Empty Garden – From Elton (John) to (John) Lennon


Of all tribute songs written by a non-Beatle for John Lennon after his senseless killing in December 1980, nothing compares for me to Elton John’s Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny).

The song likens John to a worthy garden caretaker that some inconsequential person took away, “A gardener like that one no one can replace…It’s funny how an insect can damage so much grain…” The lyrics are Bernie Taupin’s, Elton’s lifetime collaborator, while the beautiful melody is, of course, his own.

From what I remember, Elton rarely played it live since the song’s release in his 1982 album Jump Up! because it was painful for him to be reminded of John Lennon’s death. Elton was a close friend to John; their relationship was secured by their musical collaboration in the mid-1970s. Elton and John appeared together in a concert and Elton is Sean’s godfather.

A harrowing live version of this song performed at the turn of the century at the Madison Square Garden is in this link. Elton at the beginning explains why he rarely performed the song live.

The lyrics are here:

What happened here
As the New York sunset disappeared
I found an empty garden among the flagstones there
Who lived here
He must have been a gardener that cared a lot
Who weeded out the tears and grew a good crop
And now it all looks strange
It’s funny how one insect can damage so much grain
And what’s it for
This little empty garden by the brownstone door
And in the cracks along the sidewalk nothing grows no more
Who lived here
He must have been a gardener that cared a lot
Who weeded out the tears and grew a good crop
And we are so amazed we’re crippled and we’re dazed
A gardener like that one no one can replace
And I’ve been knocking but no one answers
And I’ve been knocking most all the day
Oh and I’ve been calling oh hey hey Johnny
Can’t you come out to play
And through their tears
Some say he farmed his best in younger years
But he’d have said that roots grow stronger if only he could hear
Who lived there
He must have been a gardener that cared a lot
Who weeded out the tears and grew a good crop
Now we pray for rain, and with every drop that falls
We hear, we hear your name
Johnny can’t you come out to play in your empty garden

Saddest Beatles Songs

Image result for the beatles images
Source: https://www.google.com.ph/search?q=the+beatles+images&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjP__W4xMLZAhVCtpQKHScAAnAQ7AkIQQ&biw=1242&bih=557#imgrc=DgmFmmKExuMu9M:

http://www.myusyk.com [which cannot be anymore reached] came out five years ago with Top Ten Saddest Beatles Songs, which is quite a good list. Many may agree, but equally many may not. At any rate, the main contention would probably be about the ranking. That is what I also feel. Sad that the six-minuter youtube video is no longer accessible to launch the countdown. Anyway, here is the list with my own description of each song.

10. No Reply from Beatles for Sale is about a partner not being upfront

9. Norwegian Wood from Rubber Soul deals with a one-night affair that would not work

8. I’m A Loser from Beatles for Sale is putting a different face despite a regrettable loss

7. You’ve Got To Hide Your love Away from Help! is purportedly about gays

6. Yes It Is, b-side but compiled in Past Masters is a relationship in transition past a previous one

5. For No One from Revolver is about falling out of love

4. She’s Leaving Home from Sgt. Pepper deals with a daughter who elopes. Verdict “…Fun is something money can’t buy”

3. While My Guitar Gently Weeps from The Beatles aka White Album seems to be the singer silently weeping for everybody for not knowing how to unfold love, perversion, control. (probably!)

2. Eleanor Rigby from Revolver is a very lonely picture cast in a painting. Wow what a great poetry!

1. Yesterday from Help! is longing for a past that is forever gone

My own verdict? I don’t know the basis for the Top Ten whether or not it was the lyrics, song structure, melody, or intent of the writer, or all of the above. But I agree with the Top Two.

Now if you talk about the saddest song of The Beatles, for me it should be Eleanor Rigby. On the other hand, if you talk about the saddest Beatles love song, then it should be Yesterday. There is always something in The Beatles lyrics that hits you hard.

Let’s listen to both again courtesy of youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ntiz-Pmvy4 (Yesterday); (Eleanor Rigby) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wssbIgRh0k

The Masterplan

I was not so much a fan of Oasis and even until today, but I am beginning to appreciate the band more and more. Love some of the group’s songs and this “new discovery.” I used to listen to the second disc of Stop The Clock, the band’s compilation, because of the Don’t Look Back In Anger. Then yesterday was a long drive from Manila; I chose to play the first disc and the last song is this one. Love it.

About the song: source: https://genius.com/Oasis-the-masterplan-lyrics

“The Masterplan” was released as a B-side to “Wonderwall”. In 1998 it was included in the B-side compilation album The Masterplan. In 2006, it was included in the “Best Of”-compilation Stop The Clocks.

Noel Gallagher consider it one of his greatest efforts as a songwriter.

Noel Gallagher discussed the song in an interview,

I suppose it’s about people’s fear of growing old… Well you know, all we know is that we don’t know. You know if you wanna dance, dance. If you don’t, don’t. I suppose it’s saying that there is no masterplan.

An official promotional video was released for the song.

Oh, Genius!


Wiki: Genius is an American anthology period drama television series developed by Noah Pink and Kenneth Biller that premiered on April 25, 2017 on National Geographic.

