♫ You’ve Got A Friend ♫

This song was written by Carole King during the January 1971 recording sessions for her album Tapestry. According to King …

“The song was as close to pure inspiration as I’ve ever experienced. The song wrote itself. It was written by something outside myself, through me.”

She also said that the inspiration for the song was a line from Taylor’s song, Fire and Rain … “I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend.” When the song was released in 1971, James Taylor was only 23 years old, and the song would go on to be his only #1 U.S. hit.  But now for the really interesting history …

James Taylor sang this after the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo murders in France at a rally in Paris, which Secretary of State John Kerry attended. He explained to Billboard magazine how that performance came about:

“At the time of the attacks, my wife and I were in Switzerland, taking vacation time before I went to Paris to do press for a tour of Europe. John and Teresa Kerry are, I would say, our good friends. Kim was texting him after the attacks and said, ‘John, I think you need to go to Paris.’ They were having a solidarity march two days after the attack. But John had to be in Peshawar, for a secret meeting. He said, ‘I’ll be there as soon as I can.’

When he came to Paris, we had dinner and he said, “I’m giving a speech with the mayor tomorrow. James, will you sing ‘You’ve Got a Friend’?” It was done at the drop of a hat. When I stood up to sing, my guitar wasn’t working. So the mayor [Anne Hidalgo] came over and held her mic in front of my guitar.”

You’ve Got a Friend
James Taylor

When you’re down and troubled
And you need a helping hand
And nothing, nothing is going right
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running, oh yeah baby, to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you’ve got to do is call
And I’ll be there, ye, ye, ye
You’ve got a friend

If the sky above you
Should turn dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind should begin to blow
Keep you head together
And call my name out loud now
Soon you’ll hear me knocking at you door

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running, oh yes I will, to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall, ye
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there, ye, ye, yeah

Ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend
When people can be so cold
They’ll hurt you, and desert you
And take your soul if you let them, oh yeah, don’t you let ’em now

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running to see you again, oh baby, don’t you know
Winter, spring, summer or fall
Hey now, all you have to do is call
And I’ll be there, yes I will
You’ve got a friend
You’ve got a friend, yeah

Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend
Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend

Oh, ye yeah, you’ve got a friend

Songwriters: Carole King
You’ve Got a Friend lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

23 thoughts on “♫ You’ve Got A Friend ♫

  1. I was so exasperated with myself and the commenting debacle yesterday, that I entirely missed today’s music post of yesterday…that I am enjoying tonight, instead of then. I don’t know why, but this song always reminds me of my youngest daughter and her Christmas list for Santa. We had spent time in the store’s toy department prior to the long awaited visit, looking at the dolls and accessories. She had wanted the Fisher-Price “My Friend Mandy” for months, but also became smitten with the other friends “Mikey, Becky and Jenny” too. When this 5 year old, green-eyed sweetheart sat on Santa’s lap and he asked her what she wanted him to bring, she said : “My Friend Mandy, Mikey, Becky and Jenny”. Santa looked at my surprised face and said to her that this was a lot of dolls for one little girl. She looked at Santa and said : “Santa, you can never have too many friends!” She was handed a candy cane and sent back to me. I cashed some Savings Bonds at a loss, but she had 4 new friends on Christmas morning! She was right, one can never have too many friends. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Uh-oh … you do realize that it’s sure to happen sooner or later, right? Oh, I dread the day! I’ve disappointed Ellen a few times, but I think not too often. We all grew up in the same time, so it makes sense that we mostly like the same music! Glad you like James Taylor … he’s among my faves!


  2. Jill, Carol King wrote a terrific song, which Taylor sings well. I love the Paris story as well.

    On a personal note, my wife sang this song at her High School pageant. She says she was way too close to the microphone, so it was not her best performance. She did win Miss Congeniality, though, as she cracked a joke. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I loved that Paris story. I remember the Charlie Hebdo shooting and how tragic it was, how deflated I felt that such a thing could happen here in the 21st century.

      I didn’t know your wife sings! And she has a sense of humour too! You have a keeper there!


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