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Marcia Ball: A Witty Way With An Old Cliche

Marcia Ball infuses "Everybody's Looking for the Same   Thing" with Texas twang and a bluesy, rollicking piano style.
Courtesy of the artist
Marcia Ball infuses "Everybody's Looking for the Same Thing" with Texas twang and a bluesy, rollicking piano style.

"Everybody's looking for the same thing," Marcia Ball sings in her song of the same name. Any Tin Pan Alley songwriter would know what that thing is: "Huggin' and a-kissin'." But Ball takes the cliché and wittily has her way with it: "The rooster's out looking for a hen ... me and the Marines just want a few good men." She delivers the line in a salt-of-the-earth Texas twang and sets if off with a bluesy, rollicking piano style. The song, from Ball's new Roadside Attractions, should encourage America to create a Roots Music Hall of Fame and make Ball a charter member. Since her first recording in 1978 — and most likely since she began playing piano at age 5 — she's sung soulful, New Orleans-tinged music that's great fun to hear.

It's great dance music, too. "Everybody's Looking for the Same Thing" has a chunky, mid-tempo beat, suitable for those who like to two-step — or, as Ball says, "just sway back and forth." As for the playful words, she says she drew inspiration not from people but from her "dawgs," who are always digging in the yard and dreaming of a good meal and lots of love.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Marc Silver
Marc Silver, who edits NPR's global health blog, has been a reporter and editor for the Baltimore Jewish Times, U.S. News & World Report and National Geographic. He is the author of Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) During Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond and co-author, with his daughter, Maya Silver, of My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks: Real-Life Advice From Real-Life Teens. The NPR story he co-wrote with Rebecca Davis and Viola Kosome -- 'No Sex For Fish' — won a Sigma Delta Chi award for online reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists.