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Tracy Chapman — Mountain O' Things
Album: Tracy Chapman
Avg rating:
6.8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1710









Released: 1988
Length: 4:35
Plays (last 30 days): 1
The life I've always wanted
I guess I'll never have
I'll be working for somebody else
Until I'm in my grave
I'll be dreaming of a live of ease
And mountains
Oh mountains o' things


To have a big expensive car
Drag my furs on the ground
And have a maid that I can tell
To bring me anything
Everyone will look at me with envy and with greed
I'll revel in their attention
And mountains
Oh mountains o' things


Sweet lazy life
Champagne and caviar
I hope you'll come and find me
Cause you know who we are
Those who deserve the best in life
And know what money's worth
And those whose sole misfortune
Was having mountains o' nothing at birth


Oh they tell me
There's still time to save my soul
They tell me
Renounce all
Renounce all those material things you gained by
Exploiting other human beings


Consume more than you need
This is the dream
Make you pauper
Or make you queen
I won't die lonely
I'll have it all prearranged
A grave that's deep and wide enough
For me and all my mountains o' things


Mostly I feel lonely
Good good people are
Good people are only
My stepping stones
It's gonna take all my mountains o' things
To surround me
Keep all my enemies away
Keep my sadness and loneliness at bay

The life I've always wanted
I guess I'll never have
I'll be working for somebody else
Until I'm in my grave
I'll be dreaming of a live of ease
And mountains
Oh mountains o' things

I'll be dreaming, dreaming...
Dreaming...
Comments (254)add comment
 MJMJ wrote:
Wa wa wa, life's unfair!
 

I think there is no way someone could misunderstand that song any more than this comment.
 Webfoot wrote:

This is more about the listener than the artist. With musicians I don't care for (Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews), their music tends to sound the same to me. Yet, I know it's not and plenty of their fans will vouch for this. So, without any scientific proof, I think it must be the listener. 
So true.  Though I know, alternatively always think it's the same  song she's doing. 

Not a fan but enjoyed this one. Logged in to say so. Thank you RP
an amateur, always
 dragon1952 wrote:

Great...so think up a new melody for each story then. Seriously, she uses the same freakin' tune and just adds in a different 'story'.

 
This is more about the listener than the artist. With musicians I don't care for (Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews), their music tends to sound the same to me. Yet, I know it's not and plenty of their fans will vouch for this. So, without any scientific proof, I think it must be the listener. 
Sweetness and light.
 dragon1952 wrote:

Great...so think up a new melody for each story then. Seriously, she uses the same freakin' tune and just adds in a different 'story'.

 
MANY composers do the same, they have a style and they often make some new songs that look like the first album.
{#Drunk}
Wa wa wa, life's unfair!
 Jim_E wrote:

She's a storyteller and this is her sound.
 
Great...so think up a new melody for each story then. Seriously, she uses the same freakin' tune and just adds in a different 'story'.
 FrankRizzo wrote:

Loopholes aren't just for the rich, the poor have many loopholes too. In fact in the U.S., I'd wager the poor often get back more than what they paid in. Also, please define "fair share". I frequently hear the mantra, but it's ambiguous. Define what you want taken from someone else.

 
A percentage that is commensurate with the much greater incomes they have from many sources. That's called an increased ability to pay.
Back on kibbutz in 1988 this cassette was played a lot. Since then, not so much.

"They tell me there's still time to save my soul." So that's nice.
Just a note - the correct song title seems to be "Mountains O' Things".
 FrankRizzo wrote:

Loopholes aren't just for the rich, the poor have many loopholes too. In fact in the U.S., I'd wager the poor often get back more than what they paid in. Also, please define "fair share". I frequently hear the mantra, but it's ambiguous. Define what you want taken from someone else.

 
Someone else. Oh yeah Citizens United freed corporations to be treated as average folks like the rest of us. Nothing ambiguous about that.
 LowPhreak wrote:


While we're at it, let's see the well-off and corporations pay their fair share of taxes, which they don't do now with loopholes that average/median incomes don't have, let alone lower income brackets.

Let's also have those same higher incomes (over $118,500. annually) pay FICA/Social Security taxes, which they don't do now.

