♫ The Windmills Of Your Mind ♫

Tonight, for some reason, last night’s song, Eye in the Sky, is still trolling through the grassy areas inside my head, and thus, as I am getting ready to go to bed, but yet wanting to post a song for the morning, I turn to my handy-dandy … list!  And first song on the list is this one, The Windmills of Your Mind.

This was featured in the 1968 Steve McQueen movie The Thomas Crown Affair. Director Norman Jewison wanted a song that sounded like The Beatles Strawberry Fields Forever for a scene where McQueen’s character is flying a glider.

Songwriters Michel Legrand and Marilyn and Alan Bergman wrote this.  Marilyn Bergman explains how the song was born …

“That was an assignment, for a picture called The Thomas Crown Affair. It was a picture about a very wealthy playboy who has been everywhere and done everything, and for a thrill, plans a very complicated bank heist. There was a scene in which he is flying a glider for pleasure while he’s planning the bank heist, and the director shot six- or seven-minutes of him circling in the glider — which is a dream for a songwriter: no dialogue, no sound effects, just a little shoosh of wind. Norman Jewison, the director, wanted a song that exposed no character, that didn’t tell any plot – he just wanted the restlessness and uneasiness of the character underlined. Michel wrote six or seven full melodies, and when we work with him, we write to his melodies, because even though he expresses himself perfectly in English, his French accent is such that things can come out sounding a little like calypso songs! He played us these wonderful melodies, and we agreed to sleep on it. The next morning all three of us had independently chosen this oddball melody, almost baroque in feel. It was the opposite of what we had thought we would have chosen the night before.”

Noel Harrison, son of famed actor Rex Harrison (My Fair Lady) did this song originally for the film, after Andy Williams passed on it.  The song received an Academy Award nomination in 1969.

And then along came Dusty …

That’s Dusty Springfield, who recorded her own version in 1969.  And then came José Feliciano, and the what seems like 100 others!  For tonight, however, I offer Harrison’s and Springfield’s versions only.  If you want the others … Google!

The Windmills of Your Mind
Noel Harrison and/or Dusty Springfield
Round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain, or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that’s turning running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind!
Like a tunnel that you follow to a tunnel of its own
Down a hollow to a cavern where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving in a half forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble someone tosses in a stream
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind!
Keys that jingle in your pocket, words that jangle in your head
Why did summer go so quickly, was it something that you said?
Lovers walking along a shore and leave their footprints in the sand
Is the sound of distant drumming just the fingers of your hand?
Pictures hanging in a hallway and the fragment of a song
Half remembered names and faces, but to whom do they belong?
When you knew that it was over you were suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning to the color of her hair!
Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel
As the images unwind, like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind!

Songwriters: Marilyn Bergman / Michel Legrand / Alan Bergman
The Windmills of Your Mind lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

11 thoughts on “♫ The Windmills Of Your Mind ♫

  1. Jill, these are such cleverly phrased lyrics. I agree with Rawgod, Dusty Springfield version let’s the words be less rushed and heard. But, she could sing the phonebook and make it sound great. The great Dionne Warwick once called Springfield’s voice heavenly. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very nice song, I really appreciate you sharing the classics! Sting’s version is pretty awesome, for the remake of Thomas Crown Affair. This song works so well with movies. Cheers! ❤

    Like

  3. Harrison’s version probably fulfilled Jewison’s requirements for the movie, but compared to Dusty’s arrangement, did nothing for the brilliance of the song. Dusty, or someone in her production, recognized what the song could be, and made that happen. (I can see why Andy turned it down.)

    Liked by 1 person

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