Fair Use or Copyright Infringement

AllRightsReservedThe other day, a fellow Boomer Lit author tweeted about using song lyrics in novels and since this is a subject that I am interested in (because I like to, or would like to, quote lyrics) I decided to read it. It was very clear and well-written so thank you very much to Anne R Allen and Michael Murphy for compiling this informational blog post.

Since I was getting ready to send the first of three novels back up to Smashwords, after finding little punctuation errors and some issues with chapter breaks, I decided to get rid of all my quoted song lyrics so that became part of my editing process too.

I am not sure about quoting song lyrics, especially older songs, but I do know that anything before 1923 is pretty much in the public domain. And I also know that it is perfectly fine to quote the titles of songs because titles can’t be copyrighted, Just the lyrics.

There is a way around this, though, which is to describe the lyrics but not quote them directly. I am not an expert on Fair Use but I don’t think anyone can complain about that, so I removed all quoted lyrics from Second Stories.

I had quoted some from Billy Joel’s Just the Way You Are, which was an integral part of the story. All of the lyrics of this song are beautiful and it was hard to pick just part of that song to quote. I want very much to put them in but no, they’re out.

Lydia had told Geo how she felt about the Billy Joel song when they’d heard it performed one night by a tinkly piano player in a bar. This is what she said about it:

“I love this song,” she said. “Billy Joel did this.”

“I don’t remember it.”

“The lyrics are sweet, that you may be imperfect but I love you anyway and I wouldn’t want you to change because if you changed, then you wouldn’t be you, the one I love. It’s a song a man could sing to a woman, but not the other way around. The lyrics wouldn’t work, woman to man.”

“Why not?”

“Because women change to accommodate men. He’s telling her not to, because he wants her the way she is, but that isn’t usually the case. That’s why it’s such a romantic song. Because it doesn’t work that way in real life. It’s bullshit.”

Later on, when he is very desperate to win her back, and avert the divorce that is surely coming, he remembers what she said and makes a CD with that song recorded over and over. I so wanted to quote those lyrics.

But I described them instead:

She listened to the familiar lyrics, which she knew by heart, and thought yes, it was a very sweet gesture on his part. But to think the song could be considered  meaningful in any way with respect to their particular relationship was far from the truth. That she shouldn’t change, that she shouldn’t think he would want her to change, that he would love her in the hard times as well as the good times. None of that was true in their situation, and so a lot of the memories he might have hoped would be stirred in her, weren’t. Still, she had to acknowledge, it was a gift he had made for her, and he had made it with thoughts of her and what she might like, and she would accept it for what it was. Nothing more.

It is my understanding that this is acceptable to do and will not violate any copyright laws. If anyone knows otherwise, I would be grateful if we can start a conversation about it. It seems to be very nebulous, about whether it okay or not and what is Fair Use and what is not. Though it is always wiser to err on the side of safety, I think quoting the actual lyrics would be preferable, and more meaningful to the story.

Just for reference, here is a YouTube of Billy Joel’s Just the Way You Are. Funny that I can include that with no problem but I can’t quote the lyrics in a novel.

I think this may be my favorite song of all time, which is why I wanted to incorporate it into the story.

10 Things Not to Like About Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of GreyRated M for Mature Audiences.

What’s wrong with Fifty Shades of Grey? What’s right with it? Read on, to find out!

Yet another blogger is taking it upon herself to critique Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James. Moi! This is not a review of the novel exactly. Because Ms. James needs no review from me. On Amazon alone, at the time of this writing, over 16,000 reviews were in place for her novel, the first in the Fifty Shades trilogy. The average rating is a little over 3 stars which is mediocre, so apparently a lot of the reviewers feel the same way I do. I’m not reading all 16,000 to find out though.

Like many others, I had to find out what all the excitement was about. I had started this tome before, and got half through, and was thoroughly not captivated, not amused, not titillated, and not interested in what became of Anastasia Steele and her ill-fated tryst with Christian Grey. But I decided to try again and this time, I would note all the things that drove me bug-nuts and then blog about it.

