♫ We’re All Alone ♫

There almost wasn’t a music post tonight.  After I wrote my early morning post, DOA, I was frustrated, angry, just wanted to go for a long walk, but as it was nearly midnight, that was out of the question.  So, I picked a random song from my playlist, We’re All Alone, and by the second verse tears were rolling down my cheeks.  Sigh.  Sometimes it all takes a toll, y’know?  Anyway … on to cheerier stuff …

Did you know that Rita Coolidge was once married to Kris Kristofferson?  I didn’t!  Sheesh … these people do get around, don’t they?

This song was written and originally recorded in 1976 by Boz Scaggs.  Any relation to Ricky?  I dunno … just a sec while I go check.  Nope, it appears that they are even spelled differently, with Ricky spelling his Skaggs, and from all I can figure in a 3-minute search, they are not related.

Rita Coolidge released her version, featured on the album Anytime…Anywhere, in March 1977.  According to Ms. Coolidge …

“When I was with A&M Records, it was like a family. I would visit Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, and it was a very open, communicative group of people. One day I was in Jerry Moss’ office and he said that the Boz Scaggs album Silk Degrees was in a million homes and there was a song on it that was perfect for a woman to sing. He said, ‘It’s called “We’re All Alone” and as he’s not doing it as a single, I think you ought to record it.'”

And the rest is history.

I think I shall dedicate this one to … well, you know who you are … the rest of you, just listen to the song.

We’re All Alone
Rita Coolidge

Outside the rain begins
And it may never end
So cry no more
On the shore, a dream
Will take us out to sea
Forever more, forever more

Close your eyes and dream
And you can be with me
‘Neath the waves
Through the caves of ours
Long forgotten now
We’re all alone, we’re all alone

Close the window, calm the light
And it will be all right
No need to bother now
Let it out, let it all begin
Learn how to pretend

Once a story’s told
It can’t help but grow old
Roses do, lovers too
So cast your seasons to the wind
And hold me, dear
Oh, hold me, dear

Close the window, calm the light
And it will be all right
No need to bother now
Let it out, let it all begin
All’s forgotten now
We’re all alone, oh, we’re all alone

Close the window, calm the light
And it will be all right
No need to bother now
Let it out, let it all begin
Owe it to the wind
My love

Songwriters: William R. Royce Scaggs
We’re All Alone lyrics © Spirit Music Group, BMG Rights Management

♫ You’re So Vain ♫

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

♫ Evergreen ♫

This song about new love was the theme to the 1976 remake of A Star Is Born. The film, which starred Streisand, was very popular and this song won the Academy Award for Best Song.  I knew I was in the mood to play some Streisand tonight, but I couldn’t decide between this one and Memories.

Paul Williams, who had written hits for the Carpenters and Three Dog Night, wrote this with Streisand. The songs for A Star Is Born had to be written before filming began, since they were performed on camera. When Williams signed on to the project, Streisand had the music and one verse for the song “Everything.” Over the next seven weeks, they wrote all the songs for the movie.  According to Paul Williams …

Paul-Williams“She sat down and played on a guitar, the melody for ‘Evergreen’ that she’d written. It was just such a beautiful melody. I said, ‘There’s your love song. There’s the big love song.’ I asked her for the melody. She put it on tape for me, and I took it home. I actually wrote that as the last thing, which I think bothered her. But all the Kris Kristofferson stuff was the first thing up on the shoot schedule. So I wrote the songs for Kris first.

You know, Barbra recorded two or three of my songs before we did A Star Is Born. People would always ask, ‘Were you nervous about writing the Streisand music?’ Of course, she’s an amazing talent. But to sit down and write songs and to play songs for Kris… I mean, this is the man who wrote ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down,’ ‘Me And Bobby McGee.’ It was wonderful. Kris was great about the songs. But the very last thing that I wrote was ‘Evergreen.’ I gave that to Barbra, and then hit the road and didn’t look back.

