Aaron’s Radio Show

Episode 28

My Three Songs with Julie Ringquist

 

Notes

Episode Notes

EPISODE 28 – My Three Songs with Julie Ringquist:  Welcome, everyone, to Episode 28. This is the eighteenth in our series of episodes called My Three Songs where my guest chooses three memorable songs and we listen to the songs and talk about why they are meaningful to my guest.

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Three Songs

  1. Lovely Day / Good As Hell – Pomplamoose (2020)
  2. Year of the Cat – Al Steward (1976)
  3. Love is the Answer – England Dan & John Ford Coley (1976)

Aaron’s Radio Show has been licensed by ASCAP and BMI to include songs from their repertories in performances on this website.

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Transcript

This transcript was originally generated using artificial intelligence ("AI") software. It has been edited by a human being, but it may still contain some misspellings, lack necessary punctuation, or include other anomalies. We are regularly working to improve our transcripts!


Jake:

Coming to you almost live from Berkeley, California. It's Aaron's Radio Show ... with your host, Aaron Gobler.

Aaron Gobler:

Thanks, Jake. And welcome, everybody to Episode 28. Welcome to My Three Songs where I play three special songs chosen by my guest, and we talk about why they chose each song. My guest today is Julie Ringquist. I know Julie for Facebook, but I really can't remember how we became friends there. I'm sure no one else has ever been in this situation. Julie was a contestant on a Zoom-based game show I produced in 2020; and I'm delighted to have her on this program, too. Julie, thank you so much for being on the show. I really appreciate you supporting my projects. How are you today?

Julie Ringquist:

I'm doing great. It's a lovely day here and I'm looking forward to talking about music.

Aaron Gobler:

You're in California? Tell us where in California.

Julie Ringquist:

I'm in Irvine, California, Orange County.

Aaron Gobler:

And do you identify yourself as being from Orange County or from Irvine?

Julie Ringquist:

Irvine. I grew up in Long Beach, which is LA County. So I guess to be specific, I say Long Beach or Irvine.

Aaron Gobler:

I know it's common for people to identify where they live as Orange County. Everywhere I've lived has been a city name or you know a town and people didn't identify it as like, oh, I live in Alameda County or Montgomery County. Is there any history as to why people just say Orange County?

Julie Ringquist:

I think there's a certain distinction from LA County versus Orange County, a lot of people may be referred to the "Orange Curtain". You know, Orange County is certainly more fun with Disneyland. So I think a lot of people like just saying Orange County rather than maybe you don't even know where Santa Ana or Irvine are. Exactly.

Aaron Gobler:

I see. I'm sorry to put you on the spot. I know you're not necessarily a historian for California counties. But you know why it's called Orange County.

Julie Ringquist:

Orange groves. Lots and lots of orange groves.

Aaron Gobler:

Okay. Suddenly, I'm picturing the No Doubt album; right? With the oranges on the cover.

Julie Ringquist:

Tragic Kingdom.

Aaron Gobler:

Tragic Kingdom. Thank you. Yes. Julie, if you don't mind, can you tell our listeners what made you decide to be on the show?

Julie Ringquist:

Well, I've always loved music, music is hugely important in my life. I love songs. I love lyrics. And knowing you, and seeing you put this together, I've thought that would be kind of fun. Of course, it was daunting. as everybody has said, trying to come up with three songs. You love thousands and thousands of songs. But I think I kind of put it into categories and picked one from each little category, one from each of three categories anyway. So I just thought it would be fun to share some thoughts about some of these songs that I love.

Aaron Gobler:

After this exercise of picking these songs, was there any kind of realization or lightbulb or something that went off? Or did you feel rewarded after you chose them?

Julie Ringquist:

Yes, it took a long time to get there because it hurts so much not to include some songs. It's like, how can you insult that song and not have that particular one? You know, Let It Be? How can I not have Let It Be in the three? It hurts so much. But once you get there you go, "Okay, I'm just going to talk about these for the various different reasons." I don't want three things with one reason behind them that gets a little boring. I want to feel different things. And these are the three I happen to choose. And we're just going to go with that and hope that people enjoyed listening to them.

Aaron Gobler:

I'm sure they will. I think they're three great choices. So before we get started, can you tell me how music fits into your life? Like do you seek it out? Is it usually in the foreground or the background of each day?

Julie Ringquist:

It's in the foreground and background. It's I'm one of those people like your Mom, I like to have something going on. Often it's TV even as background noise just just to play around the house. But it's often music; and I will say I do have one funny story if I could share it from when I was a very young child. My family tells me that before I even turned one year-old ... my grandmother would rock me to sleep of course singing Rock-a-bye Baby or other songs like that, and she would often think I was asleep and start humming instead of singing ... and my eyes would pop open. And I would take my little hand and touch her her lips, and say something like Baba Baba, meaning please do not hum; "I want to hear the lyrics to this. Don't get lazy on this job, please while I'm falling asleep." So, lyrics have always been important. And even as a two to three year-old, my grandmother objected because I listened to songs that she didn't think were appropriate for me to sing. One in particular, the story is Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves by Cher. Even the word tramps being in the title, as a two year-old or three year-old singing a song that my mother played around the house. And my mother would say, "Mom, she hears that she just picks it up, she knows the words to these songs, I can't help it." And, you know, my mother, you know, didn't really try to censor because how bad were things in the mid 70s? Really? That's how it's been.

Aaron Gobler:

That's a funny story. It's common to get overly concerned with what younger people especially you know, toddlers and such are understanding about what they're hearing or saying. And then when our reaction actually reinforces for them that maybe this is something that they shouldn't say and so then they decide to say it more.

Julie Ringquist:

Exactly, because they get a reaction.

Aaron Gobler:

That's, that's funny. Julie, you chose three great songs. I've heard all three of them. And I want to say four of them because the first one is a mashup. And that's the first mashup we've actually had on the show ... and people who don't know a mashup is as an artist taking two o r more songs, and kind of combining them .. or interweaving them, as opposed to sequentially ... they're actually kind of mashed together. So the first song you chose was a mashup of Lovely Day and Good As Hell, by a group called Pomplamoose; from 2020. The very classic song Year of the Cat, by Al Stewart from 1976. And a very popular song, Love is the Answer, by England Dan and John Ford Coley from 1976. I have to say that name very slowly, because it is almost a tongue-twister. I'm eager for us both to listen to these songs together. And I'm interested in knowing why each of them is meaningful to you. So first, we'll take a listen to Lovely Day/Good as Hell, which is a mashup by Pomplamoose

Julie Ringquist:

Yes, and the reason I chose this is it's just a feel good song. And it just brings your spirit up every time you hear it. And I love the little changes that adding in Good as Hell added to it.

Aaron Gobler:

Julie, I'm so glad you chose a song by Pomplamoose. They've done some great mashups and covers, I first discovered them through their Pharrell mashup, Happy Get Lucky. Their creations are wonderful new interpretations of some great songs. So why did you choose this song?

Julie Ringquist:

Well, first of all, I've always loved the original Lovely Day by Bill Withers, I love his version. Yeah, of course, it always makes me feel good. And Jill Scott also does a lovely version if you're interested in feeling good with the song. Then came 2019, when I discovered Lizzo, and the summer of 2019 was all Lizzo for me. And Good as Hell is one of those songs that just also kind of makes you feel good, no matter what you're doing. So when I discovered this mashup, and I have heard some Pomplamoose before, but this one was really what brought me to them. When I heard this, I just thought that's perfect, because what it does is it kind of changes this this great song Lovely Day into a romantic song because it talks about when I see you, you know, everything changes, and I realize it's going to be a lovely day. So it kind of depends on having somebody in your life. But Good as Hell says, you know what, even if he doesn't love you anymore, do your hair toss, check your nails, go out that door feeling good. And together, it just, it's perfect for me.

Aaron Gobler:

So part of the magic is not just the musical integration in the you know, the the tones and the melody in the song. But actually, the two different messages that are being sent kind of complement each other.

Unknown:

To me, certainly they complement each other or they include everybody ... you don't need to have that person to see their face and then realize everything's all right. And it's going to be a lovely day, no matter what I'm going through, you know, even they, you know, they say when everybody else always seems to have the answers instead of me, you know, I think that's something we've all felt and, and I like that Good as Hell makes it say and you know what if you don't have that person in your life at this moment, do your hair toss check your nails go out that door and greet the world.

