♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫

I’m doing something a bit different for tonight’s music post, because I came across a clip of James Taylor appearing on Stephen Colbert’s program (pre-pandemic days … late 2019 or early 2020 I believe) that I found both informative and funny as heck, so I’m sharing that instead of an actual song tonight!  If you still need a song, there is a list of a few of my previous posts by James Taylor at the end of this post!


♫ Anticipation ♫

A couple of nights ago, I played You’re So Vain by Carly Simon, and Clive commented that while he liked the song fine, his favourite by Ms. Simon is Anticipation.  And so tonight … this one’s for you, Clive!

In an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Carly said she wrote this song about Cat Stevens while she was waiting for him to pick her up for their first date. Simon was opening for Stevens at the Troubadour in Los Angeles; she invited him to come by her apartment for their date after the show, and he accepted. As time ticked by, Simon got peeved and vented her frustration by writing this song.

When Stevens did show up, it marked the beginning of a loving relationship Simon spoke of fondly many years later. She ended up marrying James Taylor in 1972.

This song was revived in a series of Heinz ketchup commercials in the late ’70s, including one starring a young Corey Feldman. Heinz ketchup is thick and pours very slowly. In the commercials, a person would be shown waiting for the ketchup to come out of the bottle as the chorus of Anticipation played in the background. For this reason, many people (myself included) think of this song as “The Ketchup Song.”

Anticipation is one of Simon’s biggest hits. It has been included on several compilations of her work, including The Best of Carly Simon (1975), Clouds in My Coffee (1995), The Very Best of Carly Simon: Nobody Does It Better (1999), Anthology (2002), and Reflections: Carly Simon’s Greatest Hits (2004).

Released in 1971, this song reached the #13 spot in the U.S. and #9 in Canada, but did not chart in the UK.

Anticipation
Carly Simon

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway
And I wonder if I’m really with you now
Or just chasin’ after some finer day

Anticipation, anticipation
Is makin’ me late
Is keepin’ me waitin’

And I tell you how easy it feels to be with you
And how right your arms feel around me
But I, I rehearsed those words just late last night
When I was thinkin’ about how right tonight might be

Anticipation, anticipation
Is makin’ me late
Is keepin’ me waitin’

And tomorrow we might not be together
I’m no prophet and I don’t know nature’s ways
So I’ll try and see into your eyes right now
And stay right here ’cause these are the good old days

And stay right here ’cause these are the good old days
(These are the good old days)
(These are the good old days)
(These are the good old days)
(These are the good old days)

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Carly Simon
Anticipation lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ You’re So Vain ♫

I last played this one in April 2019 and had a lot of fun with it back then.  So, tonight being one of those nights when there isn’t a song in my heart and I’m too tired to try to put one there, I’m replaying it! 


An old friend sent me a text message yesterday:

Got a song that you may want to delve in. “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon. A good investigating song. Try and figure out who the three men are that it’s about.

Well, me being me … half deaf and never paying much attention to music trivia until recently … I had no idea that the song was actually ‘about’ anybody, but his challenge piqued my curiosity.

The song, written by Carly Simon herself in 1971, was released the following year, and apparently each of the three verses is about a different ‘vain’ man.  In 2015, she admitted that one of the men was Warren Beatty, but other than that she has only given clues, such as that one of the men’s name contains ‘A’, ‘E’, and ‘R’.  She has also said it is not about Mick Jagger, who contributed uncredited backing vocals to the song, or her ex-husband James Taylor.  Wait … what???  I never knew that James Taylor was married to Carly Simon!  And here I thought James Taylor was saving himself for me!  Where have I been all my life?

In 2015, Simon published her memoir titled “Boys in the Trees”, but she gave away no answers to the puzzle there, either, and the book is largely about her often tumultuous relationship with Taylor.

