When The Stars Start Falling

Bee Halton at The Bee Writes Love Is In Da Blog 2019 ~ A Music Festival has buzzed us to write about A Love Song from 1959-1968.  I chose the 1967 song ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ by Cream.  In three short years, Cream recorded a slew of brilliant hit singles, they sold an astonishing 15 million records while redefining the role of the instrumentalist in rock.  Cream came together in mid 1966 when Baker left the respected British rhythm-and-blues ensemble Graham Bond Organization, Bruce (formerly of Graham Bond) left Manfred Mann, and Eric Clapton, already a legend in Britain, left John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers.  Baker and Bruce both played together in the Graham Bond Organization, but Bruce quit in 1965, in part because of the fights that he had with Baker.  Pete Brown co-wrote Cream’s biggest hits classics such as ‘Sunshine of Your Love’, ‘I feel Free’, ‘White Room’ and many more.  Pete Brown is an English Poet and singer/songwriter and during the mid 60’s, he was doing readings in jazz and blues clubs in London.  He met Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker who had both been jazz musicians through the jazz world at the Marquee Club, right around the time that they were forming Cream.

They were both very impressed with Pete’s poetry, so they asked him to write some lyrics for Cream’s first single ‘Wrapping Paper’.  Pete said that he “crammed about 10,000 images in one song.  It was a peculiar lyric about two people who can only meet in a picture in a deserted house by the sea.”  Brown developed a chemistry with Jack Bruce and he said that, “We both liked writing fast and were drawn to black music.  Working with the band was very lucky for me.  All of them are intelligent and well-read and capable of writing lyrics, but it seemed to work.  And I lusted more to be part of the music scene than the literary one.”

Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce wrote the music for ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ and Pete Brown wrote the lyrics.  Pete Brown wrote the opening line after being up all night working with Bruce and watching the sun come up.  It was late and they knew that they were under pressure to come up with some new material.  Jack Bruce came up with the riff on his upright double bass when Pete looked out the window despairingly for inspiration and wrote down, “It’s getting near dawn”, and that is how ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ was born.  Originally Jack played the riff of ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ at a much faster tempo than the song is now and Ginger immediately disliked it and said, “Oh man, that’s terrible, let’s slow it right down!”  Baker put a backwards drum-beat on it stressing the first and third beats in the bar, and he played on tom-toms in the style of Native American drums and that is what gave the song the “wow” factor that it needed.  Once Eric composed the strong middle-eight (chorus), ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ was ready for the world.  The first few notes of Clapton’s guitar solo on the studio version echo, note for note was the same as ‘Blue Moon’.

The song came out on the 1967 Disraeli Gears album and it charted #25 in the UK and went to #5 in the US.  Cream received an enormous boost when AM Top 40 radio, which had shunned the group as too hard and psychedelic, jumped on the bandwagon and started playing this song.  That acceptance and exposure helped make ‘Sunshine of Your Love’, the group’s signature song, and the largest selling single in the history of Atlantic Records up to that time.  Cream became so huge in the US that in 1968 they went on to break all the box office records previously held by The Beatles.  In 2004 Rolling Stone magazine ranked ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ at number 65 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time.

This is an innocent love song, that starts out just before the Sun is about to come up.  The city night life is ending, street lights are turning off.   This musician who has been out all night is thinking that it is almost time for his girl to wake up and he has a surprise in store for her.  All he can think about is her and as he looks up, he realizes that it will be getting light out soon and the night stars will disappear from the sky.  He has been waiting to be with her so long, to have her love.  It will be just them and he feels real love.  Being in “the sunshine of your love” is when all of her love is focused on him.   He is so in love with her that it seems she’s more bright, vibrant and beautiful than ever before.  The sunlight is shining through the curtains onto her, highlighting her, making her beauty glow.  He wants to be with her forever, or till his seas have dried up.

The Dead Sea is entirely land-locked, so it is really a lake.  In order to understand how long it takes for seas to dry up, you must know how the water cycle works.  Evaporation is the process by which water changes from a liquid to a gas or vapor.  All liquids can evaporate at room temperature and normal air pressure.  Evaporation happens when atoms or molecules escape from the liquid and turn into a vapor.  Evaporation is the primary pathway that allows water to move from the liquid state back into the water cycle as atmospheric water vapor.  Lakes and ponds should (and do) dry up after a certain period, ranging from a couple weeks to a few months, depending on how large the water body is.  Fortunately, that doesn’t happen too often, thanks to the water cycle!  Water is collected on the ground in oceans, seas, lakes and ponds, and when it evaporates, it goes up into the atmosphere where it condenses.  Precipitation forms when cloud droplets or ice particles in clouds grow and combine to become so large that the updrafts in the clouds can no longer support them, and they fall to the ground.  Clouds shed rain or snow and most of it, in fact 77 percent of all precipitation, falls directly back over the sea.  Rain water and melted snow that fall on land run into rivers flowing back into the sea.  Thus, the seas and the oceans never dry up.

Cream performed together again for the first time in 25 years on January 12, 1993 when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where they played this song.  They reunited again in 2005 for a series of concerts.  In 2006 the band received a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement.  Jack Bruce died from liver disease in 2014.

It’s getting near dawn,
When lights close their tired eyes
I’ll soon be with you my love,
To give you my dawn surprise
I’ll be with you darling soon,
I’ll be with you when the stars start falling

I’ve been waiting so long
To be where I’m going
In the sunshine of your love

I’m with you my love,
The light’s shining through on you
Yes, I’m with you my love,
It’s the morning and just we two
I’ll stay with you darling now,
I’ll stay with you till my seas are dried up

I’ve been waiting so long
To be where I’m going
In the sunshine of your love

I’m with you my love,
The light’s shining through on you.
Yes, I’m with you my love,
It’s the morning and just we two.
I’ll stay with you darling now,
I’ll stay with you till my seas are dried up

I’ve been waiting so long
I’ve been waiting so long
I’ve been waiting so long
To be where I’m going
In the sunshine of your love

Written for Love Is In Da Blog “A Love Song from 1959-1968”.

14 thoughts on “When The Stars Start Falling

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