Aaron Gobler:

I'm sure Bill Withers ... I'm assuming that Withers wrote it, you know, wrote that song in having another person in mind. But I guess the way we're both discussing this, perhaps you could be looking in the mirror and be saying it's gonna be a lovely day and referring to like, loving yourself.

Julie Ringquist:

Right? Exactly. I just one of the we all need more feel good songs right now especially or always through history. I guess. I just wanted to give a shout out to that one.

Jake:

My story with Pomplamoose kind of mirrors what you're describing is that you heard you hadn't heard, I'm assuming you hadn't heard of Pomplamoose until this song entered your world. I hadn't heard of them until the Pharrell mashup that they did, which was around this time with these two songs that forever was so involved in the song happy of course, which was from Despicable Me. Yes. And the Get Lucky song by Daft Punk. He had performed on that and I guess helped work with on the writing of that too.

Julie Ringquist:

And of course, the mashups really started for me with Glee, the television show. There were a lot of mashups on there and I found I really enjoy them. So anybody wants to go back and look at some of those many many Glee soundtracks, there are some fun ones there, including get happy, which, which was the one I love to get happy. And Happy Days Are Here Again, really nice one,

Aaron Gobler:

There's one that sticks in my mind that I thought was very creative. And that was a mashup of Young Girl and Don't Stand So Close to Me, which are totally different, completely different songs. But the I believe that episode had to do with one of the students having a crush on the music teacher.

Julie Ringquist:

That sounds familiar. Yeah. So yeah, and a very different song.

Aaron Gobler:

So really a challenge to kind of weave them together different kinds of threads, there so well, hopefully, some listeners will go in and investigate Pomplamoose. And it's not spelled the French way for grapefruit. It's spelled more phonetically, you can look at the episode notes on the website to see more about that. Maybe I'll put a link to the YouTube video for a couple of these other songs. So thank you for including that. Yeah. And your list. I I saw Pomplamoose in the list. I'm like, okay, this is great.

Julie Ringquist:

Yeah, I have to also say I chose it because it has an updated I am, I am definitely a 70s fan. Most people like the music from their teen years. I'm stuck before I was born to probably 68 to 82 is my sweet spot. And I like the teenage years stuff for me, but I don't love it like I do the 70s stuff. So I wanted to include something more modern, although I like all modern music too. But it just, I'm picking three songs, it's probably not going to be something for the last 30 years.

Aaron Gobler:

I hear you; and the next ... the other two songs in your list, are both from 1976. So we're gonna we're gonna go, we're gonna turn the clock back for those songs. So the next song on your list is Year of the Cat by Al Stewart.

Julie Ringquist:

And I chose this one because it paints such a picture for me when you really listen to those words. And if you love old movies like I do, you just can get lost in this song when you really listen. So hopefully everybody enjoys it.

Aaron Gobler:

Julie, this song came out when I was 12. And, and hearing it brings me immediately back to my middle school days. I really enjoyed listening closely to the lyrics this time, and really appreciating what a rich lyrical piece this is. So why did you include it on your list?

Julie Ringquist:

Exactly that reason. I just wanted a song that kind of takes you away from whatever moment you are in; you can close your eyes. And I just the very first two lines put me in an entirely different place when he says on a morning from a Bogart movie in a country where they turn back time. You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre contemplating a crime. She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running like a watercolor in the rain. I am there you've got me.

Aaron Gobler:

Yeah, and musically it's so beautiful. It's like it just a beautiful stream of music and in his voice, I can understand why it really has lasted all this time.

Julie Ringquist:

Yes, I think it just evokes so much and it's so romantic. I mean, you can't help but think of Casablanca, of course, with the Bogart movie and Peter Lorre. And I think that it takes you there. But I like how it also does it in color for me because later he goes on to say, you know, by the blue tiled walls and the market stalls there's a secret door she leads you through. And I can just picture the blue tile and the market area and people all around. And I think back to there was a time in my early 20s, I spent a month on the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean. And I still regret to this day, you could take, you know, few hours .. two to three hours boat ride and be in North Africa. But at the time, and often because of political things, you sort of think, oh, is it safe as a young girl American tourist? Maybe I won't. And to this day, I wish I had because I am a fan of all those old movies and the romantic idea of Morocco, Casablanca, and all of those things being in Egypt, all of that. So it this song at least takes me there a little bit. Someday I'll make it in person hopefully.

