Nowhere at All

‘If Not for You’ was written by Bob Dylan and recorded on his 1970 eleventh studio album New Morning.  This song was issued as a single, but it did not chart for Dylan.  It celebrated the simple pleasures of nature, and it was written as a love song to his first wife Sara.  Bob was telling his significant other that she means everything to him, and that without her, he wouldn’t have anything and there would be nowhere for him to go, as she has become his entire world.  Sarah after she took care of him after his motorcycle accident on July 29, 1966, and it is possible this song was a way for him to say thanks for all the time and effort that she put into helping him recover.  Dylan sang and played acoustic guitar with Charlie Daniels on bass and Al Kooper on keyboard and Russ Kunkel on drums and Ron Cornelius playing lead guitar.  Dylan has the ability to assemble simple lyrics together to create a poetic masterpiece.  Many of Dylan’s songs became big hits for other artists.

One month later, George Harrison released a version of this song on his first solo album, the triple album All Things Must Pass, which featured him singing, playing acoustic guitars, Dobros, and harmonica, with Peter Frampton on acoustic guitar, Gary Wright on piano, Billy Preston on organ, Klaus Voormann on bass, Alan White on drums, and Ringo Starr playing the tambourine.  Another well-known cover of the song was recorded by Olivia Newton-John, which was her first major hit on an international scale.  She had the only US charting version of the song which reached #25 on the Hot 100, and her 1971 cover went to #7 in the UK.  When Newton-John recorded this, she had never heard Dylan’s version, only Harrison’s.  ‘If Not for You’ was played at the 1971 NYC fundraiser for refugees from Bangladesh and that featured George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston.

If not for you
Babe, I couldn’t even find the door
I couldn’t even see the floor
I’d be sad and blue, if not for you

If not for you
Babe, the night would see me wide awake
The day would surely have to break
It would not be new, if not for you

If not for you, my sky would fall
Rain would gather, too
Without your love I’d be nowhere at all
I’d be lost, if not for you

If not for you
The winter would hold no spring
Couldn’t hear a robin sing
I just wouldn’t have a clue, if not for you

If not for you, my sky would fall
Rain would gather, too
Without your love I’d be nowhere at all
I’d be lost, if not for you

If not for you
The winter would hold no spring
Couldn’t hear a robin sing
I just wouldn’t have a clue, if not for you

If not for you

Written for Bee’s Love Is In Da Blog 2023 Day 5 where today is a user choice.

Hold You for a Million Years

Di of Pensitivity101 suggested the Love Is In Da Blog prompt for today which is a love song that is specific to you and your spouse (or significant other, may it be human or in any other form).  I am going with the song ‘Make You Feel My Love’ which was written by Bob Dylan for his 1997 thirteenth studio album Time Out of Mind.  This song is new to me, so I can’t say that it is specific for me and a significant other, but I would like to hope that one day I will find somebody who can feel my love.  Billy Joel included a version of this song on his Greatest Hits Volume III album and Adele covered this song on her 2008 debut album, 19.  Garth Brooks cut a mellow country rendition for the soundtrack of the Sandra Bullock romantic drama Hope Floats.  The sheer number of covers (which includes more than 450 artists) prompted Rolling Stone to suggest that the song may one day qualify as a true American standard.

This song isn’t one of Dylan’s best-known tracks and it is a fairly unadorned ballad, but in this song, he pledges unconditional devotion.  In the song, a guy offers comfort to this girl that he has fallen for, saying that he will embrace and hold onto her.  She has not made up her mind about him yet, even though he has.  He is willing to go hungry, get bruises and go crawling down the avenue for her.  He will face storms, raging seas and go out on the highway of regret to win her love.  He hopes that she will change her mind about him, so he can make her dreams come true.  He says that he will go to the ends of the Earth for her.

When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love

When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

I know you haven’t made your mind up yet
But I will never do you wrong
I’ve known it from the moment that we met
No doubt in my mind where you belong

I’d go hungry, I’d go black and blue
I’d go crawling down the avenue
No, there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do
To make you feel my love

The storms are raging on the rolling sea
And on the highway of regret
The winds of change are blowing wild and free
You ain’t seen nothing like me yet

I could make you happy, make your dreams come true
Nothing that I wouldn’t do
Go to the ends of the Earth for you
To make you feel my love
To make you feel my love

Written for Bee’s Love Is In Da Blog 2023 Day 4 where today’s prompt comes from Di of Pensitivity101 where she wants us to find a love song specific to you and your spouse (or significant other, may it be human or in any other form).

