Sunday, January 11, 2009

So He Strikes Like Thunderball

You've just got to love Tom Jones for being, well, so Tom Jones.  He sings his heart out on songs that are pure corn without a trace of irony.  He throws himself into the moment and goes for it. Oh, I think we could all learn a lesson from this wise man.  

My older sister, Kathleen, was a Tom Jones fan when she was in her late teens.  She might try to deny it now, but I was there with her in those days when we'd sit beside the stereo, listening to him sing, staring at the album cover of his dreamy face.

Even after she'd left the room, I'd remain listening.  Ever hungering for drama and excitement in my rural life, I particularly loved "The Green, Green Grass of Home," which is being sung by a condemned man, singing of his dreams of seeing all his family and his "Sweet Mary, hair of gold and lips like cherries."  Bound to be executed in a matter of minutes, he sings of finally reaching that "The Green, Green Grass of Home" though technically, he'll be buried beneath it.

Another favorite was a delightful tune called "Delilah"  in which an enraged man stabs his woman to death because he sees her with another man.  He goes to see her and "She stood there laughing." [Not a good idea.] "I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more."  I particularly loved that line because I got it and I was pretty sure not everyone did. The way Tom sang this sent shivers up my spine and when I went to feed the calves in the evening, I'd try to imitate his style as I sang this song at the top of my lungs.  My audience just stared as me as they happily sucked on their buckets confirming my suspicion that they really did not get it.

And of course, I learned all about Womanhood from his song "She's a Lady."
"Well, she's never in the way
Always something nice to say, Oh what a blessing.
I can leave her on her own
Knowing she's OK alone, and there's no messing."

What I learned and practice even today:
 Stay out of the way.  No one likes a woman who is in the way.  Shrink back in social situations and let your man shine instead.
When you must speak, say nice things--even when angry, confused, or distraught. "I love that color of Excursion.  Now, if it's not too much trouble could you please remove it from my Ford Focus?  So sorry for the little scratch on the fender left by my totally destroyed automobile which you plowed into as you ran the stoplight.  May I buy you some gas to make up for all the trouble I've caused you?"
Be clean and neat at all times, even when left alone. No one likes a "messing" woman.  Always clean the top of the catsup bottle, even when no one is watching.  

His hit "Thunderball" is from a James Bond film.  I heard a radio interview with the man who wrote the song who said that James came in to sing the song, knew nothing about the plot, character, or anything whatsoever about the movie, but they told him to sing it big and he just said, "OK" and went for it.   I had planned on putting a video of Tom himself singing it, but that got pulled from YouTube for some reason.  (Too sexy?) Alas, the only other option was this one which is basically a video of a record going around and around and around and around which can be oddly soothing if you watch it enough times and you've had a lot of cough medicine.  

I hope my sister Kathleen, (a technophobe of sorts) will push the big white arrow, (aka the "Play" button) and listen to this song.  (K-Do it at work, not at home on your dial-up.) Hope you all enjoy it!  Make "Thunderball" the soundtrack of your day and see what happens!

Here are the lyrics so you can sing along!  Sing BIG people!  Make Tom proud!


He always runs while others walk.
He acts while other men just talk.
He looks at this world and wants it all,
So he strikes, like Thunderball.
He knows the meaning of success.
His needs are more, so he gives less.
They call him the winner who takes all.
And he strikes like, like Thunderball.

Any woman he wants, he'll get.
He will break any heart without regret.
His days of asking are all gone.
His fight goes on and on and on.
But he thinks that the fight is worth it all.
So he strikes like Thunderball.


Trevor said...

Ahhhwwwww Yeeeeeaaaaaaa!

Tom Jones FTW.

Anonymous said...

I still recall the exciting anticipation I felt when Thunderball came out. I had seen all the Bond films to that point (I saw Goldfinger ten times), and I was suavely armed with an exploding attache case and all manner of Bond gadgetry that would be considered appropriate for a ten-year-old.

And I recall sitting in the theater with my dad as Tom Jones belted out, "So he strikes, like Thunderball," and thinking to myself, "what does that mean?"

Bossy Betty said...

OH, I can just see you with that attache case! Was Thunderball a main character in the movie or just a cool name they threw in there?

Anonymous said...

Nope, just a cool name. Kinda like thunderbolt, which is oxymoronic (actually more of a portmanteau concept) but not so obvious -- you're expecting this bolt, and all of a sudden you're bowled over by this big BALL of thunder.

That's James Bond in a nutshell -- he zigs while others zag, he takes the train while others fly, puts the cereal in after the milk, etc.

Speaking of flying, one of the best things in the film was Bond's jet pack. At the time, Popular Mechanics ran a story about how this would undoubtedly be the transportation of the future. I was excited at the prospect of someday commuting to my job as a secret agent in this fashion, wearing my Dacron Polyester suit and carrying my exploding attache case in one hand and a martini in the other. When I lived in Port Hueneme, I briefly considered this as an alternative to vanpooling.

Bossy Betty said...

Ah, yes! I too believed that jet packs would be a part of my commute. Alas, they are not. I loved your image of going to work in your suit with your exploding jet pack! I believe you should have your own blog!

By the way, I have been thinking about the theme song here and believe that men, in particular, like that line, "His needs are more, so he gives less." They can use this to explain their lack of participation in a relationship, or just a lack of participation in housework. "Sorry, Baby. My needs are more, so I give less."

Anonymous said...

A related rule of cohabitation is: the less it appears you can do, the less you'll have to do.

Yes, too bad the jet pack never really "took off," so to speak. Just as well -- imagine all the nimrods we see on the roads swirling about us as we make our way through the sky. I wouldn't be able to enjoy my martini.

Johnny Angel said...

I couldn’t resist checking out Thunderball on Wikipedia. The plot summary is alarming! M sends 007 to a health spa because 007 smokes 60 cigarettes daily! 3 pack a day smoker? Wouldn’t that kill the average man?
I mean the lack of sleep, the booze, the broads and all those people trying to kill him 24/7, I mean that stress alone would be enough to send even Batman to the loony tunes bin!

Was Bond really that big? I mean is he the winner that takes all? He runs while others just walk? HOW COULD HE RUN!?!

Bossy Betty said...

Apparently all that smoking did not slow the man down.

I agree with your observation about his stamina. I watch Bond films and think, man, just one dramatic incident at the grocery store is enough to send me to the couch for the rest of the day. How does he do it?

Just remember: "His Needs are MORE, so he gives less." Something tells me he did not do much around the house, using this line as an excuse.

Thanks for your comment!