Aaron Gobler:

The last song is also from 1976. And this duo, England, Dan and John Ford Coley had several top hits. This was not their top top hit, but was a very popular song back in the 70s. And this song is Love is the answer.

Julie Ringquist:

Right? This is kind of the the big one for me. This is one of the my life mantras. This is one that I just think says everything I want to say. And I think it's an important song. So again, I hope everybody enjoys this one.

Aaron Gobler:

Julie was great listening to the song after so many years. I can't recall the last time I heard it probably was on like a smooth jazz station or something. But the the highlight for me personally was discovering that the song was written by Todd Rundgren who I really enjoy. Listening to it through that lens, I can definitely hear several lyrical and stylistic trademarks of Todd Rundgren. So that was kind of fun listening to it with with that in mind. So why did you include this song in your list?

Julie Ringquist:

Well, this song for me is just one that says exactly how I feel about life about humanity. Love, is the answer. Love is the answer always. And I want to, I'll say what love, love isn't the answer to or what isn't love in my mind, because I do feel like just saying be loving, loving, loving all the time, you know, is is not sustainable is not doable, there are situations. And so I will say I'm talking about making decisions from a place of love from a place that recognizes kindness recognizes the value of other people as precious individual beings. That brings joy. And definitely not talking about giving someone a pass on bad behavior. You don't have to react in love with that, in fact, reacting with love, maybe calls them out on that bad behavior, because going through life, doing bad behaviors, treating people badly treating you badly doesn't really further their joy in the world. So and of course loving yourself is part of this. And so it doesn't mean let people treat you badly, and just react in love; loving yourself as part of this and maybe having a boundary that says this is not appropriate behavior. And I love you enough to tell you that this isn't going to work for you in the world. So I want to say for sure it's not love of money. It's not love of power. The mantra of this song they repeat over and over again is love one another, love one another, love one another. And that includes yourself. So, to me, it brings to mind that quote from Nature Boy, you know, "the greatest thing you'll ever learn in life is just to love and be loved in return". And I think when you make decisions that come from a place of love, rather than a place of anger, or fear, or apathy for sure. When you think if I were making this decision, and I loved this other person or these people that I don't know, what would I do then what would the real decision be? I think we'd all be a lot better off.

Aaron Gobler:

Yeah, that's, that's uh, I like the way you put that. I think in songs especially the word love we often associate with romantic love, and one could listen to the song and think, love romantic love is what this person's talking about. And then some people might think that "love" is too much of an emotional thing. And so it's a little too, it's a little outside of their, their normal thinking, like it's reserved for something that's very emotional ...

Julie Ringquist:

Right. And it doesn't have to be ... But I think of the song, I think go out in the world and make a decision out of love. Sometimes that means letting the person come out of the driveway and make the right turn in front of you rather than hurrying ahead. You know, because that can make you feel better in the day, something as small as that, you know, making eye contact with the fast food person and saying, thank you so much. That's all love. And that all makes you feel better to this is a little bit selfish, I guess, in that I want to feel good in the world. And so do those nice things, and you'll get a little boost to your day.

Aaron Gobler:

Yeah, I try to exercise that; to certainly try to be very positive with people I don't know, in cases where something is frustrating trying to just not wallow in that particular moment. Or I may come home and and vent to somebody at home about it, but not deal with it in that in that moment. But in this context, I think really love is the answer meaning "Be kind, and treat the other person with the the humanity that they deserve" just just as being a human being and start from there.