Listen to Your Heart Bleed

I feel bad for the people in Ukraine, because so many of them are suffering ever since the insane Putin became bent on taking over the world.  My mother’s mother came from Kiev in the Ukraine and all of this bloodshed is unnecessary.  I wasn’t able to come up with a love song for Ukraine and all other countries troubled by violence, but I do have this R.E.M. song titled ‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)’, which I feel relates.  I feel fine about the way the people of Ukraine have been doing in this war which started on February 24, 2022, as the initial prediction was that it might be over in a week when Russia invaded with all of its tanks.  Actually, this war has been going on a lot longer, as this is just a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which began on February 20, 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and I am hoping that Ukraine can push Russia out and take back all of their territory.

R.E.M. released this song on their 1987 fifth studio album Document, which peaked at #10 on the Billboard 200.  The single went to #69 in the US and it was written by drummer Bill Berry, mandolin player Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and lead vocalist Michael Stipe who were the four members of the band at this time.  Stipe said that he had a lot of dreams about the end of the world, and destroyed buildings which played into this apocalyptic song that was written in a stream-of-consciousness writing style, which is probably more of jumble than a stream, as it is a flurry of words that never seems to stop.  Most of these lyrics were written just to make people smile.  Supposedly this song has to with a dream that Stipes had about party that the members of R.E.M. attended just as the band was forming in 1980.  Lester Bangs a music journalist who wrote for Creem magazine, Rolling Stone and the Village Voice was the birthday boy and he was there along with the American conductor, composer, pianist, music educator, author, and humanitarian Leonard Bernstein, the Soviet politician Leonid Brezhnev and the American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, and actor Lenny Bruce.  Stipes said that he was the only one at the party that didn’t have the initials of L. B.  The only thing that was served at the party was birthday cake and jelly beans, and since they were all starving so they ate that.  This song is said to be influenced by Bob Dylan song ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’.

… That’s great, it starts with an earthquake
Birds and snakes, and aeroplanes
And Lenny Bruce is not afraid

… Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn
World serves its own needs
Don’t mis-serve your own needs
Speed it up a notch, speed, grunt, no, strength
The ladder starts to clatter
With a fear of height, down, height
Wire in a fire, represent the seven games
And a government for hire and a combat site
Left her, wasn’t coming in a hurry
With the Furies breathing down your neck

… Team by team, reporters baffled, trumped, tethered, cropped
Look at that low plane, fine, then
Uh oh, overflow, population, common group
But it’ll do, save yourself, serve yourself
World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed
Tell me with the Rapture and the reverent in the right, right
You vitriolic, patriotic, slam fight, bright light
Feeling pretty psyched

… It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine

… Six o’clock, T.V. hour, don’t get caught in foreign tower
Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn
Lock him in uniform, book burning, bloodletting
Every motive escalate, automotive incinerate
Light a candle, light a motive, step down, step down
Watch your heel crush, crush, uh oh
This means no fear, cavalier, renegade and steering clear
A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline

… It’s the end of the world as we know it (I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)
I feel fine (I feel fine)

… It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)

… The other night I drifted nice continental drift divide
Mountains sit in a line, Leonard Bernstein
Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs
Birthday party, cheesecake, jellybean, boom
You symbiotic, patriotic, slam but neck, right, right

… It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)

… It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)

… It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)

… It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)

Written for Bee’s Love Is In Da Blog 2032 Day 3 where we are supposed to find a love song for Ukraine and all other countries troubled by violence.

Intense Pleasure or Joy

There was no such thing as rap when I was a teen, as rap didn’t start out as a genre till the block parties that were held in New York City in the early 1970s.  MCs (master of ceremonies the official host of the ceremony, or event) would introduce the DJs at these parties to keep the crowd energized and they would talk between songs interacting with the audience.  Over time, it became common for the MCs (or rappers, as they soon became known) to talk and rhyme over the music while remaining in sync with it.  Rap predates hip-hop which didn’t appear till the 80s, but sometimes these musical terms are used synonymously.  Bee asked us to find a Hip-hop or Rap Love Song from your teenage years for today’s prompt and I decided on the Blondie song ‘Rapture’, which was released in 1980 on their fifth studio album.  This song charted #1 in the US and it went to #5 in the UK.  I am not sure if this qualifies as a love song, unless the love is for dancing.

