Staying Up Past Midnight

I fully intended to retire early last evening. But you know how plans go.

Even with the sleep aid that has become an essential portion of my life in the past few years, I struggled last night. I could not settle, and I remained awake – if not entirely alert – way past the midnight target I’d set for last night’s curtain.

I’ll sneak in an hour of sleep sometime early this afternoon, but the rest of the day has tasks that call me. The Texas Gal and I will host our second End of Summer picnic Sunday and the house is not yet entirely in order. And Odd and Pop, the two little imaginary tuneheads who advise me about musical taste, do no dusting. So it’s up to me to get things done.

Here, then, are a few songs with “midnight” in their titles:

The 1978 film Midnight Express detailed the ordeal of an American sentenced to prison after being caught trying to smuggle hashish out of Turkey. Its soundtrack came from Giorgio Moroder, and the opener, “Chase,” went to No. 33, providing Moroder with the only Top 40 hit of his career. I much prefer the soundtrack’s second version of “Theme from Midnight Express” with vocals from Chris Bennett:

When I was checking the next “midnight” tune, I was surprised to learn that I’ve not even mentioned the duo of Ferrante & Teicher since the time this blog moved to its own space in January of last year. (Not that the easy listening duo had a major presence in the blog’s earlier locations; I’ve posted the archives through October 2008, and up to that point, I’d written about Ferrante & Teicher once.) I honestly thought the duo would have showed up her more frequently, given my occasional predilection for mid-1960s easy listening. Anyway, here’s their take on the theme from the 1969  film Midnight Cowboy, which went to No. 10 in January 1970:

From that mellowness, we head into rougher territory: In 1998, Buddy Guy invited Jonny Lang into the studio to join him on a duet on “Midnight Train” with results that were satisfying and wound up on Guy’s album Heavy Love:

I spent my post-midnight hour early this morning catching up on Sport Illustrated, and as I did, I found a remarkable piece about young Lyndon Baty, a sports fan from Texas who has a robot go to school for him. This morning, our fourth tune finds Delbert McClinton, still one of my favorites, singing about how he and his pals spend their post-midnight hour: at “midnight communion down on Second Avenue.” The tune is unsurprisingly titled “Midnight Communion” and comes from McClinton’s 2005 CD Cost of Living, which the reviewer at All-Music Guide liked very much.

And we’ll close it there. I’ll be back Saturday.

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