 
Loopholes aren't just for the rich, the poor have many loopholes too. In fact in the U.S., I'd wager the poor often get back more than what they paid in. Also, please define "fair share". I frequently hear the mantra, but it's ambiguous. Define what you want taken from someone else.
 LowPhreak wrote:
Let's also have those same higher incomes (over $118,500. annually) pay FICA/Social Security taxes, which they don't do now.

 
This isn't correct. Folks pay FICA no matter how much they earn - up to the point where their salary hits the cap and then they stop.

A quick Google search says:

For 2014, the employee's share of the Social Security portion of the FICA tax is 6.2% of gross compensation up to a limit of $117,000 of gross compensation (resulting in a maximum Social Security tax of $7,254).
love Tracy (imagine Bernie Sanders doing a version of this ; )
 LowPhreak wrote:


While we're at it, let's see the well-off and corporations pay their fair share of taxes, which they don't do now with loopholes that average/median incomes don't have, let alone lower income brackets.

Let's also have those same higher incomes (over $118,500. annually) pay FICA/Social Security taxes, which they don't do now.

  With you brother..


 Jim_E wrote:

She's a storyteller and this is her sound.
 
Well said
AlwAys love me some TC
dont know why
just do! 
 Steely_D wrote:

Point proved.

 

While we're at it, let's see the well-off and corporations pay their fair share of taxes, which they don't do now with loopholes that average/median incomes don't have, let alone lower income brackets.

Let's also have those same higher incomes (over $118,500. annually) pay FICA/Social Security taxes, which they don't do now.
 LowPhreak wrote:
There will always be the self-entitled few, or their sycophants and acolytes, who will try to defend that which is indefensible. 

 
Point proved.
 scrubbrush wrote:
This one always brings me fond memories of my High school / college girlfriend. 

 
She's a storyteller and this is her sound.
 dragon1952 wrote:
All her songs sound alike to me. Boring and monotonous.

 

This one always brings me fond memories of my High school / college girlfriend. 
All her songs sound alike to me. Boring and monotonous.
 Steely_D wrote:
1) "Good good people are 
Good people are only 
My stepping stones"

2) "Poor people gonna rise up and take what's theirs."

She's no different in #2 (Talkin Bout a Revolution) than the greedy people she mocks in #1 (this song). 
The difference is that it's her greedy perspective and not someone else's.
That makes it OK for her to feel that it's her right to take things from others - while simultaneously showing disdain for people who have gotten things that she doesn't have.

 

 
Wrong on at least 2 counts: this is not only TC's perspective, but a whole lot of others in the US and indeed around the world. Just ask around if you don't think so.

The second is that most working people have earned what should be rightfully theirs - what you think is someone else's - a large part of which has been kept from or taken from them in several different ways.

There will always be the self-entitled few, or their sycophants and acolytes, who will try to defend that which is indefensible.


1) "Good good people are 
Good people are only 
My stepping stones"

2) "Poor people gonna rise up and take what's theirs."

She's no different in #2 (Talkin Bout a Revolution) than the greedy people she mocks in #1 (this song). 
The difference is that it's her greedy perspective and not someone else's.
That makes it OK for her to feel that it's her right to take things from others - while simultaneously showing disdain for people who have gotten things that she doesn't have.

 
Nice to finally hear the original. I got turned on to this song by the version performed by the Duhks.
Damn Fine Musician!!!     TC music not only gets my booty shaking, the clarity of her songs put a smile on my face
 Jelani wrote:
Have I? If you care to, I can stand to be enlightened...
 
Highlowsel sums it up pretty well below (in his comment from September 21, 2013).
 oldsaxon wrote:

I think you're missing the point.

  Have I? If you care to, I can stand to be enlightened...


{#Clap}
Bill...did you get a "deal" on purchasing a Tracy Chapman package? You play her too much. Just sayin'...
Great song.  Love TC.  
Gag me!
This is total crapola
"Consume more than you need.
 This is the dream."

Indeed.  This is the stinging nature of Ms Chapman's song.  In a way it's a commentary on gluttony.  And this is the distilled essence of the American/Consumeristic society and dream.  Some would call it a nightmare.  And some, like the late (great) George Carlin, would say that of course it's a dream, because you've got to be asleep to believe it. 