In short, I don’t know the answer.  Howard Stern does, for she reportedly told him, but swore him to secrecy.  But here are some of the possibilities:

  • Sean Connery
  • Marvin Gaye
  • Terrence Malick  (who???)
  • Bob Rafelson (again, who???)
  • Jack Nicholson
  • Kris Kristofferson
  • Cat Stevens

It is said that during each of the verses, you can hear a whisper of the name that verse is about.  Now, since I do well to even hear the words that are sung, I’ll leave it up to you guys to listen for the whisper.  And thank you, J.R., for issuing the challenge … it was fun!

You’re So Vain
Carly Simon

You walked into the party
Like you were walking on a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf, it was apricot
You had one eye on the mirror
And watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed that they’d be your partner
They’d be your partner, and

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain,
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you?
Don’t you?

Oh, you had me several years ago
When I was still naive
Well, you said that we made such a pretty pair
And that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved
And one of them was me
I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee, and

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain, you’re so vain
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you?
Don’t you?

Well I hear you went to Saratoga
And your horse, naturally, won
Then you flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun
Well, you’re where you should be all the time
And when you’re not, you’re with some underworld spy
Or the wife of a close friend,
Wife of a close friend, and

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain, you’re so vain
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you?
Don’t you?

Songwriters: Carly E. Simon
You’re So Vain lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Everyday ♫

Tonight I went in search of something … positive, upbeat, to reflect the mood of the nation after the inauguration of President Biden and Vice-President Harris.  We once again have hope for a future … a brighter future for ourselves, for the nation, and for the planet.  So, I came across this one, originally by Buddy Holly.  Naturally, the lyrics accompanying the one rattling in my head were different from the actual lyrics … I had “Everyday, things are looking brighter …”, which is … well, close but no cigar!  Still … close enough for me.

This is listed as being written by Charles Hardin and Norman Petty. Charles Hardin is actually Buddy Holly: his real name was Charles Hardin Holley. The song was recorded by Buddy Holly and the Crickets, however on the original single the Crickets are not mentioned, but it is known that Holly plays acoustic guitar; drummer Jerry Allison slaps his knees for percussion; Joe B. Mauldin plays a standup acoustic bass; and producer Norman Petty’s wife Vi Petty plays the celesta aka celeste (a keyboard instrument with a glockenspiel-like tone, used in such classical pieces as “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy” from The Nutcracker).

What’s interesting … I found this song rattling about in my head tonight, but couldn’t remember the song title nor the name of the artist.  I Googled, using the one line I could remember of the lyrics, and found it was by Buddy Holly.  I listened … yep, that’s the song, just as I remember it.  However, Buddy Holly’s version, release in 1957 as the B-side of Peggy Sue, never charted!  However, both John Denver and James Taylor did versions of the song that did chart, Denver’s at #81 in 1972, and Taylor’s at #61 in 1985.  Truth be told, much as I like John Denver and love James Taylor, Holly’s is still my favourite, perhaps because it’s the one I remember from my childhood.  At any rate, I’ll give you all three and you can choose your own favourite.

Everyday
Buddy Holly and the Crickets

Everyday, it’s a-gettin’ closer
Goin’ faster than a roller coaster
Love like yours will surely come my way
A-hey, a-hey, hey

Everyday, it’s a-gettin’ faster
Everyone said, “Go up and ask her”
Love like yours will surely come my way
A-hey, a-hey, hey

Everyday seems a little longer
Every way, love’s a little stronger
Come what may, do you ever long for
True love from me?

Everyday, it’s a-gettin’ closer
Goin’ faster than a roller coaster
Love like yours will surely come my way
A-hey, a-hey, hey

Everyday seems a little longer
Every way, love’s a little stronger
Come what may, do you ever long for
True love from me?

Everyday, it’s a-gettin’ closer
Goin’ faster than a roller coaster
Love like yours will surely come my way
A-hey, a-hey, hey
Love like yours will surely come my way

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Ignacio Sotomayor Roman
Everyday lyrics © Peer International Corporation, Peer International Corp

♫ Up On The Roof ♫ (Redux)

Yes, yes … another redux.  On reading the first paragraph of this post from August 2019, my mood seems to be almost exactly the same now as it was then, so I guess that’s why this one popped into my head this evening.  But hey … you get three great versions for the price of one, so don’t complain!