A handy itemized list of complaints for your easy consumption:

1. Repeating actions. Anastasia does the same things over and over, ad nauseum. Eye rolling and lip biting does get tedious. Maybe try some other quirky, I-am-so-lovely-yet-without-a-clue-how-lovely-that-is, twenty-something, amusing facial expressions. It would be appreciated by the reader. The wonderful, virginous, cutsily clumsy Ms. Steele even rolls her eyes at herself! Oh Ms. Steele, you minx, you.

2. Cliches. Pedal to the metal? Are we serious here, Ms. James? Your picture shows a woman so young as to not even have heard this particular phrase used in conversation. Do people still say this? When I think of it, I think of some of the guys I used to know with their primer-painted, fixed up ’57 Chevies. And Monkey’s Uncle? Please tell me this one got by your editor. Or maybe she was rolling her eyes at the time and missed it?

3. Stereotypes. Ms. Steele never knows how off-the-charts gorgeous she is, of course, in a messily, plump-lipped, doe-eyed way and so she falls into Mr. Grey’s office the first time she meets him. That’s right. She trips over her own feet and falls down, and he has to help her up. This sounds like a really bad chick flick to me, and we’re still in Chapter One. And she’s a virgin, at what, twenty-two? And the time frame is, uh, now? This is a rare situation indeed.

4. Overused craps. Enough with the crap, double crap and the occasional triple crap.

5. Wow-did-she-really-write-that phrases. Here’s three that made my eyes roll:

  • …tossing her silken reddish-blond hair over her shoulder.” I don’t know what is most annoying; the tossing, the silken or the reddish-blond.
  • …gasping out my name in desperate wonder.Wha-att? I didn’t really read that, did I?
  • He gives me a wolfish grin.Pa-lease, I’m biting my lip here.

6. Too-often-used physical reactions. Ms. Steele flushes and blushes and goes crimson so often I think she may need to consult someone who specializes in blood pressure issues.

7. Holy Repeating Phrase, Batman! Here’s where it really gets tedious. The holy craps, holy shits, holy fucks, holy cows, holy hells and even an occasional holy Moses became so repetitive and annoying that I decided to count them. The Grand Total is 139 instances of these various Holy phrases. Everyone must have noticed this. I’m not the only one. Why is Anastasia in awe or in shock so often?

  • Holy shit (50)
  • Holy crap (38)
  • Holy fuck (19)
  • Holy cow (18)
  • Holy hell (9)
  • Holy Moses (5)

8. Writing style. It was not beautifully written.

9. The subject matter. Surprising how many people don’t have a problem with it.

10.Miscellaneous. Charlie Tango is a dumb name for a helicopter.

Shocked Woman

Holy crap! That’s right, holy crap!

Lest this be considered yet another sour grapes epistle, let me congratulate Ms. James on being the first at something. She brought erotica mainstream and her trilogy was newly a phenomenon when the copycats were popping up as fast as Viagra ads in the spam folder.

Here’s what I liked about Fifty Shades:

1. Writing style. It was not horribly written.

2. Music. The references to music  (and when I looked up some of the pieces I found a Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack!) There’s going to be a movie! Of course, Hollywood has to get in on the action. How are they going to get that rated R, I wonder?

3. The ending. Probably some of the best writing in the whole book and I had to wait until the last few pages to read it. And it’s a hook to get you to go on to the second in the trilogy.

4. The cover. The tie has a special significance in the story, and what could be more a symbol of power than an understated, expensive tie?

I am going to pass on any more Fifty Shades. I found it to be tedious, and I was uncomfortable reading some of it. The writing was mediocre, but it wasn’t terrible. I’ve read a lot worse. But I guess with what this book is selling, the quality of the writing is not too important.

What do you think about it? Or are you tired of the whole subject?