So it goes.

Highlow
American Net'Zen
Tracy has never pandered to anyone.
 Jelani wrote:
Poor misguided girl.

 
I think you're missing the point.
 govna wrote:

sounds like a rich guy being defensive of rich culture.

 
Things are seldom what they seem.
 Geecheeboy wrote:
Champagne and caviar? "Rich" people actually eat very little of that stuff.  That's her naive equivalent of "I'll bet there's rich folks eating in a fancy dining car, They're probably drinkin' coffee, And smokin' big cigars..."  In fact this song is alot like that one in retrospect.

 
sounds like a rich guy being defensive of rich culture.

She had a couple of so so songs. Not much else there.


Champagne and caviar? "Rich" people actually eat very little of that stuff.  That's her naive equivalent of "I'll bet there's rich folks eating in a fancy dining car, They're probably drinkin' coffee, And smokin' big cigars..."  In fact this song is alot like that one in retrospect.
love her
Poor misguided girl.
 jagdriver wrote:
Aargh!
 Yeah. Double Arrgh!



10. Forever.
Love Tracy......8...way back...
The "other" song of hers I can get through...
Never tire of hearing this.  Awesome.{#Heartkiss}
I don't get this.  Over rated and not appreciated.
 psychicparrot wrote:
I could never get enough of stomach Tracy Chapman's voice. Just fancraptastic!
 
FYT
Tracy got the big picture of life...

 
gefällt mir gut   und Sie hat viel zu sagen. . . yah man
'Meh'  I like a lot of TC's stuff... no doubt talented. But this one's mediocre. Hey! Who asked me?
'At This Point In My Life' is my favorite song by this great artist
 sirdroseph wrote:
Love the percussion!{#Drummer}
 
Yea man!  {#High-five}
 biofotis wrote:
{#Puke}
 
Not sure what made you nauseous, certainly couldn't have been this song...so please be careful what you eat for lunch in the future.  :)

I could never get enough of Tracy Chapman's voice. Just fantastic!
Oh, geez - I wish you hadn't steered me to her website. Now I'm NEVER gonna get any writing done!!!  (What a cool website, though...) {#Cheers}
Love, love, love it. :o)


  This woman has always had something to say.  She deserves at least a 7.  Just sayin'....
{#Puke}
Hate her voice, sounds like she's about to fling herself off a bridge.
Her website is superb though.

Tracy Chapman has the coolest website ever! Color our world! Indeed! Enjoy coloring it!


meh
Love the percussion!{#Drummer}
Aargh!
This is so nicely textured. I normally don't love congas and such...but this is really well done with nice keyboard filler. It's well done and good backing for a strong voice talent of TC. 
I was at a Ben Harper show years ago, watching the hideous Virgin records execs and their wives get photographed next to him (cringeworthy), then noticed this woman sitting by herself. I thought "What a Tracy Chapman wannabe!" until I figured out it really was Tracy Chapman.  She remained so part of the background I don't think many people sussed her out. And after watching those records execs fawning over Harper, I can see why she'd want to do that. 
I can appreciate her songwriting talent, but I just got so tired of the overexposure back in the day. Too much sameness. It's like, if you've heard one TC song, you've heard them all.

 jagdriver wrote:
 
I second that sentiment....

I bought this CD when it was released and I still thoroughly enjoy it from time-to-time.  Thanks for playing this song. Apropos.
 helgigermany wrote:

To believe that this world can change, is a little naive, i guess. No one can stop this now!
 
Used to think so to for a while. But later realized that the only think I might regret on my deathbed was giving up, or worse, not even trying.
You can't be held accountable for the things you can not affect, but you are responsible for everything you can.
I know the odds against shit turning good is enormous, but I no longer care. If I don't even try I might as well just go ahead and die. But If I later will leave a world worse then this, I will still leave with a smile - for I gave all I could.

You can't pull the whole weight yourself, but you can pull your own.
Forget any judging god, the only one you have to answer to is the reflection in your own mirror.

