Adult Contemporary

 

Adult Contemporary

So what is Adult Contemporary? Is it Kenny G blowing fart noises into a tape recorder? Is it cheesy love ballads from the 80’s? Or maybe songs for old people? NO NO AND NO! Adult contemporary is basically pop music with more mature content. There isn’t much booty shaking, taking shots of patron or grotesque sexual ideas in adult contemporary music and for those of us who listen to it, that’s quite alright. It does tend to be aimed at an older demographic, but that’s because we’ve been there and done that with the bubble gum pop….we want a little bit more out of our music.

According to Wikipedia: Adult contemporary is rather a continuation of the easy listening and soft rock style that became popular in the 1960s and 1970s with some adjustments that reflect the evolution of pop/rock music.

So here are few examples to give you a better idea of the genre, a few well done songs I handpicked for you that might bring back a little nostalgia.

Gypsy – Suzanne Vega

“I wrote this song when I was 18 years old. I wrote this for a young man, it was my first summer romance and I knew that at the end of the summer he was going to go home to Liverpool and I would go home to New York City where I’m from. It seemed very tragic at the time so I wrote him this song as a gift and he, in turn, gave me his bandana.”

You come from far away
With pictures in your eyes
Of coffee shops and morning streets
In the blue and silent sunrise

But night is the cathedral
Where we recognized the sign
We strangers know each other now
As part of the whole design

Oh, hold me like a baby
That will not fall asleep
Curl me up inside you
And let me hear you through the heat, oh

You are the jester of this courtyard
With a smile like a girl’s
Distracted by the women
With the dimples and the curls

By the pretty and the mischievous
By the timid and the blessed
By the blowing skirts of ladies
Who promise to gather you to their breast

Oh, hold me like a baby
That will not fall asleep
Curl me up inside you
And let me hear you through the heat, oh

You have hands of raining water
And that earring in your ear
The wisdom on your face denies
The number of your years

With the fingers of the potter
And the laughing tale of the fool
The arranger of disorder
With your strange and simple rules

Yeah, now I’ve met me another spinner
Of strange and gauzy threads
With a long and slender body
And a bump upon the head

Oh, hold me like a baby
That will not fall asleep
Curl me up inside you
And let me hear you through the heat, oh

With a long and slender body
And the sweetest softest hands
And we’ll blow away forever soon
And go on to different lands

And please do not ever look for me
But with me you will stay
And you will hear yourself in song
Blowing by one day

But now, hold me like a baby
That will not fall asleep
Curl me up inside you
And let me hear you through the heat, oh

Copperline – James Taylor

“This is another song about home, about my father, about a childhood that was very peaceful, which is a rare thing today. I felt like I was part of a landscape in those days — the trees, the streams and the rivers, the animals that lived there.
Kim (his wife) and I are raising our kids in the countryside, but it is not the country life that I experienced. It’s connected, constantly connected. Sometimes I feel as though the little snippets of information that we’re always receiving are preparing us to have a hive mind. There may come a point where we basically have a communal mind, which is an exciting prospect.”

Even the old folks never knew
Why they call it like they do
I was wondering since the age of two
Down on copperline

Copper head, copper beech
Copper kettles sitting side by each
Copper coil, cup o’georgia peach
Down on copperline

Half a mile down to morgan creek
Leaning heavy on the end of the week
Hercules and a hog-nosed snake
Down on copperline
We were down on copperline

One summer night on the copperline
Slip away past supper time
Wood smoke and moonshine
Down on copperline

One time I saw my daddy dance
Watched him moving like a man in a trance
He brought it back from the war in france
Down onto copperline

Branch water and tomato wine
Creosote and turpentine
Sour mash and new moon shine
Down on copperline
Down on copperline

First kiss ever I took
Like a page from a romance book
The sky opened and the earth shook
Down on copperline
Down on copperline

Took a fall from a windy height
I only knew how to hold on tight
And pray for love enough to last all night
Down on copperline

Day breaks and the boys wakes up
And the dog barks and the birds sings
And the sap rises and the angels sigh, yeah
I tried to go back, as if I could
All spec house and plywood
Tore up and tore up good
Down on copperline
It doesn’t come as a surprise to me
It doesn’t touch my memory
Man I’m lifting up and rising free
Down on over copperline
Half a mile down to morgan creek
I’m only living for the end of the week
Hercules and a hog-nosed snake
Down on copperline, yeah
Take me down on copperline
Oh, down on copperline
Take me down on copperline

 

Billy Joel – The River of Dreams

Billy Joel, who identifies himself as an atheist, says that song is a very spiritual one.  He includes some biblical imagery, including the line, “Through the valley of fear,” which is a reference to Psalm 23:4 – “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Joel also says that the river is meant to be a religious image: “there’s baptizing in a river and you have to cross the river – people are getting dunked in the river and there’s rivers of blood.”