Ever feel like you just want to get away from the world and the people in it?  Like you just need solitude, quiet, fresh air?  I feel that way a lot these days.  My bedroom is my refuge, though I rarely see it, for I am usually writing until the wee hours, and by the time I get to my bedroom, my eyes are already half shut.  But still, it is the only place in the house where there are no voices, no kitties.  I cannot go “up on the roof”, for I’m not well balanced, and our roof is fairly steep-pitched.  Anyway … I am rambling.  On to the song …

This song, released in 1962 first by Little Eva, and later by The Drifters, was written by then husband-and-wife team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King.  Gerry Goffin would cite Up on the Roof as his all-time favorite of the lyrics he’d written. After Carole King suggested that he write lyrics for the tune which had occurred to her while she was out driving, with King suggesting “My Secret Place” as the title, Goffin kept King’s suggested focus of a haven, modifying it with his enthusiasm for the movie musical West Side Story which contained several striking scenes set on the rooftops of Upper West Side highrises.

The song went to #5 in the U.S., but in the UK they must not have been crazy about The Drifters at that time.  However, another artist, Kenny Lynch, did one that made it to #10 in the UK, so I will present that as well, for my Brit friends.  And, because I just love James Taylor, I’m playing his version too!!!  Now, don’t say I never give you choices!

Up On The Roof
The Drifters

When this old world starts getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space
On the roof, it’s peaceful as can be
And there the world below can’t bother me
Let me tell you now

When I come home feelin’ tired and beat
I go up where the air is fresh and sweet (up on the roof)
I get away from the hustling crowd
And all that rat-race noise down in the street (up on the roof)
On the roof, the only place I know
Where you just have to wish to make it so
Let’s go up on the roof (up on the roof)

(brief instrumental-chiefly strings)

At night the stars put on a show for free
And, darling, you can share it all with me

I keep a-tellin’ you

Right smack dab in the middle of town
I’ve found a paradise that’s trouble proof (up on the roof)
And if this world starts getting you down
There’s room enough for two
Up on the roof (up on the roof)
Up on the roo-oo-oof (up on the roof)
Oh, come on, baby (up on the roof)
Oh, come on, honey (up on the roof)

Everything is all right (up on the roof)

Songwriters: Carole King / Gerry Goffin
Up On The Roof lyrics © Emi Music Publishing France

♫ You’ve Got A Friend ♫ (Redux)

I was looking for an appropriate song to play tonight … something that suited my mood.  And then the first line of this song came to mind, and ‘down and troubled’ seemed a perfect description of where my head is.  I played this one almost two years ago, so it’s not too soon for a redux and it has an interesting story to go with it …


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

♫ Her Town Too ♫

I was going to play something meaningful tonight … you know, something to make us believe that there are brighter days ahead, that the human experiment isn’t failing, something like Cat Stevens’ Peace Train or the composite of so many artists for a good cause, We Are The World.  Or even John Lennon’s Imagine, or Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney’s Ebony and Ivory.  Instead, I settled on the voice of James Taylor to bring a smile to my face, and I hope he brings one to yours as well.

James Taylor and J.D. Souther wrote this song with Waddy Wachtell, a guitarist known for his work with Stevie Nicks, Linda Ronstadt and Warren Zevon. The song tells the story of a woman who finds herself living alone after a breakup with her man, and has to deal with the small town gossip. Many people speculated that the song was doubly autobiographical: Taylor’s marriage with Carly Simon was ending, as was Souther’s relationship with Linda Ronstadt. Taylor and Souther refuse to say who they were singing about, though many speculate it was his breakup with Carly that inspired the song.

