“It’s that time of day, when you can say, ‘Head for the….beach, not mountains.'” (No Busch in my house, thank you!)  It’s midweek Friday, time to put on your thinking caps and trot out the old (or new) saws for everyone’s reading pleasure.  I really, really wanted to get away from feel-good stories, was looking for a good sci-fi type offering–even had the germ of an idea float by.  Float?  Beach?  🙂

Then my mind was overtaken, hijacked even,  by not one, but many flashes from the past.  I admit; I succumbed.  As Boz Scaggs once sang on his Silk Degrees album (CD these days):

What can I say
What can I do

Three a.m. It’s me again
And wouldn’t you know
Things would have to end this way

That’s what I’m talkin’ about.  You’ll see.



 We took the last train to Clarksville,( ‘cause we’d been California dreamin’), and a big yellow taxi to the beach. The fog looked like smoke on the water. The morning sun was shining like a red rubber ball.

Ignoring the beach boys, I spied a long, cool woman.  (No black dress!!)  Now I’m a believer!

My wife protested, “But we were happy together.”

I retorted, “We had a good thing, baby. I know it’s kind of a drag, but I was born to be wild.  Let’s live for today.”

She swung the green tambourine like Serena. Everything’s a purple haze.


Can you find all the song titles?  There are fourteen plus one group name.  If you didn’t grow up in the 60’s. don’t remember the British invasion and all that not-jazz-but-rock-and-roll and didn’t see the Beatles for the first time on Ed Sullivan, you may refer to this page of 60’s song titles to see where I came from.  It’s not a definitive list (“Red Rubber Ball” is shockingly missing) but most of what I used came from it or from my memories:  http://largeflowerheads.com/id52.html.

It’s been suggested that I have a playlist, so here it is:

Last Train to Clarksville…..The Monkees
California Dreamin’…..The Mamas and Papas
Big Yellow Taxi….Joni Mitchell
Smoke on the Water….Deep Purple
Red Rubber Ball….The Cyrkle
Group–The Beach Boys
Long Cool Woman….The Holllies
Now I’m a Believer….The Monkees
Happy Together….The Turtles
Good Thing….Paul Revere and the Raiders
Kind of a Drag….The Buckinghams
Born to be Wild….Steppenwolf
Live for Today….The Grass Roots
Green Tambourine….The Lemon Pipers
Person–Serena Williams (not the 60’s, I know, but…)
Purple Haze…Jimi Hendrix

  1. billgncs says:

    I think I sing that sometimes.

  2. boomiebol says:

    Oh I love this…I think I spotted a few. Great take on the prompt

  3. yerpirate says:

    Sorry I didn’t make it, couldn’t swing by, I was up on cripple creek, then had to take shelter from the storm, ..brilliant …unique stuff actually! Am amazed!

  4. Dear Janet,
    No need for me to look them up, Janet. I recognized them all. It’s actually tricky to do a story like this and do it well. “I should’ve known she’d bid me farewell, there’s a lesson to be learned from this and I’ve learned it very well…” Now I’ve got the song running through my head. Nice one,

  5. zennjennc says:

    80s baby got em without looking, rock on!
    Nice incorporation of songs as the story, very fun

  6. Okay, definitely a baby boomer..musician too or just a fan? Either way, Last Train to Clarkesville is stuck in my head the guitar riff even more so than the words. :/

  7. I recognized all of them, and I still have the “new car smell”. Perhaps Cullin just “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.
    Very creative.

  8. rich says:

    that had to hurt. especially with the steroids she’s taking. well done. and well punned.

    • Thanks, Rich. It was a lot of fun, but took some doing to make it flow smoothly yet get in as many titles as possible.

      • rich says:

        i proudly know every reference too. yay me.

      • That says something about our age as well as our musical acumen. 🙂 One day at Half Price Books, they were putting out CD’s of “The Best of 196-“, about four of them. I snatched them all and keep them in the van for times when I need a lift. I sing along with most of them, too!!

      • rich says:

        there’s a radio station near atlantic city called WIBG that plays a lot of that music. when i’m not at the shore, i listen to it from their website.

  9. wow I believe there are about ten songs in this one piece or at least that is how many my mind conjured up from the cobwebs of the basement of my mind. 🙂 smoke on the water is now going through my head..wonderful, endeavour Jan!! thank you for sharing (and reminding me of some wonderful music)

  10. Tom Poet says:

    I could light a Mars Bonfire but I hear heavy metal thunder..But who’ll stop the rain… I’ll skip a few decades cause this is hot hot hot and there is no need to be playing with fire…
    Nice job.

  11. Sandra says:

    Amusing and original. Enjoyed the trip. 🙂

  12. muZer says:

    The story felt like a musical rendition when I was reading but never imagined of having hidden 14 titles. That’s so unique and wonderfully told!

  13. nightlake says:

    this was very good indeed:)

  14. Now there’s an original take on things. I got most of them, I think. 🙂

  15. Brilliant idea, using the song titles. Should have a playlist maybe?

  16. Jan Brown says:

    Great story! I recognize and love every one of these songs!

  17. I totally love the unique direction you took this in. Awesome work!

  18. AR Neal says:

    Awww… The Buckinghams! You are going to make me get a penny for the needle are and dust off some vinyl 🙂

  19. tedstrutz says:

    Very clever, Janet… but, I think you were too young when they were first played on the radio to remember first hand. No matter, any girl who can quote Boz Skaggs has my heart.