This is the first-time rap was incorporated into a hit pop song.  Blondie was a group that was formed in 1974 by vocalist Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein.  The rest of the group included Clem Burke on drums, Jimmy Destri playing electric keyboards, Nigel Harrison on bass and Frank Infante on guitar.  ‘Rapture’ was written by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein and Tom Scott played saxophone on this song.  This song is kind of ridiculous, being about a man from Mars that is eating cars, but it did help rap to develop a larger audience.  The “Man from Mars” has a gun which he uses to shoot people before eating their heads.  He has this insatiable appetite gobbling up Cadillacs, Lincolns,
Mercury’s and even a Subaru, and when there are no more cars, he starts eating up the bars where the people meet to dance.  The man from Mars goes back to space before he destroys the planet and now he only eats guitars.

Toe to toe
Dancing very close
Barely breathing
Almost comatose
Wall to wall
People hypnotized
And they’re stepping lightly
Hang each night in rapture

Back to back
Sacroiliac
Spineless movement
And a wild attack

Face to face
Sightless solitude
And it’s finger popping
Twenty-four hour shopping in rapture

Fab Five Freddy told me everybody’s fly
DJ spinnin’ I said, “My my”
Flash is fast, Flash is cool
François c’est pas, Flash ain’t no dude
And you don’t stop, sure shot
Go out to the parking lot
And you get in your car and drive real far
And you drive all night and then you see a light
And it comes right down and it lands on the ground
And out comes a man from Mars
And you try to run but he’s got a gun
And he shoots you dead and he eats your head
And then you’re in the man from Mars
You go out at night eatin’ cars
You eat Cadillacs, Lincolns too
Mercurys and Subaru
And you don’t stop, you keep on eatin’ cars
Then, when there’s no more cars you go out at night
And eat up bars where the people meet
Face to face, dance cheek to cheek
One to one, man to man
Dance toe to toe, don’t move too slow
‘Cause the man from Mars is through with cars
He’s eatin’ bars, yeah wall to wall
Door to door, hall to hall
He’s gonna eat ‘em all
Rapture, be pure
Take a tour through the sewer
Don’t strain your brain, paint a train
You’ll be singin’ in the rain
Said don’t stop to punk rock

Well now you see what you wanna be
Just have your party on TV
‘Cause the man from Mars won’t eat up bars where the TV’s on
Now he’s gone back up to space
Where he won’t have a hassle with the human race
And you hip-hop, and you don’t stop
Just blast off, sure shot
‘Cause the man from Mars stopped eatin’ cars and eatin’ bars
And now he only eats guitars, get up

Written for Bee’s Love Is In Da Blog 2032 Day 2 where we are supposed to find a Hip-hop or Rap Love Song from your teenage years.

It’s Time to Try

Bee has kicked off her Love Is In Da Blog for 2023 and she indicated that today is a user choice, so I selected the Fleetwood Mac song ‘You Make Lovin’ Fun’.  This song comes from their fabulous Rumours album, and we get to hear Christine McVie singing and playing keyboard and some great guitar riffs by Lindsey Buckingham.  Christine McVie wrote this song about her affair with Curry Grant, the band’s lighting director while she was married to the bass guitarist John McVie.  Christine McVie thought she was losing her creativity and she started panicking because every time she sat down at a piano, nothing came out.  Then, one day in Sausalito, she sat down and wrote four songs for this album, ‘Don’t Stop’, ‘You Make Lovin’ Fun’, ‘Oh Daddy’, and ‘Songbird’.  John McVie had no idea that the lyrics in this song were about his wife’s affair, as she told him that the song was about her dog.

Just loving someone isn’t enough to make it work.  Relationships are like owning a house, as there is always something that you can do to improve them and that could make everything better.  Life is not always easy and when you get caught up in the grind, you have to do something to get that spark back, and eliminate the boredom, and complacency by making loving fun again.  To make loving fun again, sometimes you need a new partner.  Christine was a 34-year-old millionaire and part of one of the biggest success stories in rock ’n’ roll.  When Fleetwood Mac went into the studio to record Rumours, the McVie’s, were still legally married, but they weren’t speaking to each other, and they only discussed musical matters at band meetings.  After six months of constant touring, the McVie’s divorced, ending their eight years of marriage.  Christine dumped Curry Grant for Beach Boy Dennis Wilson.  On November 30, 2022, Christine died at the age of 79 after a short illness.

