♫ (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman ♫

There are times … oh yeah, there are times … when the music of Aretha Franklin just comes back and fills the head … with joy, with sorrow, with pain, but always with feeling.

This song was written by the legendary songwriting team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King.  They were a married couple who helped shape the Brill Building sound, named for the famous building in New York City where many hits from the ’60 were written and recorded. Ode Records owner Lou Adler, who worked closely with King and Goffin, said:

“Gerry Goffin is one of the best lyricists in the last 50 years. He’s a storyteller, and his lyrics are emotional. ‘Natural Woman,’ ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.’ These are perfect examples of situations, very romantic, almost a moral statement. Coming out of the 1950s, with the type of bubble gum music, and then in 1961, Gerry is writing about a girl who just might let a guy sleep with her and she wants to know, ‘is it just tonight or will you still love me tomorrow?’ Goffin could write a female lyric. If he could write the words to ‘Natural Woman,’ that’s a woman speaking. Gerry put those words into Carole’s mouth. He was a chemist before he was a full time lyricist. He’s very intelligent and obviously emotional.”

Regarding the origins of the song, Adler added:

“Last year (2007) I spoke to Jerry Wexler at his home in Florida, and he told me the story that Gerry was coming out of a building in New York, (Goffin now remembers it as an Oyster House), and Jerry Wexler is passing in a car, and yells out, ‘Why don’t you write a song called ‘Natural Woman’?’ They felt the title was so distinct and so important to the song that they gave him a piece of it. So, when I spoke to Jerry recently to call him on his 90th birthday, he said, ‘Isn’t it amazing what those kids gave me? The checks keep coming in and I’m really happy about it.’ Knowing how much he added to the song, not really as a third writer but the title and the inspiration of what was to be, a great song.”

Carole King recorded her own version of this song on her 1971 Tapestry album.

When Aretha Franklin performed this song in tribute to Carole King at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors, she brought the house down, wowing King and the many luminaries present, including Barack and Michelle Obama. The crowd rose to its feet when Franklin shed her fur coat to belt out the end of the song.  And by the way, that was Carole King throwing kisses from the audience in the Kennedy Center.

I have chosen both the clip from the Kennedy Center and the official video, for both touch my heart in a way that few do.  Aretha Franklin … one of the greats of her time.  The sound quality isn’t as good on the Kennedy Center clip, but the emotional value is … oh man.  Watch then-President Obama wipe a tear from his eye and tell me that didn’t move you.

This one made it to #8 in the U.S. and #11 in Canada, but only #79 in the UK.

♫ 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

♫ 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

♫ I Feel The Earth Move ♫

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