    • Nice compliment, Ted, although untrue. A friend and I made “guitars” out of 45’s and those long fireplace matches and strummed to The Monkees. In college, a friend and I went to see Boz Skaggs in Omaha. I’d never heard of him, although Barry had. It was a great concert.

  20. Hayley says:

    That was so fun!!! Creative take on the prompt 🙂

  21. Splojo Fink says:

    I see what you did there, (I’m older than I think I am).

  22. Sheila says:

    Hahah – this is great! Sounds like another Pleasant Valley Sunday… I love the Monkees and now I have all these fun songs in my head!

  23. Joyce says:

    la la la la la la, dee didy dee, dee diddy, dum, a booga boo boo, abooga boo boo, lalalalala….And the beat goes on….dadada da and my rubber ball comes bouncing back to me….Very good idea, Janet. My head is still singing on. I got most of them. I’m a a sixties girl from way back to high school (graduated in 1965) You forgot the “yellow submarine.” It was a Beatles song and really cool!!

  24. rgayer55 says:

    Now, that was an enjoyable stroll down memory lane. Maybe we should do a theme contest sometime. Movie titles, TV deceives, Westerns, and female mud wrestlers (just kidding ) 🙂

  25. Hi Janet,
    Do you sing in the shower? Do you still have an album collection (not CDs)? Like you I listen to the music (Doobie Bros) and I’ve got the music in me (Kiki Dee) 🙂 Ron

  26. Though i couldn’t relate with the songs you ref. i enjoyed the story no less. Well done Janet!

  27. unspywriter says:

    Great–I loved all the song titles, and not a one of them seemed forced. Ah, the memories of my youth! Good job.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/and-when-we-go-back-to-the-sea/

  28. Parul says:

    That’s very innovative!
    I wasn’t around in the 60s but I quite like your medley! 🙂

  29. Surf City, Here We Come! What a fun piece, but I only hope no developer looks at that beach and decides to pave paradise and put up a parking lot …

  30. Clever story, Janet! I bet that was fun to write. I got 7 of the tracks/band names, which I don’t think is bad considering I was born in the 70s! I do like to listen to a bit of Deep Purple now and then. 😉

  31. Joe Owens says:

    I can only claim to know the Beach boys and Monkees refernce. Sounds like thew wife will need the taxi a bit longer.

  32. rheath40 says:

    This music whore loves your story. I’m with Rich, I’m proud to say I know every song you referenced. 😉

  33. annisik51 says:

    I knew all those songs without your list! Shows my age!

  34. I knew the Monkees, The Beach Boys and Jimi but the rest are new top me. Oh I forgot I started singing California Dreaming in my head when I read the line. Creatively done. Nice job.

  35. Anne Orchard says:

    Very clever and excellent fun – and a proper story too! Shows you must have worked hard to get it to all make sense. Well done!

    • Thanks very much, Anne, for dropping by and for the compliment. The hard part was getting as many titles in as possible, yet having the story flow properly. I’m glad it succeeded.

  36. Sarah Ann says:

    Oh wow. So clever. It must have taken ages to work in the titles and make it flow. Love it.

  37. vbholmes says:

    Now that you have a backlog of titles, we’ll be looking for a sequel or two–fun post!

    • Thanks. It was fun to write, so I’m glad it’s enjoyable to read. I’ll have to start working on another one and wait for the right picture…or just stash the titles away and wait.

  38. Good work! A real trip down memory lane, although the Red Rubber Ball version I remembered was by The Seekers. Twelve out of fourteen – thanks!

  39. sandraconner says:

    Really, really, really good, Janet! Thanks for the memories.

  40. 40again says:

    Brilliant Janet, was singing along with you line by line. Must have been so difficult to work all those songs in, well done. Thanks for the trip down memory lane 🙂

  41. yes, I too, found myself singing each line. this was a fun ride!

  42. Very cool story. Glad I recognized a lot of them

  43. deanabo says:

    This is brilliant! I love how you integrated the song titles!

  44. keliwright says:

    What a fun approach! You’v’e got me doing a little California Dreamin’, too. Perfect for a winter’s day. 🙂

  45. That was really fun. Found most of the titles before I cheated.

  46. I found all but 2; I found all the ones I knew.
    Good job!

  47. tonyoleson says:

    So, my guitar only missed about a half a note. I love how you integrated all the music into the story and still came up with a story. Well played (get it?)… I tip my musical hat to you, as I much enjoyed hearing every song as I read it on the screen lol. Bravo!

    • Hearing them all in your head as you read is like scanning for a radio station–a bit of song here, then another and another. Thanks for playing along and your punny comment. 🙂


  48. Janet,
    Excellent! It seems so seamless. It’s amazing how you connected all the songs together. What a clever idea, and it worked well with the photo!

  49. Sunshine says:

    groovy story…and everybody said all that needs to said so, peace and love…<3

  50. beebeesworld says:

    fun! the beach boys was a group-not the song, but maybe i missed it-trying to get thru 250 emails. thanks for the memories1 beebeesworld

  51. t says:

    Touche! Nicely done, Janet!

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