Sweet wonderful you
You make me happy with the things you do
Oh, can it be so
This feeling follows me wherever I go

I never did believe in miracles
But I’ve a feeling it’s time to try
I never did believe in the ways of magic
But I’m beginning to wonder why

I never did believe in miracles
But I’ve a feeling it’s time to try
I never did believe in the ways of magic
But I’m beginning to wonder why

Don’t, don’t break the spell
It would be different and you know it will
You, you make loving fun
And I don’t have to tell you but you’re the only one

You, you make loving fun
It’s all I want to do
You, you make loving fun
It’s all I want to do
You, you make loving fun
It’s all I want to do
You, you make loving fun
It’s all I want to do

Written for Bee’s Love Is In Da Blog 2023 challenge.

A Bad Desire

The Bruce Springsteen song ‘I’m on Fire’ was released on his 1984 seventh album Born In The U.S.A. and the single charted #5 in the UK and made it to #6 in the US.  The album’s music was written by Springsteen and recorded with his E Street Band.  ‘I’m On Fire’ won for Best Male Video at the second MTV Video Music Awards, held in 1985.  In an impromptu session, Springsteen, pianist Roy Bittan, and drummer Max Weinberg recorded the first version of this song themselves, because the rest of the band was taking a break when inspiration struck.  Bruce was playing around with a slow Johnny Cash rhythm that formed into this soft rockabilly beat.  The other E Street Band members were Clarence Clemons, Danny Federici, Garry Tallent and Steven Van Zandt.  This was Bruce’s fourth of a record-tying seven Top 10 hit singles to be released from Born in the U.S.A.

The song is extremely simple, and it may just be a romantic fantasy.  The song is about a man who asks a married woman if her daddy is home, and this seems weird to me, as I would never refer to a woman’s husband as her daddy, but in some cultures, this is perfectly acceptable.  I imagine that if the woman is young and beautiful, that some men may get the idea that they are being provided for by a rich man, who is almost like their daddy, but this whole thing is creepy to me.  He tries to seduce the woman by telling her that he could do things to her that her husband is not capable of.  The desire he has for her is so strong that it feels like somebody cut into his skull with a six-inch knife.  He wakes up in the night sweating and it feels like a freight train is running through his head.  His lust for this woman makes him feel like he’s on fire, and she is the only one that can put out the flames.

Hey little girl, is your daddy home?
Did he go away and leave you all alone? Mhmm
I got a bad desire
Oh oh oh, I’m on fire

Tell me now, baby, is he good to you?
And can he do to you the things that I do? Oh no
I can take you higher
Oh oh oh, I’m on fire

Sometimes it’s like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet
And a freight train running through the middle of my head
Only you can cool my desire
Oh oh oh, I’m on fire
Oh oh oh, I’m on fire
Oh oh oh, I’m on fire

Woo ooh ooh
Woo ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh
Woo ooh ooh
Woo ooh ooh

Written for Bee’s Love Is In Da Blog 22 where today we are allowed to choose our own love song.

Random Love

Warren Zevon wrote and recorded ‘Accidentally, Like a Martyr’ on his 1978 third studio album Excitable Boy.  Warren was married to Crystal Ann Brelsford from 1974 – 1981 and he was a womanizer who raved maniacally (and sometimes violently) through alcoholic blackouts, terrorizing his wife, Crystal, and scarring his two children, Jordan and Ariel.  Like a lot of Zevon’s work, the lyrics in this song are abstract enough that they can be made to fit just about anyone’s own personal interpretation.  This song is probably about a relationship that has grown old and stale, so the man is unhappy and worn out, because he thinks he is stuck or trapped in it, and he cannot leave.  Many couples stay together even when they’re in a rut, but time has its way of changing things.

He is not satisfied with the way his life is turning out, as he wants to be with his friends, but his “phone don’t ring” anymore, because marriage changes people and his former friends are all long gone.  He is beyond being depressed, to the point where he feels like the “sun refused to shine”.  He feels that he is still paying for things that are already his.  Relationships have a way of changing over time, and as this happens, physical intimacy is often affected.  In this song, the man goes from being passionate making “mad love” when they were first together, which transforms into “shadow love” when they were happy being together, and this becomes “random love” as their intimacies became more sporadic with time and finally, they have “abandoned love”, as they no longer interact in that way.

