Song Lyric Sunday 02/06/2019 – George Harrison, a great musician, and a gardener

img_1345-3Thank you to Jim Adams, who tirelessly hosts Song Lyric Sunday and gives us the chance to share lots of favourite, and some not so familiar, songs.

The theme for this week, Avenue /Boulevard /Drive /Lane /Road /Street, is all about thoroughfares, means of getting somewhere, or where we live, or work, and there are myriad songs to choose from.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

The song I’ve chosen, this week, is “Any Road” by George Harrison. It is the opening track to his posthumous album Brainwashed, written in 1988 during the making of a video for his 1987 album Cloud Nine. The song was released on 12 May 2003 as a single in the United Kingdom and peaked at #37 in the UK charts.

George successfully battled throat cancer in 1997; in 2001 he underwent surgery to remove a cancerous growth from one of his lungs, and radiotherapy for lung cancer which had metastasised to his brain. Once he realised it was an irreversible situation, he worked further on the album’s songs – in conjunction with his son, Dhani, and his old collaborator Jeff Lynne – until he was unable to do more. Harrison’s final work on the album was carried out at a recording studio in Switzerland shortly before his trip to the United States for cancer treatment. On 29 November 2001, Harrison died, leaving “Brainwashed” not quite finished, but with a guide to completing it in the hands of his son and Lynne.

I always loved George Harrison and felt he was not given the attention and kudos due to him. He was a fine musician, singer, lyricist, and a genuinely spiritual man.

He loved to commune with nature in his garden and once put the whole property up as collateral in order to fund the Monty Python comedy team’s movie Life of Brian after their original backers, EMI, pulled out at the last minute.  As a huge fan of the Pythons, he simply wanted to get to see the film − something that his friend Eric Idle has often described as “the most expensive cinema ticket in movie history”.

Here is George Harrison with Any Road. I hope you enjoy it.

 

Lyrics:

Give me that plenty of that guitar

 

For I’ve been traveling on a boat and a plane

In a car on a bike with a bus and a train

Traveling there, traveling here

Everywhere in every gear

 

But, oh Lord, we pay the price

With the spin of the wheel with the roll of the dice

Ah yeah, you pay your fare

And if you don’t know where you’re going

Any road will take you there

 

And I’ve been traveling through the dirt and the grime

From the past to the future through the space and the time

Traveling deep beneath the waves

In watery grottoes and mountainous caves

 

But, oh Lord, we’ve got to fight

With the thoughts in the head with the dark and the light

No use to stop and stare

And if you don’t know where you’re going

Any road will take you there

 

You may not know where you came from

May not know who you are

May not have even wondered

How you got this far

 

I’ve been traveling on a wing and a prayer

By the skin of my teeth, by the breadth of a hair

Traveling where the four winds blow

With the sun on my face, in the ice and the snow

But, ooh wee, it’s a game

 

Sometimes you’re cool, sometimes you’re lame

Ah yeah, it’s somewhere

If you don’t know where you’re going

Any road will take you there

 

But, oh Lord, we pay the price

With the spin of the wheel with the roll of the dice

Ah yeah, you pay your fare

If you don’t know where you’re going

Any road will take you there

 

I keep traveling around the bend

There was no beginning, there is no end

It wasn’t born and never dies

There are no edges, there is no sides

 

Oh yeah, you just don’t win

It’s so far out, the way out is in

Bow to God and call him Sir

But if you don’t know where you’re going

Any road will take you there

 

And if you don’t know where you’re going

Any road will take you there

 

If you don’t know where you’re going

Any road will take you there

Writer George Harrison Producer George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Dhani Harrison

Other songs you may like:

The Long and Winding Road – Beatles

Dead End Street – Ray Davis and Amy McDonald

Drive My Car – The Beatles

Penny Lane – The Beatles

There is a very interesting account of the making of “Brainwashed” here: 

At the time of recording George knew that he was dying. His stoicism and common sense attitude is amazing!

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9 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday 02/06/2019 – George Harrison, a great musician, and a gardener

  1. Thank you very much for the info on George. I knew he’d battled cancer but not any more than that. Knew he supported Monty Python but not putting his property up for collateral to make their movie. I did know he was seeking spiritual paths and that he made important music. The song is poignant in the context of his situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this one I enjoyed it very much.

    My mother-in-law had a very strange expression… Any Road Up! It simply meant Anyway… Let’s move on! I’ve never heard anyone else use that expression before or since.

    Liked by 1 person

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