The first season follows the life of Albert Einstein, from his early years, through his time as a patent clerk, to his later years as a physicist who developed the theory of relativity; the season is based on the 2007 book Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson. In April 2017, National Geographic renewed the series for a second season, which follows Pablo Picasso and premiered on April 24, 2018. In April 2018, National Geographic renewed the series for a third season set to follow the life of writer Mary Shelley.


In spite of a few negative reviews, the TV drama remains fun for me and I do not feel I am wasting my time at all.






A great finale

<I>Madam Secretary</I> Finale: EPs Break Down Elizabeth's Monumental Decision

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Madam Secretary Finale: EPs Break Down Elizabeth’s Monumental Decision

All of this took place on a Saturday, so Elizabeth was at an arcade, playing skee-ball with her family, when she received the news that the literal end of the world as we know it was imminent. So while the McCord kids (and the rest of the world) went about their day, Elizabeth and Henry clung to each other and waited for nuclear war to begin.

Except it didn’t. The whole thing was a mistake resulting from a drill accidentally getting put into play without anyone at the Pentagon knowing it. Fortunately (and incredibly luckily), the situation was brought to light before American missiles were launched. In the aftermath, a relieved yet angry Elizabeth argued for nuclear de-escalation, saying that making such life-and-death choices in the space of a few minutes served no one well.

Madam Secretary Finale Recap Season 4 Episode 22Dalton agreed with her. The Pentagon did not. After a discussion with Henry about how only popular opinion was going to get the government to change its nuclear stance, she realized that declassifying the documents about the near-miss — thereby alerting the American public to how close the entire country had come to annihilation — was the only way to achieve de-escalation. “Let’s scare the crap out of America,” she said… and it worked. A month later, the United States and Russia agreed to a treaty to take intercontinental ballistic missiles off of the hair-trigger alert system.

At the end of the hour, as they sat at the Lincoln Memorial, Elizabeth told Henry that the scare had reaffirmed her “faith in the process” of civic duty. But she worried that the next occupant of the Oval Office might come along and undo all of the foreign relations progress the Dalton administration had made. So… “When the time comes, I want to run for president,” she said. Henry said he’d happily support her candidacy — and that he’d known for a while that she’d eventually make the choice to try for the nation’s highest office.

TVLine talked with executive producers Lori McCreary and Barbara Hall about the Secretary of State’s huge decision and how it might begin to unfold in Season 5. Read on for their thoughts.

TVLINE | Elizabeth running for president is an idea that you’ve flirted with previously, but always backed away from. Why is now the right time to pull that trigger?

HALL | We hinted at it and we teased it some. We were really just trying to contemplate the idea ourselves. So we built into this season a couple moments where she at least couldn’t close the door on the possibility. And then, after this event, it just seemed to make sense… We realized what, she accomplished [getting rid of the hair-trigger system], it’s such an enormous thing, that she really invested in making sure it didn’t get undone. It seemed like an organic arrival at that point. And so, we just went with it.

MCCREARY | The personal stakes for her and the family, and then the world, that were on the shoulders of this small group — and realizing that she has a small voice there, and she might be able to have a bigger voice there in a different position — probably also pushed her to make that decision.

TVLINE | We’re two years into Dalton’s second term. So if time continues unfolding in the fashion that it has, it’s not going to be like we’re going to see Elizabeth on the campaign trail in the next season, correct?

HALL | That’s right. We want to do it in as much real time as possible. This would actually be the point where you’d have to make the decision to at least start investigating what’s involved in running. We can talk about if we’ll ever want to do a time-jump. A big point of our show is that we like to show process. So why not pull the curtain back on what that process looks like, and have fun with that arc for a couple seasons?

MCCREARY | Elizabeth isn’t telling the whole American audience. She’s really only letting Henry in on that she wants to run, so, we’ll have a little time.

HALL | The current plan is to just reveal process as much as we can and have fun with that. At some point, we might feel it’s time for a time-jump, and we also reserve the right — or she reserves the right to change her mind once she finds out what’s involved. Butwe really just want to take her on the journey right now of saying, “I’m in, I want to run for president,” and see what that looks like for her.

MCCREARY | For fans of the show, there will be some echoes of things they’ve seen when Dalton was running, and ran as an Independent, and the kind of things that his chief of staff, Russell Jackson, was warning him about. The echoes of that will probably resound over the next couple seasons as Elizabeth runs into similar circumstances. She’s so non-political, she’s going to have to start thinking about that. At least, whoever’s going to help her think about running will want her to think about that.

TVLINE | Let’s talk about her potential opponents. The current vice president has designs on the office.

MCCREARY | Yes, we have teed that up. Probably she won’t be the only person, so that is part of the process, too: If you take [Elizabeth] into a primary, what does that look like?

HALL | [Laughs] He’ll be a presence for sure.
TVLINE | I love that Henry knew before she did. Do you think that he realizes the reality of what’s ahead as the spouse of a candidate? Or are they both looking at this with rose-colored glasses, at least at this early point?


HALL | I think that they have the same kind of glasses they had on when she decided to seek the Secretary of State’s job, which is, “Well, let’s see what this.” Ahe felt then, “I have to try to do this,” and they are a strong couple… wherever it takes them, they’re together in it. It’s a different sort of adventure that they’re embarking on, and I don’t think even they understand what’s ahead of them, because how can you know before you start?