He refers to himself as being a “martyr”, because he has given his life for a cause, which is the vows that he made which are still keeping this relationship together.  This is not the life that he envisioned for himself, as he probably acquiesced to this point, because he doesn’t see a way to turn things around, hence he is “accidentally like a martyr” and has given up on the life that he desired, for the sake of his family.  Every day things seem to get worse, and as the “hurt gets worse” for him, his “heart grows harder”, so he can deal with the pain.  “The days slide by” and he second guesses the decisions that he made, figuring that he should have done some things differently.  The distance between him and his wife keeps growing and this causes him to be even more lonely.  He probably feels like he is waking up next to someone that doesn’t love him anymore.

The phone don’t ring
And the sun refused to shine
Never thought I’d have to pay so dearly
For what was already mine
For such a long, long time

We made mad love
Shadow love
Random love
And abandoned love
Accidentally like a martyr
The hurt gets worse and the heart gets harder

The days slide by
Should have done, should have done, we all sigh
Never thought I’d ever be so lonely
After such a long, long time
Time out of mind

We made mad love
Shadow love
Random love
And abandoned love
Accidentally like a martyr
The hurt gets worse and the heart gets harder

Written for Bee’s Love Is In Da Blog 22 where today we are asked to find a random love song.

Perfect For a Wedding

This Love Song is far from being my favorite, but it is dear to me, because it is such a rare Grateful Dead song.  ‘If I Had The World to Give’ was written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter and it was released on their tenth studio album Shakedown Street in 1978.  Shakedown Street was the final album for Keith and Donna Jean Godchaux, who left the band a few months after its release.  After the Grateful Dead dissolved, this song was released on Beyond Description, a Grateful Dead twelve-CD box set with music from 1973–1989 released in 2004, and Road Trips: Vol 1, Number 4 from Winterland 1978 Bonus CD, released in 2008.  This song was only performed three times in concert and then it was dropped from their rotation.

Four of their other songs which also have the distinction of only being played 3 times are ‘Blues for Allah’, ‘Empty Pages’, ‘Golden Road’ and ‘Money Money’.  They only have 3 other songs that were played less, with ‘Sage & Spirit’ being played twice, and ‘Rosemary’ along with ‘Salt Lake City’ each only being played once.  Having a special someone to share things with in your life should double your fun and cut back on your grief.  Anything that you share with another person, can be a way of expressing your love for them.  Moments, experiences, opinions, thoughts, dreams and feelings can all be shared as you spend time together.  In this song, a man wants to share the world with his lover, and he wonders how she will handle it.  He is probably not able to give her everything that she wants, and he wonders if a song would satisfy her.  He tells her that if she lets him into her world, he promises to love her forever.

If I had the world to give
I’d give it to you – long as you live
Would you let it fall
or hold it all in your arms?

If I had a song to sing
I’d sing it to you – as long as you live
Lullabye – or maybe a plain serenade
wouldn’t you laugh, dance, and cry
or be afraid at the trade you made?

I may not have the world to give to you
but maybe I have a tune or two
Only if you let me be your world
could I ever give this world to you,
could I ever give this world to you

But I will give what love I have to give
I will give what love I have to give
I will give what love I have to give
long as I live

If I had a star to give
I’d give it to you – long as you live
Would you have the time
to watch it shine – watch it shine
or ask for the moon and heaven too?
I’d give it to you.

Maybe I’ve got no star to spare
or anything fine or even rare
Only if you let me be your world
would I ever give this world to you
could I ever give this world to you

Written for Bee’s Love Is In Da Blog 22 where today we are asked to find a Love Song that is dear to us.

Taste Like Rock Candy

‘Watercolor Eyes’ is sung by Lana Del Rey, and this song was featured on the 2022 soundtrack album for the second season of the HBO television teen drama series Euphoria.  Lana wrote this song with Canadian singer, songwriter, and record producer Nasri Tony Atweh and Jim Keltner played drums on the track.  Watercolor eyes represents that her eyes have teared up and this excess moisture caused her eyeshadow and mascara to smudge and run, which can happen even when the person is using what are supposed to be waterproof cosmetics.

