♫ I Am … I Said ♫

Okay, folks … Christmas is over and it’s time to return to the routine, the norm.  What better way than listening to a bit of Neil Diamond?

This song was both written and recorded by Neil Diamond and released in 1971, reaching #4 in both the U.S. and UK, and #2 in Canada.  According to Diamond, this song took 4 months to write …

“It was consciously an attempt on my part to express what my dreams were about, what my aspirations were about and what I was about. And without any question, it came from my sessions with the analyst.”

Turns out, Neil had tried out to play rebel comedian Lenny Bruce in a film.  The rejection evoked such intense emotions that it led him to spend some time in therapy.  Feeling that he had failed, Neil was thrown into something of an existential funk and started the song. It would take months for him to finish the song, but in the end it would become a classic.

According to Diamond …

“It was consciously an attempt on my part to express what my dreams were about, what my aspirations were about and what I was about. And without any question, it came from my sessions with the analyst.”

I Am…I Said
Neil Diamond

L.A.’s fine, the sun shines most the time
And the feeling is “lay back”
Palm trees grow and rents are low
But you know I keep thinkin’ about
Making my way back

Well I’m New York City born and raised
But nowadays
I’m lost between two shores
L.A.’s fine, but it ain’t home
New York’s home
But it ain’t mine no more

“I am”… I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair

“I am”… I cried
“I am”… said I
And I am lost and I can’t
Even say why
Leavin’ me lonely still

Did you ever read about a frog
Who dreamed of bein’ a king
And then became one
Well except for the names
And a few other changes
If you talk about me
The story is the same one

But I got an emptiness deep inside
And I’ve tried
But it won’t let me go
And I’m not a man who likes to swear
But I never cared
For the sound of being alone

“I am”… I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair
“I am”… I cried
“I am”… said I
And I am lost and I can’t
Even say why
“I am”… I said
“I am”… I cried
“I am”

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Neil Diamond
I Am…I Said lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

20 thoughts on “♫ I Am … I Said ♫

  1. Thanks Jill. It is good to know the context for this great song. I can’t see Diamond playing Lenny Bruce. It may be good he did not get the part, in retrospect.

    I read this week, Doris Day turned down the part of Mrs. Robinson in the graduate. I am glad, as I cannot see Mrs. Robinson singing Kay-si-rah….Keith

    Liked by 2 people

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