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Q: I recently saw a video clip of Snoop Dogg lip syncing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” and I suddenly realized that I haven’t heard anything by Steve Perry in years. What has he been up to recently?

A: Between 1981 and 1987, few bands had as many hits as Journey. Stephen Ray Perry’s golden throat catapulted the band to superstardom, making them one the era’s most successful stadium rock bands. However, in 1987, Perry had burned out and he left the band to help care for his dying mother. In 1996, the band reunited to record “Trial by Fire,” but a degenerative hip condition forced Perry to leave the band again just before they were to go on tour. During the intervening years, Perry has largely kept to himself. Late last year, however, it was reported that Perry had spent much of 2015 in the studio recording what may be his first solo album in 20 years. No release date has been announced, so stay tuned.

Q: I understand that the Beatles song “Golden Slumbers” is based on a poem. Can you tell me the name of the poem?

A: “Golden Slumbers,” the first song in the suite of songs that end the Abbey Road album, is based on a poem called “Golden Slumbers Kiss Your Eyes” by Thomas Dekker. The poem by Dekker, who died in 1632, was included in a children’s book that belonged to McCartney’s sister Ruth. The poem starts with the lines “Golden slumbers kiss your eyes, Smiles awake you when you rise, Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry, And I will sing a lullaby.” These lines differ slightly from the song’s lyrics of “Golden slumbers fill your eyes, Smiles awake you when you rise, Sleep pretty darling do not cry, And I will sing a lullaby.” Recorded in July 1969, “Golden Slumbers” was one of the last songs recorded by the Beatles.

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Q: Can you tell me the words in a line from the song “One Thing Leads to Another” by the Fixx? It’s the line after the word “communicate.”

A: The Fixx, a London-based band, was one of a few British bands that had more success in the U.S. than at home. “One Thing Leads to Another” peaked at No. 4 in the U.S. in 1983 and was the first of five Top 40 hits for the band. The words that are hard to understand are “pull out your party piece.” Now that you know the words, your next question is probably “What does that mean?” The phrase refers to a special talent that someone may have that they put on display at a party. For example, your “party piece” may be singing, dancing, playing the piano, or reciting lines from a movie. 

What’s the name of that song? Where are they now? What does that lyric mean? Send your questions about songs, albums, and the musicians who make them to MusicOnTheRecord@gmail.com. Bradford Brady and John Maron are freelance music writers based in Raleigh, N.C.

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