Julie Ringquist:

Right. And I think that's one of the hardest ones, right? Because I know what it means is it saying universal religious themes. Although Todd Rundgren as I understand his said, the song isn't meant to be religious, although a lot of people take it to mean that especially with "light of the world". Many people think maybe refers to Jesus or, or some other things. But I think it's that universal religion, you know, that sort of Love Your Neighbor idea. And I think it's hard. It gets hard, especially today when you're talking about politics. But I think it's about loving all races, all politics, the homeless, the immigrants, the refugees, you love them, and you acknowledge their suffering. And that's the hardest me, of course, is politics. At this point, when I'm at my best, I try to remember that what they are saying is simply coming from a place of fear. And if I love that person, I have to acknowledge their fear. And think about what it is that they're really afraid of, and how I can allay that fear, rather than just what sounds like an awful thing coming up.

Aaron Gobler:

Yeah, the whole I mean, whole conversation around fear, that could go on for a couple hours. But that's an excellent, that's an excellent point in identifying ... a lot of our negative actions or reactions are likely rooted in some kind of fear we have and the more open or welcoming or non-judgmental, you can be with somebody, I'm guessing would allay some fears they might have.

Julie Ringquist:

I think that's true. And that that is the hardest, I think that's what many of us are struggling with, especially today in this particular climate that we're in, and especially the last few years. But I think it's just an ideal to keep in mind that you know, love is always the answer. Look at it through the lens of of love for that person for that group. And you can maybe make some inroads? Maybe that's a little hopeful, but you know, I think it is possible. And it doesn't mean you're not the wonderful activist that you want to be and you don't you know, fight for the things you want to change but you're doing it from a place of love.

Aaron Gobler:

Yeah, and and others will respond, how they respond ... you can only ... you can't control how they're going to respond. But, but if we start out with the assumption that that they will understand what you're trying to do, as opposed to assuming that they won't, it's better to try and to and to start with love ...

Julie Ringquist:

Right. Yeah; so that to me this answer you know, this thing of course, it's romantic love too; it's it's think of the person you're in love with in a loving way, even when you're mad at them. Think of where they're coming from and recognize their their individuality. Treat them with kindness and compassion and all of those things. It's romantic. It's for the universe. It's for nature, it's for animals. It's really love is the answer always it really, is the best way to go.

Aaron Gobler:

Yes ... I have been in a relationship for a long time. It's so easy just to see your partner or just the world through your own reality, and that it takes certain empathy and imagination and openness to understand that everybody's got their own reality in some capacity and be compassionate and open-minded and not project your own reality on others and not just immediately try to understand them through your own filter.

Julie Ringquist:

Exactly, exactly.

Aaron Gobler:

So on that light note, is there anything else that you'd like to share about your selections, something that you thought about while you were listening, or we haven't talked about?

Julie Ringquist:

I just think music is so many, many things. And I love that, you know, we can talk about a song that takes you away from the real world, like Year of the Cat, and I love that we can talk about just a fun song that makes you feel good and walk out the door with a little bounce to your step. And then other songs can really be as deep as deep can be with Love is the Answer that you can really dig into this song. And like you said, we can talk about things like fear and seeing other people seeing their fear as opposed to their, their anger, and go on for hours about it. You could take these songs, and it's just a whole life, right? It's it's everything. So I just love taking apart music and thinking about what it means. And I, I just hope everybody enjoyed the songs and are going out of this feeling good about their day, maybe put on one of the songs again, if you liked it, go out and face the world with some love and some bounce in your step.

Aaron Gobler:

Well, I had a lot of fun today. It was definitely enjoyable, meaningful, enlightening, and I do encourage listeners to go and seek out these songs that we played today. I hope you enjoy yourself too, Julie.

Julie Ringquist:

Yes, it was a lot of fun to get to talk about music. You rarely get to do that. And it's it's great to share these songs and I hope somebody got something out of it. I'm sure they did. But I look forward to your next episode, too. I've been enjoying hearing everybody's stories.

Aaron Gobler:

Awesome. And I'm going to keep doing these. You're welcome to come back with another three songs if you wish in the future.

Julie Ringquist:

Great. I will start on it now!

Aaron Gobler:

... so to my listeners. If you want to be part of the show, start by going to our website, Aaron's Radio dot show and clicking on the My Three Songs button on the homepage. You can also sign up for our mailing list so you'll know immediately when a new episode is available. You can also find Aaron's Radio Show on your favorite podcast service. But I have to warn you the podcast episodes only include interviews and no licensed music. So until next time, keep your ears and mind open and let more music into your world.

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