Her Town Too
James Taylor / J.D. Souther

She’s been afraid to go out
She’s afraid of the knock on her door
There’s always a shade of a doubt
She can never be sure
Who comes to call
Maybe the friend of a friend of a friend
Anyone at all
Anything but nothing again

It used to be her town
It used to be her town, too
It used to be her town
It used to be her town, too

Seems like even her old girlfriends
Might be talking her down
She’s got her name on the grapevine
Running up and down
The telephone line
Talking ’bout
Someone said, someone said
Something ’bout, something else
Someone might have said about her
She always figured that they were her friends
But maybe they can live without her

It used to be her town
It used to be her town, too
It used to be her town
It used to be her town, too

Well, people got used to seeing them both together
But now he’s gone and life goes on
Nothing lasts forever, oh no
She gets the house and the garden
He gets the boys in the band
Some of them his friends
Some of them her friends
Some of them understand
Lord knows that this is just a small town city
Yes, and everyone can see you fall
It’s got nothing to do with pity
I just wanted to give you a call

It used to be your town
It used to be my town, too
You never know ’till it all falls down
Somebody loves you
Somebody loves you
Darling, somebody still loves you
I can still remember
When it used to be her town, too
It used to be your town
It used to be my town, too

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John David Souther / James Vernon Taylor / Waddy Wachtell
Her Town Too lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Heart of Gold ♫

While this one is not in my top ten list of favourites, I do like the song, and it was Neil Young’s biggest solo hit, released in 1972 and reaching #1 in the U.S. and Canada, and #10 in the UK.

According to SongFacts …

Young wrote this in 1971 after he suffered a back injury that made it difficult for him to play the electric guitar, so on the Harvest tracks he played acoustic. Despite the injury, Young was in good spirits (possibly thanks to the painkillers), which is reflected in this song.

This song was recorded at the first sessions for the Harvest album, which took place on Saturday, February 6, 1971 and were set up the night before.

Neil Young was in Nashville to record a performance for The Johnny Cash Show along with Tony Joe White, James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt. Elliot Mazer, a producer who owned nearby Quadrafonic Studios, set up a dinner party on February 5, inviting the show’s guests and about 50 other people. Mazer was friends with Young’s manager Elliot Roberts, who introduced the two at the gathering. Young and Mazer quickly hit it off when Neil learned that Elliot has produced a band called Area Code 615. Young asked if he could set up a session the next day, and Mazer complied.

Nashville has an abundance of studio musicians, but getting them to work on a Saturday could be a challenge. Mazur was able to get one member of Area Code 615: Drummer Kenny Buttrey. The other musicians he found were guitarist Teddy Irwin, bass player Tim Drummond, and pedal steel player Ben Keith. All were seasoned pros.

Keith, who had never heard of Neil Young, recalls showing up late and sitting down to play right away. He says they recorded five songs before they stopped for introductions.

James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt sang backup; they don’t come in until the end of the song. Like Young, Taylor and Ronstadt were in town to appear on The Johnny Cash Show (the song’s producer Elliot Mazer had produced Ronstadt’s 1970 Silk Purse album). Young convinced them to lend their voices to this track, and they came in on Sunday, February 7, 1971, the day after the rest of the song was completed.

When it was their turn to add harmonies, the task proved rather arduous. Ronstadt recalled to Mojo: “We were sat on the couch in the control room, but I had to get up on my knees to be on the same level as James because he’s so tall. Then we sang all night, the highest notes I could sing. It was so hard, but nobody minded. It was dawn when we walked out of the studio.”

Heart Of Gold
Neil Young

I want to live
I want to give
I’ve been a miner
For a heart of gold
It’s these expressions
I never give
That keep me searching
For a heart of gold
And I’m getting old
Keep me searching
For a heart of gold
And I’m getting old

I’ve been to Hollywood
I’ve been to Redwood
I crossed the ocean
For a heart of gold
I’ve been in my mind
It’s such a fine line
That keeps me searching
For a heart of gold
And I’m getting old
Keeps me searching
For a heart of gold
And I’m getting old

Keep me searching
For a heart of gold
You keep me searching
And I’m growing old
Keep me searching
For a heart of gold
I’ve been a miner
For a heart of gold

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Neil Young
Heart Of Gold lyrics © Silver Fiddle

♫ I Feel The Earth Move ♫

It is late, I am tired & grumpy, and I’m in the mood for me some James Taylor tonight.  I last played this one two years ago, so it should seem almost new to you, right?