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith
To a river so deep
I must be looking for something
Something sacred I lost
But the river is wide
And it’s too hard to cross

And even though I know the river is wide
I walk down every evening and I stand on the shore
And try to cross to the opposite side
So I can finally find out what I’ve been looking for

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the valley of fear
To a river so deep
And I’ve been searching for something
Taken out of my soul
Something I would never lose
Something somebody stole

I don’t know why I go walking at night
But now I’m tired and I don’t want to walk anymore
I hope it doesn’t take the rest of my life
Until I find what it is that I’ve been looking for

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the jungle of doubt
To a river so deep
I know I’m searching for something
Something so undefined
That it can only be seen
By the eyes of the blind
In the middle of the night

I’m not sure about a life after this
God knows I’ve never been a spiritual man
Baptized by the fire, I wade into the river
That running to the promised land

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of truth
To the river so deep
We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We’re all carried along
By the river of dreams
In the middle of the night

 

How Far is Heaven – Los Lonely Boys

When guitarist Henry Garza was 18, his newborn son died of S.I.D.S. (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). This song was about the pain he felt wanting to leave this world and go and see his son.

Vamanos!

Save me from this prison
Lord, help me get away
‘Cause only you can save me now
from this misery

I’ve been lost in my own place
and I’m getting’ weary
How far is heaven?
And I know that I need to change
my ways of livin’
How far is heaven?
Lord, can you tell me?

I’ve been locked up way too long
in this crazy world.
How far is heaven?
And I just keep on prayin’, Lord
And just keep on livin’.
How far is heaven?

Lord, can you tell me?
How far is heaven?
‘Cause I just got to know how far, yeah?
How far is heaven?
Lord, can you tell me?

[Spanish:]
Tú que estás en alto cielo,
Échame tu bendición
[English translation:
[You, who are in high heaven,
Send me down your blessing]

‘Cause I know there’s a better place
than this place I’m livin’.
How far is heaven?
And I just got to have some faith
And just keep on giving.
How far is heaven?
Yeah, Lord, can you tell me?
How far is heaven?
‘Cause I just gotta know how far, yeah?
How far is heaven?
Yeah, Lord, can you tell me?
how far is heaven?
‘Cause I just gotta know how far?
I just wanna know how far?

 

Kiss From a Rose – Seal

In 1988 Seal was living in a squat in London. He was enjoying his time since he was not yet pressured by labels and record deals. He had no idea how to play any instruments so he sang the the instrumental into a 4-track recorder and then forgot about it. When he was recording his 1991 debut, he didn’t even consider using it until a few years later, after his friend Lynne Franks heard another album of his in progress and told his producer, Trevor Horn, she “liked that song that was something about a rose”

There used to be a graying tower alone on the sea,
You became the light on the dark side of me.
Love remained a drug that’s the high and not the pill.

But did you know that when it snows,
My eyes become large and the light that you shine can be seen?

Baby, I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the gray,
Ooh, the more I get of you, the stranger it feels, yeah.
And now that your rose is in bloom,
A light hits the gloom on the gray.

There is so much a man can tell you, so much he can say,
You remain my power, my pleasure, my pain, baby.
To me you’re like a growing addiction that I can’t deny,
Won’t you tell me, is that healthy, baby?

But did you know that when it snows,
My eyes become large and the light that you shine can be seen?

Baby, I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the gray,
Ooh, the more I get of you, the stranger it feels, yeah.
Now that your rose is in bloom,
A light hits the gloom on the gray.

I’ve been kissed by a rose on the gray.
I’ve been kissed by a rose on the gray.
I’ve been kissed by a rose on the gray.
And if I should fall, would it all go away?
I’ve been kissed by a rose on the gray.

There is so much a man can tell you, so much he can say,
You remain my power, my pleasure, my pain, baby.
To me you’re like a growing addiction that I can’t deny,
Won’t you tell me, is that healthy, baby?

But did you know that when it snows,
My eyes become large and the light that you shine can be seen?
Baby, I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the gray,
Ooh, the more I get of you, the stranger it feels, yeah.
Now that your rose is in bloom,
A light hits the gloom on the gray.

 

 

If you are a fan of adult contemporary music and would like to get a free original song from up and coming songwriter Dylan Galvin, go here and click “download”