Image courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Unknown Blogger Ages Ten Years After Receiving Negative Comment!

lovehateHow I love getting those emails from WordPress which announce a new comment! Maybe, in time, I will choose not to receive a notification for each and every comment, but for now, they aren’t so much in abundance that they are annoying. In fact, they pretty much make my day, they make my world a little brighter, they are my walk on the beach, my birdsong in morning, my wine after sunset… okay, enough with the mundane metaphors.

So imagine my surprise, nay, utter humiliation, when I received a very negative comment, which critiqued not only my post, but slandered my very character, and hurt me deeply, a cut to the bone.

Doctors Amazed by Premature Aging!

Doctors Amazed by Premature Aging!

In September 2011 I published a post, Writing With Music, about listening to music while writing. There is a particularly haunting piece that I played over and over and it worked so well for me that I thought I’d pass it on to fellow writers, or maybe just alert some people to a great audio experience. It wasn’t a successful post. No one appeared to care much about it. I don’t believe anyone even clicked on the YouTube video provided within the post.

But fifteen months later, I received notification from WordPress that I had a comment on the Writing With Music post. It was from someone named “Anonymous”:

I find it amazingly careless, ignorant and unprofessional for someone
who claims to (and may very well) be an author and reviewer of fiction to not research first, something they’ve chosen to write about, with the intention of presenting it to an audience of their readers.

It diminishes the credibility of the writer and the trust a reader invests in them:

ADAGIO – is an italian musical term that marks the tempo in which a piece of music is to be played as “slow and stately.” It means literally, “at ease.” An antonym would be ALLEGRO, meaning “fast and lively.”

Op. or OPUS – is a composition, piece of work, work of art or creation.

Holy crap. My life is over. I am shutting down this blog. Right now. I’ve been found out. Not only am I careless, I am amazingly careless. And ignorant too? Isn’t it enough that I’m just amazingly careless? So, I picture it this way: Amazingly careless is the Hostess cupcake, ignorant is the chocolate frosting, and since that is never quite enough, unprofessional is that white curly thing on top.

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Really?

I “claim to be an author and reviewer of fiction”. Well, sir, I can’t make that claim any longer since I have acted in such a lowly and reprehensible way.

And I’m not sure why I believe this commenter to be a male, it’s just a gut feeling I have. I could be wrong about this. God knows, I’ve been wrong about a shitload of other stuff in my life.

After rereading the post again, though, I found that what Mr. Anonymous most likely had taken it upon himself to object to was the following:

“I’m not sure of the meaning of “Adagio” nor what “Op.” stands for…”

That was the only thing I could find.

What?

Dude. Mr. Anonymous. This is a writing blog. Not a music blog. Why all the blow-it-all-out-of-proportion nastiness on your part here? Couldn’t you have worded it a little nicer? Maybe just implied that I might have my head you-know-where, rather than pointing out for all the WWW to see? A little subtlety would have been most appreciated.

Then I thought: But wait! I have no idea what was going on in Mr. Anonymous’ life when he decided to expose me for the ignorant, music-illiterate that I am.

  • Maybe his Significant Other of n number of years just called him a Music Bigot and walked out on him?
  • Maybe he’s writing a music blog and no one is commenting and/or even reading and he’s getting damn tired of it?
  • Maybe he’s just in a really rotten mood, and he’s annoyed that someone with no music clue would deign to comment on Vaughn Williams?

Any or all of these things could be true. So, I’m giving the benefit of a lot of doubt here and accepting Mr. Anonymous’ critique with the dignity it deserves.

Here’s my response:

You are so right! I am careless, unprofessional and certainly ignorant. As a “maybe” author, these are traits that will affect my career — and ultimately render whatever life I have left — worthless. A broken woman, that’s what I am. Finally found out.

The only argument I have, the only trivial little thing I can conjure up as even a hint of an explanation is this: It’s a writing blog, not a music blog. I was trying to give my readers some ideas about what types of music might inspire them while writing, but unless I can define Adagio, I suppose that information is meaningless.

I may never blog again. But wait! I should blog about this very thing. Look for your comment, blown up out of all proportion in a post January, 2013.

Again, thanks so much for setting me straight. Consider my credibility duly diminished and I’m sure there isn’t a reader out there whose trust I can safely say I still have.