I actually wrote those first two lines in the opposite order. I wrote ‘Love, fresh as the morning air, love soft as an easy chair.’ I called Barbra as I was getting on a plane to go on tour with Olivia Newton-John. We were doing a 6-week tour, and Barbra was in Arizona getting ready to start filming A Star Is Born. I called her and said, ‘You know what, flip those two first lines, because it sings better.’ ‘Love, soft as an easy chair, love, fresh as the morning air.’ ‘Morning’ sang better at that point in the song. And I remember saying to Barbra, ‘They’ll probably laugh us out of the theaters for starting a love song with a line about a chair, but I think it works better that way.’ And I think it was the biggest-selling soundtrack album ever at that time, and of course the song won the triple crown: the Oscar, the Grammy, and the Golden Globe.”

Evergreen
Barbra Streisand

Love soft as an easy chair
Love fresh as the morning air
One love that is shared by two
I have found with you
Like a rose under the April snow
I was always certain love would grow
Love ageless and evergreen
Seldom seen by two
You and I will
Make each night the first
Everyday a beginning
Spirits rise and their dance is unrehearsed
They warm and excite us
‘Cause we have the brightest love
Two lights that shine as one
Morning glory and midnight sun
Time, we’ve learned to sail above
Time, won’t change the meaning of one love
Ageless and ever, evergreen

Songwriters: Barbra Streisand; Paul Williams
Evergreen lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Me & Bobby McGee

Me_and_Bobby_McGee_-_Janis_JoplinJanis Joplin was not among my favourites growing up, but she had a few songs that I really liked and that have stuck with me through the years.  Me & Bobby McGee is at the top of that list.  Written by Kris Kristofferson and songwriter Fred Foster, it was originally sung by Roger Miller.  Often misinterpreted as a love song for Janis Joplin, the real inspiration behind Kris Kristofferson’s ‘Me and Bobby McGee’ was his producer and co-writer Fred Foster and a young secretary named Barbara McKee. Joplin’s version was released after her death from a heroin overdose in 1970.  The song has been recorded by many since, including Waylon Jennings, Grateful Dead, Kristofferson himself, Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, Gordon Lightfoot, and Miranda Lambert.  But in my mind, none do it justice so well as Janis Joplin.

Me and Bobby McGee
Janis Joplin

Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waitin’ for a train
And I’s feelin’ near as faded as my jeans
Bobby thumbed a diesel down, just before it rained
It rode us all the way to New Orleans

I pulled my harpoon out of my dirty red bandanna
I was playin’ soft while Bobby sang the blues, yeah
Windshield wipers slappin’ time, I was holdin’ Bobby’s hand in mine
We sang every song that driver knew

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose
Nothin’, don’t mean nothin’ hon’ if it ain’t free, no no
And, feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues
You know, feelin’ good was good enough for me
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee

From the Kentucky coal mine to the California sun
There Bobby shared the secrets of my soul
Through all kinds of weather, through everything we done
Yeah, Bobby baby kept me from the cold

One day up near Salinas, Lord, I let him slip away
He’s lookin’ for that home, and I hope he finds it
But, I’d trade all of my tomorrows, for a single yesterday
To be holdin’ Bobby’s body next to mine

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose
Nothin’, that’s all that Bobby left me, yeah
But, feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues
Hey, feelin’ good was good enough for me, mm-hmm
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee

La da da
La da da da
La da da da da da da da
La da da da da da da da
Bobby McGee, yeah

La da da da da da da
La da da da da da da
La da da da da da da
Bobby McGee, yeah

La da La la da da la da da la da da
La da da da da da da da da
Hey, my Bobby
Oh, my Bobby McGee, yeah

La la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
Hey, my Bobby
Oh, my Bobby McGee, yeah

Well, I call him my lover, call him my man
I said, I call him my lover did the best I can, c’mon
Hey now, Bobby now
Hey now, Bobby McGee, yeah

Woo
La da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la la
Hey, hey, hey Bobby McGee, yeah
La da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la
Hey, hey, hey, Bobby McGee, yeah

Songwriters: Fred L Foster / Kris Kristofferson
Me and Bobby McGee lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC