When They See You Smile

Songwriters Carole King and her husband Gerry Goffin made beautiful music together, rising to fame working for the fabled New York City Brill Building under song publisher Aldon Music.  Together they wrote ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’ which went to #1 selling a million copies for the Shirelles in 1960, Bobby Vee’s #1 hit in 1961 and his best seller, ‘Take Good Care of My Baby’, ‘Go Away Little Girl’ for Steve Lawrence and Edyie Gormé which went to #1 in 1962, ‘The Locomotion’ which reached #1 in 1962 for Little Eva, The Drifters ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’ a No. 32 on the US Billboard pop chart and No. 6 on the US Billboard R&B chart in 1961 and ‘Up On the Roof’ for them in 1962 which reached #5, ‘It Might As Well Rain Until September’ a 1962 song originally written for Bobby Vee that became a top 40 hit for Carole, ‘I’ve Got Bonnie’ in 1962 for Bobby Rydell that reached #18, ‘Chains’ that reached #17 for the Cookies in 1962 and the girl group’s most successful single ‘Don’t Say Nothing Bad About My Baby’ that went to #7 in 1963.  ‘Chains’ was also recorded by the Beetles in 1963.

They wrote a #5 hit in 1963 ‘One Fine Day’ for the Chiffons, ‘This Little Girl’ in 1963 for Dion reaching #21, ‘I Can’t Stay Mad at You’ in 1963 for Skeeter Davis that got to #7, ‘Hey Girl’ in 1963 for Freddie Scott that made it to #10, ‘Oh, No, Not My Baby’ which peaked at #2 in 1964 for Maxine Brown, the Herman’s Hermits 1964 song, ‘I’m Into Something Good’ which charted #1 in the UK and went to #13 in the US, a 1962 song for the Righteous Brothers ‘Crying In the Rain’ that went to #6 and two 1965 songs for the group ‘Just Once In My Life’ that reached #9 and the overlooked and under-rated ‘Hung On You’ that peaked at #47, the 1966 hit single ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ for the Animals, one of Aretha Franklin‘s best songs, ‘Natural Woman’ which reached number 8 on the charts in 1967 and became one of her signature songs, two songs for the Byrds ‘Goin’ Back’ that reached number 89 in 1967 (made famous by Dusty Springfield) and their 1969 single ‘Wasn’t Born to Follow’ that made it into the movie Easy Rider.

Goffin and King wrote a 1967 hit for The Monkees ‘Pleasant Valley Sunday’ that peaked at #3 and a 1968 single that reached No. 62 for ‘Porpoise Song (Theme From ‘Head’)’, the 1968 song ‘Yours Until Tomorrow’ for Dee Dee Warwick that only got to #68 and the song ‘Hi-De-Ho (That Old Sweet Roll)’ which was released in 1970 as a single for Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Gerry Goffin went on the road with The Cookies, leaving Carole at home with their two kids and before long, he was having an affair with Earl-Jean McCrea of the Cookies, which spelled trouble for their marriage when she got pregnant with his baby.  They separated in 1967 and got divorced in 1968.  Carole married bass player Charles Larkey and moved to Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles with her two daughters where she met James Taylor, who encouraged her to begin solo recording and performing.  Carole King released her debut studio album Writer in 1970 and ‘Child of Mine’ appeared on that.  ‘Child of Mine’ is a lyrically simple song about a proud parent watching their child grow.  They see that their child is an original and they don’t need all that many directions or much guidance because their child is creative and the kid is actually teaching the parent some things.  They do warn their child about some of the bad people that they may encounter in life, but they feel that the kid is intelligent enough and sweet enough to change them with just a smile.  They are reminded that their child has not had a perfect life, but something tells the parent that their child will “make the times to come better than the rest”.  Because it is their child, they know that know they will be honest and kind.

Carole King established her solo career in 1971 with her hit album Tapestry. She has written or co-written over 400 songs and she has been one of the most influential songwriters of our time and in 2013,  King made music history as the first woman to receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.  For more than five decades, she has written for and been recorded by many different types of artists for a wide range of audiences, communicating with beauty and dignity the universal human emotions of love, joy, pain and loss.

Although you see the world
Different from me
Sometimes I can touch upon
The wonders that you see
All the new colors
And pictures you’ve designed
Oh, yes sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine
Child of mine
Child of mine
Oh, yes sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine
You don’t need directions
You know which way to go
And I don’t want to hold you back
I just want to watch you grow
You’re the one who taught me
You don’t have to look behind
Oh, yes sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine
Child of mine
Child of mine
Oh, yes sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine
Nobody’s gonna kill your dreams
Or tell you how to live your life
There’ll always be people to make it hard for a while
But you’ll change their heads when they see you smile
The times you were born in
May not have been the best
But you can make the times to come
Better than the rest
I know you will be honest
If you can’t always be kind
Oh, yes sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine
Child of mine
Child of mine
Oh, yes sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine
Oh, yes sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine
Child of mine
Child of mine
Oh, yes sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

Written for Love Is In Da Blog where Bee asks us to find a love song for your family in general and the prompt was selected by Paula.

14 thoughts on “When They See You Smile

  1. Good writeup! Both had talent but together, boy they did some great work. Tapestry was one of the first albums I remember hearing entirely… either my brother or my mom had it when I was very little, and either way it got played in the living room a fair bit when I was 4 or so.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s