Heart And Soul

What the heck is a soul anyway, that intangible thing that connects us to an afterlife, which could be an eternity burning in hell, or getting admitted beyond the pearly gates?  Does Saint Peter see you as a person, or does he just see how tarnished you soul has become?  Lots of question and no answers, as death is a mystery to everyone who is not dead.

I think that Sam and Dave said it best, but since I can’t remember all the lyrics to their song, I will have to make some up.

I am a sole fish,
The best tasting stuff on your dish.
I enjoy swimming around in the shade,
At least till I am caught and filleted.
Got pulled into the boat on a day that it snowed.
The fisherman took me home to his humble abode.
I hated the noise being made by the horned toad.
He said, “Would you rather be put in the commode.”
I began to explode,
I needed to hit the road.
My outrage overflowed,
All I wanted was some good loving,
I needed a boat load.
I am a sole fish,
Give me my wish.

Written for 3/16/19 Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ Stream of Consciousness Saturday where the prompt is to use either word “soul/sole”.

Watch The Drops Of Rain

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were the most successful folk-rock duo of the 1960s, crafting a series of memorable hit albums and singles which featured their well-loved and familiar harmonies, and incorporated acoustic and electric guitars, along with Simon’s songwriting.  They were childhood friends, growing up together in Forest Hills, NY, and they began making records in 1957, calling themselves Tom & Jerry.  Their first single was ‘Hey Schoolgirl’, and it actually made it into the Top 50, but after a series of follow-ups that went nowhere, the duo split up, and Simon continued to struggle to make it in the music business as a songwriter and occasional performer, sometimes using the names of Jerry Landis or Tico & the Triumphs.  After graduating from Forest Hills High School, Simon majored in English at Queens College and graduated in 1963, while Garfunkel studied mathematics at Columbia University in Manhattan.

By the early ‘60s, both Simon and Garfunkel came under the influence of folk music, so they teamed up again, this time as a folk duo.  They signed with Columbia, and in 1964 they recorded an initially unsuccessful acoustic studio album as Simon & Garfunkel, titled Wednesday Morning, 3 AM.  They again went their separate ways, