love, marriage, music, musings, nostalgia

“The secret o’ life is enjoying the passage of time…”

Yesterday afternoon, I was feeling kind of inspired, so I decided to record a song in honor of our 20th wedding anniversary, which happens tomorrow. I spent some time looking through the songs I had available and tried a few before I noticed an old chestnut by James Taylor. Back in 1977, James released his album, JT. He was still married to Carly Simon at the time, and they had two young children– three year old Sarah Maria, “Sally”, and newborn Ben. James was transitioning to a new record label, moving on from Warner to Columbia Records. Just a few years after JT was released, James and Carly divorced. However, that album has some really nice songs on it. For the longest time, one of my favorites from that particular release is a song called “Terra Nova”, which includes beautiful vocals from Carly. Years later, Ben and Sally would sing the coda from “Terra Nova” on one of Ben’s songs.

Maybe James and Carly’s marriage didn’t work out, but they sure sounded nice together.

That album also included an actual song for Carly… a love song James wrote called, “There We Are”. Maybe I could have done this one, but I don’t think it has quite the same ageless quality. Also, ultimately, James and Carly didn’t stay married. And I would have had to do it in the original key, which probably would have been hard.

What a sweet song. The sentiment is lovely, but the marriage didn’t survive.

I remember when I first bought JT on compact disc, back around 1991 or so, and listened to the whole thing. I realized that my sister, Becky, had this album on tape and played it when we were living in England. I heard the deep cut, “If I Keep My Heart Out of Sight” as a five year old in 1977, and remembered James’s lyric, “All I can say is I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.” I remember hearing this when I was about 18 or 19 and being kind of shocked by the deep memory. It had been so long since I’d heard the song, and I didn’t realize what a good song it was. The early 90s are when I really got into James’s music, and he helped me get through some very tough times.

A song that was buried in my consciousness for many years.

But one song I never really liked, at least when I first heard it, was “Secret O’ Life”. I don’t know why I didn’t like it. I think maybe when I was 19, I thought it was boring… the lyrics are pleasant, but at least at the time, they seemed kind of banal. It wasn’t until I heard James sing it live that I realized what a good song it is. I still never thought I would have sung it myself, and yet yesterday, that is precisely what I did, after dropping the pitch three steps. And even funnier… this time, I actually videoed myself as I was singing, which I don’t do very often. I can’t be arsed to put on makeup or a bra… and as you can see, I didn’t do that yesterday, either.

That thumbnail is horrifying! I usually make that face in the throes of ecstasy.

Here are the lyrics, written by James Taylor:

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
Any fool can do it, there ain’t nothing to it.
Nobody knows how we got to the top of the hill.
But since we’re on our way down, we might as well enjoy the ride.

The secret of love is in opening up your heart.
It’s okay to feel afraid, but don’t let that stand in your way.
Cause anyone knows that love is the only road.
And since we’re only here for a while, might as well show some style. Give us a smile.

Isn’t it a lovely ride? Sliding down, gliding down,
try not to try too hard, it’s just a lovely ride.

Now the thing about time is that time isn’t really real.
It’s just your point of view, how does it feel for you?
Einstein said he could never understand it all.
Planets spinning through space, the smile upon your face, welcome to the human race.

Some kind of lovely ride. I’ll be sliding down, I’ll be gliding down.
Try not to try too hard, it’s just a lovely ride.

Isn’t it a lovely ride? Sliding down, gliding down,
try not to try too hard, it’s just a lovely ride.

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.

Maybe it’s not obviously a love song… or an anniversary song. It just seemed perfect, for some reason. After 20 years, Bill and I are very comfortable with each other. And I feel like we’ve had a “lovely ride”, for the most part… and we’ve definitely done some things in style, even if we don’t usually dress in style.

I also thought this was a good song for us this year, because it looks like James might be able to do his concert in Frankfurt, after all. As I write this, James is in Stockholm, preparing for tonight’s show. He shared a video that I think he took himself, as he walked through downtown Stockholm. I heard the trace of a cough and he seemed a little tired, but that’s to be expected. COVID has that effect on people. I’ve never been to downtown Stockholm. I’ve only been to the dock.

It looks like we’ll see him this weekend. Or, I still maintain hope… especially since this might be the last time we get to see him. Or, maybe it won’t be. I know James loves to perform and will probably keep doing it until he physically can’t do it anymore, but things are getting weirder and weirder, and none of us are getting any younger. So, I’m glad I had a chance to try “Secret O’ Life”, and enjoy the passage of time with Bill. May we have twenty or more years together!

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music

Guilty…

I haven’t seen the debates, but I have read a lot of comments… sounds like it was a real shit show. So I decided to sing a song. I may be back a little later with some writing. I need to chill out for now and practice my guitar.

The vocal matches the lyrics when I sing, “Nothin’ I try to do ever turns out right.” Sorry, I tried repeatedly to get it right… after awhile, it just gets to be too frustrating.

I did add some funny photos… given the fact that Trump apparently made a gigantic ass out of himself last night, I think they’re kind of fitting. Randy Newman wrote this song, by the way. I love to sing it, although I probably do it better when I’m drunk and in a bar.

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music, videos

It’s Friday, so…

Here’s a new video. I bought a new interface for my computer in case I ever get good enough at guitar that I can record myself playing. Also, I had been using Shure xlr to x2u device, which makes it possible to connect dynamic non-USB mics to the computer. I’ve so far owned four of those devices. They’re expensive, limited in what they can do, and after about a year or two, they tend to break.

This new interface allows me to sing into a mic without an extra doohickey that can break and cause the sound to go out. I suspect it will also be more robust and, should Bill ever want to record his guitar playing, there are spare jacks for that, too.

So anyway, this video was made with the new audio equipment. The pictures are of Bill and three of the five dogs we’ve rescued so far. I think it turned out alright…

Yeah, it’s a little like elevator music, but it’s only three minutes. And I have a soft spot for The Carpenters. I think this new interface could be a game changer!

Next week, we’re taking a trip, so that means new photos! Yea!

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