(And, Mr. Anonymous, I don’t mean to be picky here, but “italian” should be capitalized.)

On the other hand, could this be a positive thing? Is the fact that I have received such negativity a sign that I have arrived in the World of Bloggery? Can I compare it to Amazon reviews of Jonathan Franzen novels? He gets as many one-star reviews as five-star! And wow, we know what a successful author he is, so can this be a step up for me, from total obscurity to relative obscurity?

That would be, well, amazingly spectacular.

Love/Hate Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Crying Old Lady Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why Would Anyone Do That? (Listen to 60’s Music)

The other day, whilst whipping up this bourgeois gastric delight from the last century, I thought why not dip further into nostalgia and listen to music of that same era? So I turned on the Old Fogey Station and as I chopped and sauted and opened cans, I happened to take a good listen to some of the crap with which we used to numb our brains.

Depending on which part of the country you hail from, you will refer to the plebian delight pictured here as either goulash (preferred), or Johnny Marzetti (Midwestern) or Chili Mac (Texas, maybe?). It’s has been around forever, a dish full of stuff, and was especially popular in the fifties and sixties. I am including one of six thousand recipes for it at the bottom of this post, in DIY casual instructions.

Back to the music, here are seven of my observations about some sexist and/or dumb lyrics I heard.

First up: Wives and Lovers, written by Burt Bacharach.

For wives should always be lovers too
Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you
I’m warning you…

Day after day
There are girls at the office
And men will always be men
Don’t send him off with your hair still in curlers
You may not see him again

Thanks, Burt, for this lovely chauvinistic message. I’m sure it inspired a lot of women to go out and buy more of your crappy music.

Sure I sent him off to the office still in curlers but at least I have good hair! What’s with that sausage-roll flippy thing you’re sportin’ there?

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Next! Under My Thumb, The Rolling Stones

It’s down to me, yes it is
The way she does just what she’s told
Down to me, the change has come
She’s under my thumb

Under my thumb
A siamese cat of a girl
Under my thumb
She’s the sweetest, hmmm, pet in the world

Mick Jagger was in favor of “The Rolling Misogynists” but was voted down 4 to 1.

Geez, Mick, what will the neighbors think?

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And here’s You’re Havin’ My Baby, by Paul Anka (and this is too bad, because I really like you Paul, but this rates an 8 on the Suck-O-Meter).

Havin’ my baby
What a lovely way of sayin’
How much you love me
Havin’ my baby
What a lovely way of sayin’
What you’re thinkin’ of me
I can see it, face is glowin’
I can see in your eyes
I’m happy you know it

Because, Paul, it’s all about you, isn’t it?

Yeah, Paul, it was fine when it was just a baby bump but now that I’m the size of a VW Beetle you’re sorta changin’ your mind now, aren’t ya?

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Next up, If You Wanna Be Happy by Jimmy Soul. You knew this one was coming, didn’t you?

If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life
Never make a pretty women your wife
Go for my personal point of view
Get an ugly girl to marry you

Don’t let your friends tell you you have no taste
go ahead and marry anyway
Her face is ugly her eyes don’t match
take it from me shes a better catch

Oh, Jimmy Soul. You didn’t make old bones but if you had, some woman would have killed you by now anyway. RIP, but Dude, what a nasty song.

Who’s ugly now, Jimmy, you two-hit wonder!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Ah, sweet Donovan, how we loved ya’. That is until we listened, really listened, to what you were saying to us.

Superman or Green Lantern ain’t got a-nothin’ on me
I can make like a turtle and dive for your pearls in the sea, yeah!
A you-you-you can just sit there a-thinking on your velvet throne
’bout all the rainbows a-you can a-have for your own
When you’ve made your mind up forever to be mine
I’ll pick up your hand and slowly blow your little mind
When you’ve made your mind up forever to be mine

Slowly “blow your little mind”? Little mind? Um, I think, lovely Donovan, that perchance it’s you with the little mind, given your penchant for the cannabis.

Maybe I should have tried to find a two-syllable word other than “little”.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Next is Cherish, by the Association.

Oh, I could say I need you, but then you’d realize
That I want you, just like a thousand other guys
Who’d say they loved you with all the rest of their lies
When all they wanted was to touch your face, your hands
And gaze into your eyes

Who wants to bet that they have more on their minds (these thousand other guys) than touching your face and your hands and gazing? Even back then, I don’t recall this scenario. Oh, you say, this is the third-grade? Oh, well then.

Funny, this look worked for the Beatles but we’re not getting anywhere with it.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

And now, Do You Love Me, by the Contours.

You broke my heart
‘Cause I couldn’t dance
You didn’t even want me around
And now I’m back, to let you know
I can really shake ’em down

Do you love me? (I can really move)
Do you love me? (I’m in the groove)
Ah do you love? (Do you love me)
Now that I can dance (dance)

Listen up. Any wench who dumps you because you can’t dance ain’t worth learning to do the shimmy-shimmy for.

Look, I can dance! You can’t see it but I’m doing the whirly thing with my hands. I’m the one with no partner!

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Last but CERTAINLY not least, Next Door to an Angel by the ever-annoying and always-slimy Neil Sedaka.

Do do do, doobie bop bop, oh do bop she don don
Doobie bop bop, oh do bop she don don
Doobie bop bop, oh do bop she don don
Doobie bop bop, oh do bop she don don

I took a look and oh what a shock
to find a little bit of heaven right on the block.
I’m living right next door to an angel
and I’m gonna make that angel mine.

I can’t believe that this is the girl next door,
her funny little face isn’t funny no more,
sixteen and oh what a dream, ain’t it strange
how she changed into such a lovely angel.

Do you know where your sixteen-year-old angels are?

Mmm, it’s a little bit of heaven living right next door to an angel. Did I say, mmm?

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And now for that recipe:

Goulash (aka Johnny Marzetti and Chili Mac) is a combination of pasta, meat, flavorings and tomato stuff. Makes one of those 9 X 13 baking dishes full of good eatin’.
Pasta: Elbow macaroni or whatever you have. Cook 1 pound, make sure it’s al dente since it will cook further.
Meat: Hamburger and/or sweet Italian sausage. Whatever amounts you want but not more than 1.5 lb total.
Flavorings: Any combination, of onions (one medium), green pepper (one medium) and mushrooms (8 oz.) depending upon personal preference. Mushrooms need to be sauteed first since they throw off so much water.
Tomato stuff: One can diced tomatoes, and jarred or canned spaghetti sauce. This dish isn’t worth using up homemade sauce for.

Cook up the meat with the onion and peppers and drain. Mix in tomatoes, optional sauteed mushrooms and jar/canned sauce till it looks like a big slug of chili. Mix in enough pasta that it looks right, being careful not to over-pasta-ize since it swells up as it cooks and can take over your kitchen. Don’t forget to salt and pepper to taste (whatever that means). Other cool stuff you can add: parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. I guess that’s “to taste” also. Just dump some in. Slop this into a baking dish and cover with cheddar cheese. You know the little shards that come in a bag with the texture of cardboard? That stuff. I think it keeps the moisture in or something but really, it isn’t edible. Bake covered for a while, maybe while you drink your first martini, then uncover. Make a second martini and consume it. When done, so is dinner. Good luck because by now you might be too shitfaced to eat it. If so, stick it in the refrigerator and nuke it later, but beware that the stuff on the top does not improve with nuking.

I apologize for the length of this post, but I didn’t count the lyrics. So taking that reduction into account, I am well below the word limit.

Writing With Music

The type of music I listen to while writing depends mostly on what kind of writing it is and sometimes merely the mood I’m in. My writing area is in a loft, so when there are others around, the sound of the TV drifts upwards. Think History channel, which is fine but distracting or the Military channel, which is not so fine and also distracting. I can’t believe there is a military channel but I guess these days there is a channel for everything. Political shows are always extremely distracting because there is never just one person speaking, at any given time there are usually at least two, one Republican and one Democrat. And then there’s sports, enough said there.

