in somewhere, and this seemed the best spot, even though there’s a good deal of the chapter that’s not even close to the mood of McLean’s American Pie, which is a very emotional and intellectual song, filled with multiple meanings and allusions, experiences left behind in the past, unresolved and inexplicable. According to Wikipedia,  McLean stated, “Basically in American Pie things are heading in the wrong direction. … It [life] is becoming less idyllic. I don’t know whether you consider that wrong or right but it is a morality song in a sense.”

American Pie — Don McLean youtube

CHAPTER 23  Detective Story

This song’s for Steve.

The Willing Conscript Tom Paxton, performed by Pete Seeger youtube

CHAPTER 2  Tempus Fugit

This is the chapter in which they take a look back, and nobody does this better than Jim Croce.  Nobody but Croce can sing it, either.

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day
‘Til eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with

Time in a Bottle Jim Croce youtube 

CHAPTER 25  Small Change

I’m not sure whether the song or the chapter came first.  I’ll pretend to originality by citing the fact that the gun was a .38 in Chapter 1, before Joe had told anyone why

“If I go back, they’ll have found out some stuff they didn’t take time to check, and I’ll be in the slammer.”

Small Change (Got Rained On With His Own .38) Tom Waits youtube

CHAPTER 26  Epistle

Shhneiderman’s words resonated particularly strongly for women in the 60s and 70s.  Glenna’s off marching for peace, and Dick’s left with the baby, facing Steve’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.  Don’t forget, PTSD was neither named nor acknowledged at the time.

Bread and Roses —Rose Schneiderman wikipedia 

CHAPTER 27  A Midsummer Nights Awakening

This song is here for me, as well as my characters, because whenever I think about The Hippies Who Meant It, “my line gets cast into these Time passages.”

It was late in December, the sky turned to snow
All round the day was goin’ down slow
Night like a river beginning to flow
I felt the beat of my mind go
Drifting into time passages
Years go falling in the fading light
Time passages
Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight

Well I’m not the kind to live in the past
The years run too short and the days too fast
The things you lean on, are the things that don’t last
Well it’s just now and then, my line gets cast into these
Time passages
There’s something back here that you left behind
Oh, time passages
Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight

Hear the echoes and feel yourself starting to turn
Don’t know why you should feel
That there’s something to learn
It’s just a game that you play

Well the picture is changing,now you’re part of a crowd
They’re laughing at something, and the music’s loud
A girl comes towards you, you once used to know
You reach out your hand, but you’re all alone in these
Time passages
I know you’re in there, you’re just out of sight
Oh, time passages
Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight

Read more:  Al Stewart – Time Passages Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Time Passages — Al Stewart youtube 

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Tales of Rebels and of the Sea. Also, stories about Dragons.