Written and recorded by pop singer-songwriter Carole King, I Feel the Earth Move, along with its flip-side, It’s Too Late became among the biggest mainstream pop hits of 1971.  Yesterday, I was having a conversation with a friend, and this song happened to come up in the convo … it then managed to embed itself in my head, so I am sharing it with you in hopes that it will hop from my head to yours!  This is my favourite version of the song, for James Taylor on guitar adds a certain energy to the song that the version on King’s album Tapestry just doesn’t seem to have.  Or maybe it’s just the fact that I drool over James Taylor!

I Feel the Earth Move
James Taylor, Carole King

I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down
I feel my heart start to trembling
Whenever you’re around

Ooh, baby, when I see your face
Mellow as the month of May
Oh, darling, I can’t stand it
When you look at me that way

I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down
I feel my heart start to trembling
Whenever you’re around

Ooo, darling, when you’re near me
And you tenderly call my name
I know that my emotions
Are something I just can’t tame
I’ve just got to have you, baby, uh huh huh uh huh huh yeah

I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down, a’tumbling down
I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down, a’tumbling down

I just lose control
Down to my very soul
I get hot and cold, all over, all over, all over, all over
I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down, a’tumbling down

I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down, a’tumbling down,
A’tumbling down, a’tumbling down, a’tumbling down, a’tumbling down, tumbling down!

Songwriters: Carole King
I Feel the Earth Move lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ So Far Away ♫

Carole King scored another hit with this single, where she bemoans the fact that she and the man she loves can’t be together, and mentions that people in general were becoming more disconnected from each other. It was the fourth single from her famous Tapestry album, which sold over 11 million copies. King wrote or co-wrote all the songs on the album, ushering in the singer/songwriter genre.

Lou Adler, who produced Tapestry and owned Carole King’s record company, said:

“‘So Far Away’ is my favorite song on Tapestry. I use the phrase a lot, ‘Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?’ It’s the road, it’s the people traveling. It just seems to me an anthem of that particular time and so well written and one of the earlier songs she wrote for this album.”

Seth Swirsky, who was a staff songwriter for Chappell Music in ’80s and ’90s before recording his own material as a solo artist, cites Tapestry as an album that record companies would shy away from today, as King would not be considered marketable …

“She needed to get her own thing going. And it turned out to be an album that hit everybody, what they were thinking and feeling, right at that moment. America in the ’60s, everybody was moving away to San Francisco, and flowers in their hair, and it was tumultuous. But here it was a Tapestry of home again.”

And by the way … in case you’re wondering who that is on the acoustic guitar, it’s my favourite, James Taylor!

So Far Away
James Taylor, Carole King

So far away
Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?
It would be so fine to see your face at my door
And it doesn’t help to know that you’re just time away

Long ago, I reached for you and there you stood
Holding you again could only do me good
Oh, how I wish I could
But you’re so far away, yeah

One more song about movin’ along the highway
I can’t say much of anything that’s new
But if I could only work this life out my way
I’d rather spend it bein’ close to you

But you’re so far away
Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?
It would be so fine to see your face at my door
And it doesn’t help to know, you’re so far away

So far away
Yeah, you’re so far away
Oh yeah yeah yeah

Travelin’ around sure gets me down and lonely
Nothin’ else to do but close my mind
I sure hope the road don’t get to own me
There’s so many dreams I’ve yet to find, I’ve yet to find

Oh, but you’re so far away
Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?
It would be so fine to see your face at my door
Doesn’t help to know you’re so far away

You’re so far away
Oh, you’re so far away

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Carole King