If it’s none of the above there are always reruns of Predator or War of The Worlds, or whatever the name of that one is, the one with Tom Cruise and the annoying screaming girl child.

An iPod is as necessary for me anymore as food, I think. When I thought my iPod was broken, while my first reaction was — Great! Maybe I can get a bigger one! — I panicked at the thought of not having it right then, at that time. But all it needed was a charge and was so run down it wouldn’t turn on.

Sometimes I listen to rock music. I like the Eagles, Tom Petty, The Moody Blues, but then random songs that I have always liked. Stuff like Wicked Game, by Chris Isaak, Like a Rolling Stone, by Dylan, and The House of the Rising Sun, by Eric Burdon and the Animals.

There are references to music in my two novels: I Can’t Make You Love Me, by Bonnie Raitt, and Just the Way You Are, by Billy Joel, to name two. I like the lyrics of these songs, they really say something and can make for some powerful dialogue.

But when I want to write an emotional scene, about maybe sex or breakups or death, I listen to classical music and my favorite classical album of all time is Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis; Barber: Adagio for Strings; Grainger: Irish Tune from County. I highly recommend this CD. If you are interested, here it is on Amazon.

Best listened to on a great sound system cranked up, but you will get the feel just through the computer speakers.

Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (Vaughan Williams) is simply one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever heard. The more I hear it the more I want to listen. I am so impressed by people who can write music. How do they do that exactly? How do they put the melody and the different instruments together, with the pauses and the crescendos and the harmony in such a way? This piece is, just, inspiring, I guess I’d have to say. It’s hard to express music, and the way it makes one feel.

Listen here to Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis:

Another track on this same CD is Barber: Adagio for Strings, Op. 11. I’m not sure of the meaning of “Adagio” nor what “Op.” stands for, but if you feel emotional, or sad, listen to this. It is typically played when there is cause for mourning. This YouTube video is a live version of it performed on September 15, 2001, in memory of the 9/11 victims. How fitting that I found it today, exactly ten years later. I am sincerely sorry if there is a commercial in the beginning. It’s too bad everything has to be bastardized with advertising. This is way too moving and emotional to be preceded by a car ad (or whatever other atrocious clip they fling at you) but that’s the way it is, I guess. This is breathtakingly beautiful, and I usually don’t talk that way.

Listen to it here:

It’s hard to describe music. I tried to do that in my novel Second Stories. Here is the description (Café del Mar – Training):

 It was simple piano music, mixed with special acoustical effects, a serious, haunting, melancholy melody, the kind of music he’d listen to over and over, the notes ingrained on his brain, eerie and unforgettable. As he listened, there was a crescendo, and the piano played in a higher key, and other instruments mixed in, before returning to the same somber notes he’d first heard. He stood still and listened.

Here is the actual song:

Too bad there isn’t some way to incorporate music into books. I’ll bet that’s coming soon, but isn’t here yet. I wanted to describe this music, and I’m not sure if I succeeded or not. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t lend itself to laptop speakers too well. It might sound a little tinny, but is a very nice piece.

Treadmill 101

I’ve started a cardio fitness program and have been using the treadmill nearly every day. I do this for 40 minutes, the first 5 is a warm up, 30 at top speed, and the last 5 a cool down. Treadmilling has never been my favorite activity but recently it has become a lot more enjoyable and I thought I’d share my thoughts. So today is one of those “and a little more” days, because this post has little to do with writing, except maybe practice in writing a hopefully educational post.

Never mind what I looked like before. This is what I look like now.

Isn’t that great? So short a time and what an improvement!

Don’t believe that? Well, okay.

The success one has at a treadmill cardio program is directly proportional to the quality of his or her diversion. Anyone who thinks they will keep up with it without benefit of 1) nice scenery, 2) television, or 3) music, is bound for failure. Two of these diversions are nice to have, although one will usually be enough and 2 and 3 are mutually exclusive. I do not have the benefit of nice scenery, and television doesn’t do it for me, so I am a #3 person.

