Sunday, 16 November 2014

A song for you. . .

This is my 200th music blog post and to celebrate, I thought that I would select one of my favourite songs by one of my favourite all-time groups.  Today's blog post focuses on brother/sister duo of The Carpenters (Richard and Karen) and the title track of their fourth album A Song for You.  Everyone knows the tragic story of Karen's battle with anorexia nervosa.  Other artists have covered this classic ballad - and the most notable favourite for me would be Donny Hathaway.  

The Carpenters enjoyed critical acclaim and success during their heyday.  This track was written by Leon Russell.  Richard wrote most of their early hits, while Karen was able to be drawn out from behind her drum kit to sing at the front of the stage where she belonged.  A voice that was honey, silky smooth, the sound that I imagine to be the seasonal soundtrack that transitions Spring into Summer.

I've been so many places in my life and time
I've sung a lot of songs and made some bad rhyme
I've acted out my love in stages
With ten thousand people watching
But we're alone now and I'm singing this song for you

I'm pretty sure you can remember the many places you've been - where you've actively sought out to be there, you've been lead there by others or happened upon there purely by chance - or maybe it's the universe's grand design.  For whatever reason - there have been a lot of songs that have been associated with those places that reflect and represent those stages of love that you learned how to love in - or fall out of love to - even those places where you might have sung songs to someone special, to that significant audience of one.  This for me is always more nerve-wracking for me than singing in front of a hall full of people - that singular person who is the only audience.  It almost feels like there's nobody to hide in front of that person when you perform solo and alone - exposing yourself in your purest sense - with your voice, emotions and an accompanying instrument (if you can play one, to provide extra cover to hide behind!).

I know your image of me is what I hope to be
I've treated you unkindly but darlin' can't you see
There's no one more important to me
Darlin' can't you please see through me
Cause we're alone now and I'm singing this song for you

The ups and downs of a platonic friendship or a relationship is dependent on how you treat each other - so if you do mistreat that person, they can either come back for more because they refuse to give up on you or they will back to smack your head against the wall and tell you they won't stand to be treated in that way.  Would you expect someone to see through you?  That they know you so well that they can see right through you, can see inside the very depths of you that nobody else is willing to peel or dig beneath.  That other person always thinks the best of you - can see you true potential and the best in you, even when you refuse to see it for yourself.  If that person is important to you - treat them better.  There will come a time when you need them the most, but because you've established a pattern of pushing them away or not appreciating what they do for you - they might not necessarily be there.

You taught me precious secrets of the truth withholding nothing
You came out in front and I was hiding
But now I'm so much better and if my words don't come together
Listen to the melody cause my love is in there hiding

There have been rare times in public when I have been unable to speak or not trusted myself to speak because I knew I couldn't hold myself together.  One of those times was at my late husband's burial service.  I couldn't say anything so I relied on the melodies that I sang whilst playing the guitar and the melodies that I played on the piano.  I couldn't trust my voice to convey the love that I felt for him so I used songs to convey this more confidently, in a performance that I knew would make him proud, to play tribute to him without stopping, without stumbling through but ensuring that I could stop only when the songs were over, and not because I couldn't go on.

I love you in a place where there's no space or time
I love you for in my life you are a friend of mine
And when my life is over, remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singing this song for you

There will be moments in your life where you have loved many and loved hard.
There will be special moments that you shared with each of these people that will be frozen in time and that you should hold dear.  I hope that you will continue to hold these memories of loved ones in a place where space and time cannot age them, cannot mar them, cannot diminish their impact in your life.  I hope you remember the times I sang to you and know that for those brief moments of time we were alone and I was singing this song for you. . .