Hope you some day will join us. And If you will, you just proved my point.
People and things can change.
 Stefen wrote:
She's so good.  A black, female John Lennon.  Oh, and by the way, lyrics do matter.
 
She is amazing!
I saw her in concert in the 90's at the Joint in the Hard Hard Casino in Las Vegas & it was one of the all-time best sounding shows I've ever been to, (& I have been fortunate enough to have been to many concerts in my day.) I attribute that great sound to Tracy's excellent catalog of music, her amazing band AND the excellent sound system at the Joint ~ a Trifecta, if you will. Before the show someone handed out note cards to everyone standing in line, saying, "If you have any questions or comments for Tracy, write them here." Well, at the halfway mark of the show, she stopped & went through a lot of the note cards, reading & answering them! Kind of cool, I thought.

 moonsaura wrote:
amazing voice, great lyrics. love to hear more of her. thank you bill!
 
{#Yell} Most excellent.

 Oscar_the_Grouch wrote:
Politically commentary in music is basically preaching to the choir and is best left out since the singer isn't gonna change anyone's opinion anyway, ever.

That said I like her poetry and music even if the political garbage is best left in the dumpster, where it belongs. I'll add it to my collections. "Man is a political animal" - Aristotle ... good thing us Grouch's are apolitical.
 

Yeah...you're right, the world will never change...Women won't ever vote, Slavery will always be legal in the United States, and of course and even if they do get emancipated, they won't ever vote..and goodness sakes a black person will never ever be elected to any office....
amazing voice, great lyrics. love to hear more of her. thank you bill!
can't stand her Kermit voice...
 fluffybum wrote:
oh god!! get my bucket.
  lamest comment award recipient.


 musikalia wrote:
While her point may be noble, the way she expresses it is just trite.
  Huh?  I respectfully disagree.  To my ears, she's just awesome!


Are you for real?! musikalia wrote:
While her point may be noble, the way she expresses it is just trite.
 


O.K. - now my day is absolutely PERFECT!  Thanks for following Bob Marley with this one!
{#Notworthy}
Oh, Tracy.... you're way soooooo cool.....
Like the voice, like the music - a good 6
Totally hate the lyrics - 0
Loooooooooooooooooooooooooooove this. {#Cheesygrin}

While her point may be noble, the way she expresses it is just trite.

This song is from "New Beginnings" which is every bit as good as her first. I still play it often.



Entire album excellent. Previously liked. Pretty Good.
 lattalo wrote:

Coward, at least she has the balls to say the truth.  And if enough people hear the truth, the world can change.
Forever.
 
To believe that this world can change, is a little naive, i guess. No one can stop this now!


 Oscar_the_Grouch wrote:
Politically commentary in music is basically preaching to the choir and is best left out since the singer isn't gonna change anyone's opinion anyway, ever.

That said I like her poetry and music even if the political garbage is best left in the dumpster, where it belongs. I'll add it to my collections. "Man is a political animal" - Aristotle ... good thing us Grouch's are apolitical.
 
Coward, at least she has the balls to say the truth.  And if enough people hear the truth, the world can change.
Forever.


She's so good.  A black, female John Lennon.  Oh, and by the way, lyrics do matter.
A beautiful poem!
Apropriates to the last song! Very nice rotation!
 Oscar_the_Grouch wrote:
Politically commentary in music is basically preaching to the choir and is best left out since the singer isn't gonna change anyone's opinion anyway, ever.

That said I like her poetry and music even if the political garbage is best left in the dumpster, where it belongs. I'll add it to my collections. "Man is a political animal" - Aristotle ... good thing us Grouch's are apolitical.
  Missed a lot of good preachers in the 60's that did in fact change lots of people's opinions. This calibre of artists still exist. Come out  of the can and smell the roses.


 greyfin10 wrote:


But... that's just the way I hear it.  I'm biased since I've always felt Tracy was some sort of minor saint... not sure why, but there's something pure to me in her songs.
 
Verily!
 reindeer wrote:

  Your view seems to be that no one should speak out against injustice in any media.  Unequal wealth and opportunity is an injustice, and this song hits it right on the head very succinctly, regardless of whether you think it worth hearing or not.  Thankfully it's not up to you.  I would argue for freedom of expression.
Thank you Bill and Rebecca for playing this song.  It's still relevant.
 

+1.

Great tune, guys. :)  I've liked it since it first came out.  

 Oscar_the_Grouch wrote:
Politically commentary in music is basically preaching to the choir and is best left out since the singer isn't gonna change anyone's opinion anyway, ever.

That said I like her poetry and music even if the political garbage is best left in the dumpster, where it belongs. I'll add it to my collections. "Man is a political animal" - Aristotle ... good thing us Grouch's are apolitical.
 
One could argue that your point of view is not apolitical, but rather anti-political, or rather anti-expression of views that are not popular or have a political message, such as inequality.  You seem to have very strong opinions against anyone espousing a change in how society does it's business, calling protest "garbage".  No one is without politics, even you.  Your political view is that everyone who wants change or is dissatisfied or outraged should just shut up and be silenced by your need to not hear them..  That's arguing for censorship of a very political kind, and a view that I will never subscribe to.  Your view seems to be that no one should speak out against injustice in any media.  Unequal wealth and opportunity is an injustice, and this song hits it right on the head very succinctly, regardless of whether you think it worth hearing or not.  Thankfully it's not up to you.  I would argue for freedom of expression.
Thank you Bill and Rebecca for playing this song.  It's still relevant.

sounds like Bill was inspired by the times ... playing Bob Marley's redemption song followed by this song by this Tracy Chapman track full of the themes of life ... do you have a song called "Greed" by the AIG Bailout Band queued to follow this track ;)  ?
While I agree I have a limit to my patience with certain types of political demagoguery in music, I don't see this song as being that way.  I have had this conversation with myself before... both in terms of "Who do I want to be" and in terms of "how do I feel about this decision or that one".  Money and one's attitude to it is a very personal thing and dictates alot about who you become (or don't become) in the world.  And in fact, she's saying "they tell me" when referring to the socialist ideals... so while I'd agree she's siding on the side of personal value NOT being related to your wealth, I always got the feeling it was something she was telling herself... not that she was preaching per se.

But... that's just the way I hear it.  I'm biased since I've always felt Tracy was some sort of minor saint... not sure why, but there's something pure to me in her songs.
Politically commentary in music is basically preaching to the choir and is best left out since the singer isn't gonna change anyone's opinion anyway, ever.

That said I like her poetry and music even if the political garbage is best left in the dumpster, where it belongs. I'll add it to my collections. "Man is a political animal" - Aristotle ... good thing us Grouch's are apolitical.


 I can't seem to find it.. keller1 wrote:

She really has a great groove when she puts her mind to it.


 


I think that is is a bit amazing that playing a song by Tracy brings out so much political commentary.  I kinda thiink maybe that could be what she may have intended.  {#Notworthy}
oh god!! get my bucket.
 anotherlistener wrote:
Wow, much politicing, maybe too much but what the heck, here goes.  With the fall of the Soviet Union, we've seen the failure of totalitarian socialism.  In China we are seeing the rise of totalitarian capitalism.  Our own country (USA) represents both the good and bad of democratic capitalism.  Personally, I think the capitalist economic system has run rough shod over the very desirable democratic political system.  Perhaps we need to temper unrestrained capitalism with a touch of socialism.
 
USA is not a democratic capitalist nation, it is strictly a corporatist nation. A justice system run as a for-profit business with endless laws on the books to process the populous (not very democratic, or judicial for that matter). Both congress and the executive branch are held tightly in the deep pockets of lobbyists from major corporations. I doubt there's been a law passed in the last 20 years that wasn't laced with some random boon for a major corporation. The US does an abysmal job breaking up monopolies and keeping markets free. Just look at text-messaging prices, all 4 telecoms charge the exact same amount (went from 10¢ to 20¢ over the last 3 years), yet it costs the companies nothing compared to an actual phone call (voice data is analog, which takes up a lot of space, varying by the resolution it's stored; OTOH text messages are usually less than a kilobyte of data). When was the last time you heard a congressman trying to work to get text messages prices reduced? I hear they have 2.5¢ texts over in India.

 lowelltr wrote:
God, I absolutely HATE Tracy Chapman - a no talent hack.......
 