As such, I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting my iPod Treadmill Playlist and I thought I’d share it. Keep in mind, this is a beginner regimen, so my MPH might not be as fast as a more experienced exerciser. I start my warm up at 2.0 MPH and increase it on the whole minute up to 3.2 MPH at the 5 minute mark. That’s 2.0, 2,2, 2.5, 2.8, 3.0 and 3.2 MPH. I have a playlist that is approximately 42 minutes in length and it will be good for 3.2 – 3.5 MPH at least. After that, I may need to make adjustments.

I have found the group ZZ Top to be the best, for general, medium stride beat-thomping music. Consistently excellent for walking in time. Every second song on my playlist is a ZZ Top song. Here is the playlist, in order, with comments.

1. Proud Mary (CCR) – This plays during the beginning of the warm up. It isn’t noteworthy for it’s ability to get the walker pumped up, but good to get going. A pleasant diversion to the start of what seems an insurmountable 40 minutes.

2. Gimme All Your Lovin’ (ZZ Top) – Now the warm up is about half way through, the MPH increased enough to walk exactly in time with this very upbeat piece. By the end of the song, I’m at maximum speed, and still I can walk in time with the beat.

3. Old Time Rock & Roll (Ron Dante) – Now we’re at about six minutes and this song is a medley of Old Time Rock & Roll and Mony, Mony. The first part is fast, I have to really speed up, take small steps, I’m almost at a half jog here. Mony slows it down just enough that I’m back to a fast walk. This one makes me want to almost march, it’s very uplifting.

4. Sharp Dressed Man (ZZ Top) – A great song. I wish I could more adequately describe music here, but the pulsating beat in this is enough to keep anyone going. And the funny lyrics, “every girl crazy ‘bout a sharp dressed man”. This song is over before I know it, and by now I realize I’m not keeping an eye on the timer every 20 seconds, I’m just enjoying ZZ Top and how my walking is exactly timed with the music. (“Yeah, Baby!”)

5. Crumblin’ Down (John Mellencamp) – Another #1 excellent treadmill song. Long stride, I’m walking along (going nowhere) arms swinging, having fun. And the walls come tumblin’ down! Great, great song.

6. Doubleback (ZZ Top) – This one is not my favorite ZZ Top song but the worst song in this list is still great. After #5, I’m ready to just stride out for awhile, take it easy before the next onslaught. This one allows me to do that.

7. King’s Highway (Tom Petty) – This speeds me up. I’m almost running again, because my steps have become so short in order to keep up with it. I can feel it in the back of my thighs and my butt.

8. Give It Up (ZZ Top) – This one has a great beginning. After #7, again, I’m glad to lengthen my stride and chill to this (yet again) excellent rock and roll song. The beat pulsates, I’m getting heated up, I’m loving it.

9. She’s Not There (The Zombies) – This is a really old sixties song. It doesn’t start out too well, so I stumble trying to find the rhythm for a bit, then on the chorus it speeds up and I find it and it’s great. Repeats three times. Slower, faster, fast. It’s a good addition to the playlist.

10. Gun Love (ZZ Top) – Starts out pretty well, same beat that allows me not to think too much about adjusting my steps. I love the lyrics of this one, “Playin’ Russian roulette but she’ll load all six”.

11. Makin’ Some Noise (Tom Petty) – This may be the weakest link in the playlist. It’s too fast for this portion of the workout, because now it’s cool down time. I usually just give up here and listen. This one might be replaced at a future date.

12. La Grange (ZZ Top) – This is good cool down tune. Funny lyrics, “They’ve got a lot of nice girlsa”. But usually the 40 minutes is up before this one finishes anyway.

The warm up and top speed songs are the most important to my workout. By the time 35 minutes have gone by, I could listen to anything.

So, if anyone actually gets much out of this post, please let me know. And also, if anyone has any good selections that I could try, I’d be interested to hear about them. Maybe there’s some even better than what I’ve listed here.