♫ It’s Too Late ♫

It was almost a year ago that I played the flip-side of this one, I Feel The Earth Move.  Carole King wrote this with Toni Stern, a free-spirited painter and lyricist from Los Angeles who complemented King very well. Said Stern:

“I’m sure there was a California quality in me that appealed to Carole. She was moving from a familial, middle class lifestyle to Laurel Canyon, where she started to let her hair down, literally and figuratively. We worked off our contrasts.”

This song was rumored to be about James Taylor, who was good friends with King and played on the Tapestry. In early 1971, Taylor and King toured together with King the opening act. Many people tended to think that this song was about a short romance between the two. King never confirmed these rumors, and Taylor later dated and married Carly Simon.

Toni Stern, however, did have a relationship with Taylor and wrote the lyrics after they broke up and he moved on to Joni Mitchell, but she won’t confirm it’s about the troubadour. “I won’t say who ‘It’s Too Late’ is about.  I don’t kiss and tell.”

Some people saw a political message in this song, as the idealism of the ’60s had faded and the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy in 1968 had left a young generation jaded, believing that “It’s too late” to change things.

It’s Too Late
Carole King

Stayed in bed all mornin’ just to pass the time
There’s somethin’ wrong here, there can be no denyin’
One of us is changin’, or maybe we’ve just stopped tryin’

And it’s too late, baby now, it’s too late
Though we really did try to make it
Somethin’ inside has died, and I can’t hide
And I just can’t fake it, oh, no, no

It used to be so easy, livin’ here with you
You were light and breezy, an’ I knew just what to do
Now you look so unhappy, and I feel like a fool

And it’s too late, baby now, it’s too late
Though we really did try to make it
Somethin’ inside has died, and I can’t hide
And I just can’t fake it, oh, no, no

There’ll be good times again for me and you
But we just can’t stay together, don’t you feel it, too?
Still I’m glad for what we had and how I once loved you

But it’s too late, baby now, it’s too late
Though we really did try to make it (we can’t make it)
Somethin’ inside has died, and I can’t hide
And I just can’t fake it, oh, no, no, no, no, no

It’s too late, baby, it’s too late now, darling
It’s too late

Songwriters: Carole King / Toni Stern
It’s Too Late lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

35 thoughts on “♫ It’s Too Late ♫

  1. For me this song is about accepting that love can die, and knowing when it is time to move on. Keep the memories, they were real at the time, but realize that love cannot live in the past.

    Liked by 3 people

    • True … people grow as they age … sometimes they grow in the same direction, sometimes now. When their paths are much different, they drift apart. Still a nice song, though, yes? How’s your hand?

      Like

      • Hand is improving, thanks for asking. Still hurts to type, though.
        When the song first came out, with all the hype around a Carole King/James Taylor broken romance, I paid it no attention. I was not a James Taylor fan, and Carole King was a bubblegum songwriter in my uneducated opinion.
        But when I listened to the song after reading your post, I heard it with different ears, like it was the first time. It wasn’t bubblegum after all, and apparently it was about Toni Stern’s relationship with Taylor. Maybe.
        Seems a lot of women were put off with Taylor after relationships with him ended. I wonder why?

        Liked by 1 person

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