Song of the Day #3,520: ‘Mighty River’ – Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige made Oscar history last month, becoming the only performer ever nominated as an actor and Best Song composer in the same year. Blige earned a Supporting Actress nod for her soulful turn in Dee Rees’ Mudbound, and co-wrote the movie’s end credits song with Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson.

Mudbound was one of my favorite 2017 films, and one that I bet would have fared even better in the Oscar nominations had it received a proper theatrical release and not been confined to Netflix for most of the country.

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Song of the Day #2,959: ‘Hurt Again’ – Mary J. Blige

mary_blige_growing_painsI have nothing meaningful to say about today’s Random Weekend selection so instead I will present, unedited, a YouTube comment about this song by one Keiosha Alieon:

“There’s a guy in my life that I feel is everything I’ve ever wanted in a man. He’s caring and protective, sensitive but masculine, he’s funny and compassionate & I have so much love to give but he doesn’t want a commitment & I’m almost 100% sure his feelings for me are nowhere near those I have for him. And I want to leave to spare my self some heart ache but at the same time I want to stay on the off chances that he changes. He says he wants to take things slow but I feel that’s just a trap to keep me here but who knows. Only time will tell. ‘But, I been there and I done that & I promised never to get hurt again.'”

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Song of the Day #1,534: ‘Just Fine’ – Mary J. Blige

Here’s a song from one of the five or six albums in my CD collection that belong exclusively to my wife. I have never heard this song or this album before, and I listened to only about half of it just now before posting it.

R&B is definitely not in my musical genome. I have zero patience for this sort of music. I would crawl across broken glass to get within ten feet of Beyoncé, but I find only a few of her songs listenable. And Mary J. Blige? Not even on my radar.

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Song of the Day #611: ‘Hard Times (Live)’ – Mary J. Blige

My wife is a big Mary J. Blige fan but I’ve never really given her much thought (Blige, that is, not my wife). She strikes me as a run-of-the-mill R&B singer… and I readily admit that impression is based on my complete ignorance of her body of work.

But Blige really stood out for me at the Hope For Haiti Now telethon, performing the 19th century Stephen Foster classic ‘Hard Times’ (also known as ‘Hard Times Come Again No More’). This was no doubt the oldest song performed on a night when most artists reached into their own catalogs and Blige’s soulful rendition imbued it with the depth it has earned over a century and a half of sorrows.

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