This song is one of Lana’s easier-to-understand songs, because even though the lyrics are flush with metaphors, it is clear that she is romantically frustrated.  She is involved with a toxic partner who breaks up with her and then he makes up and they get back together, and all this back and forth is making her mad.  She likes him on the hot summer days, when he is refreshingly cool like a watermelon, but other times she tries to avoid him, because he stings like getting lemon juice in an open cut or a scratch.  He can be very annoying when he plays his guitar while she is trying to get some sleep, so pretty much he is a real a-hole.  Her lover is continuously breaking up and then making up and this distresses her, because she knows that ain’t right.

Why you always doin’ that?
Breakin’ up with me, then makin’ up
Just to make me mad

I think that you taste like rock candy
Sweet like beaches, leave me all sandy
Why do you leave me with watercolor eyes?

Young love don’t always last forever
Wild horses can’t keep us together
So what if you taste just like heaven?
That don’t make it right

Hot summer and cold watermelon
Your love stings like blood and a lemon
Why do you leave me with watercolor eyes?

Watеrcolor eyes
Watercolor еyes
Watercolor eyes
That don’t make it right

Why you always doin’ that?
Playing guitar while I’m sleepin’
Actin’ like a brat

I think that you’re sweet like rock candy
Warm like beaches that leave me sandy
Why do you leave me with watercolor eyes?

Young love don’t always last forever
Wild horses can’t keep us together
So what if you taste just like heaven?
That don’t make it right

Hot summer and cold watermelon
Your love stings like blood and a lemon
Why do you leave me with watercolor eyes?

Watercolor eyes
Watercolor eyes
Watercolor eyes
That don’t make it right

Watercolor eyes
Watercolor eyes
Watercolor eyes
That don’t make it right

Why you always doin’ that?
Breakin’ up with me, then makin’ up
Just to make me mad

Oh-oh
Hey, hey
Why?
That don’t make it right

Written for Bee’s Love Is In Da Blog 22 where today we are asked to find a Love Song from 2022.

About His Daughter

How can you tell if an instrumental is a love song?  To me the meaning of the song comes through the lyrics, but I guess that any beautiful music which makes your heart happy, can be considered to be a love song.  I guess the song ‘(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story’ the theme from the movie Love Story which appeared in the film as an instrumental, would have to be considered a love song, but it was written with lyrics, which were rejected.  The Paul Mauriat song ‘Love Is Blue’ is an instrumental which went to #1 in the US in 1968, but this song also has lyrics.  I am going to go with the Allman Brothers instrumental song ‘Jessica’ which was released on their 1973 Brothers And Sisters album and made it to #65 on the US charts.

Jessica is the name of Allman Brothers guitarist Dickey Betts’ daughter.  He was working on this song when she crawled into the room and inspired him.  Jessica Betts was born May 14, 1972 and she was one year old when her dad wrote the song.  Betts had Jessica with Sandy Bluesky, who also inspired the famous Allman Brothers song ‘Blue Sky’, which he wrote for her.  The couple were married in 1973.  Baby Jessica bounced along to the song’s rhythm, and Betts attempted to capture her attitude with its melody.  He invited fellow guitarist Les Dudek over to collaborate on it, and Dudek performed the bridge.  Guitarist Dickey Betts wrote the majority of this song at the band’s farm, a 432-acre group hangout in Juliette, Georgia.

In the mid-1970s, ‘Jessica; became even more familiar to radio listeners in London, England as a theme on Capital Radio’s album rock show Your Mother Wouldn’t Like It, and then won a huge audience as the theme for BBC Television’s Top Gear British car motoring series.  It’s also been featured in numerous movies, TV shows like The Simpsons episode “Little Big Girl” and My Name Is Earl episode “Randy in Charge”, and during the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode “The Thing That Couldn’t Die”.  The song was featured in the movie Field of Dreams and at the end of the 1994 movie Lassie.  There was later glory, too, for a live recording of ‘Jessica’ that was included on the album An Evening With The Allman Brothers Band: 2nd Set, which was released in 1995.  The following year, that version won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.  A 2006 Wall Street Journal article deemed it “a true national heirloom”.

Dickey Betts wrote this instrumental piece as a tribute to Django Reinhardt, as it only uses two fingers in the guitar part.  Reinhardt was a famous jazz guitarist who could only use two fingers in his playing as a result of a childhood injury.  ‘Jessica’ was the first Allman Brothers song recorded with new bassist Lamar Williams after the fatal motorcycle accident of Berry Oakley.

Written for Bee’s Love Is In Da Blog 22 where today we are asked to find a Love Song without words.