Thank God I don't work for your company, you being the director of HR.  Tracy Chapman is
a modern day poet, give it a try.  You have to be creative and intelligent.  You can't just blindly
follow rules and do very little original thinking, like being a director of HR.


 juliecb wrote:


I like the use of '!=' are you by chance a software developer?

Anyway...I agree. How can anyone say "no talent"? I could see if maybe she isn't your cup of tea...but no talent? I just don't get it.
 

Nope, not a software developer, but I hang around with a lot of them.
 anotherlistener wrote:
Wow, much politicing, maybe too much but what the heck, here goes.  With the fall of the Soviet Union, we've seen the failure of totalitarian socialism.  In China we are seeing the rise of totalitarian capitalism.  Our own country (USA) represents both the good and bad of democratic capitalism.  Personally, I think the capitalist economic system has run rough shod over the very desirable democratic political system.  Perhaps we need to temper unrestrained capitalism with a touch of socialism.
 

Word.
Excellent thematic segue from TC's Forgotten People!
 holborne wrote:


Hardly. "Music you don't like != "no talent." But thanks for playing, anyway!
 

I like the use of '!=' are you by chance a software developer?

Anyway...I agree. How can anyone say "no talent"? I could see if maybe she isn't your cup of tea...but no talent? I just don't get it.
 jagdriver wrote:

Ditto!

{#No}{#Crashcomp}{#No}{#Crashcomp}

 

Lack the ability to express yourself properly? The best you can come up with is Ditto? Lame!

lowelltr wrote:
God, I absolutely HATE Tracy Chapman - a no talent hack.......
 
You know, I get Tract Chapman, I really do, in the sense that I understand what, musically, made people (particularly hipsters who (i) wanted an alternative to grunge, and (ii) never caught on to Joan Armatrading) think that she's this sort of eclectic, rootsy fusion of blues and god-knows-what.  But having said that, I think her music is boring, uninventive, vexed by minor keys, and overrated.  I also tend to think that once you've made a killing at the music business, you've arguably lost the right to sing the blues, much less dirges about my lawdy, how we gon' get by now.  I think she needs to do a major-key collaboration with someone unexpected, like Elvis Costello.

(I hope that the thought police find this comment suitably expressive.)


 lowelltr wrote:
God, I absolutely HATE Tracy Chapman - a no talent hack.......
 
Ditto!

{#No}{#Crashcomp}{#No}{#Crashcomp}
{#No}{#Crashcomp}{#No}{#Crashcomp}
{#No}{#Crashcomp}{#No}{#Crashcomp}
{#No}{#Crashcomp}{#No}{#Crashcomp}
{#No}{#Crashcomp}{#No}{#Crashcomp}
{#No}{#Crashcomp}{#No}{#Crashcomp}
{#No}{#Crashcomp}{#No}{#Crashcomp}
{#No}{#Crashcomp}{#No}{#Crashcomp}
{#No}{#Crashcomp}{#No}{#Crashcomp}


 lowelltr wrote:
God, I absolutely HATE Tracy Chapman - a no talent hack.......
 

Hardly. "Music you don't like != "no talent." But thanks for playing, anyway!
God, I absolutely HATE Tracy Chapman - a no talent hack.......
Wow, much politicing, maybe too much but what the heck, here goes.  With the fall of the Soviet Union, we've seen the failure of totalitarian socialism.  In China we are seeing the rise of totalitarian capitalism.  Our own country (USA) represents both the good and bad of democratic capitalism.  Personally, I think the capitalist economic system has run rough shod over the very desirable democratic political system.  Perhaps we need to temper unrestrained capitalism with a touch of socialism.
 Atlantis wrote:

Well yes, but it requires people to be selfless and that isn't going to happen.       I repeat, the lesser of two evils (if it is so) does not make it a good thing or something we should settle for.  I find that the barracking of those who do not accept such a poor system and strive for change rather dismaying.
 

A system that "requires people to be selfless" is doomed to failure on at least two levels.

That's why we're stuck with capitalism, warts and all.

As the fallout from the Wall Street bailout begins to sink in, though, people are going to start to realize that unfettered capitalism is a recipe for catastrophe, too.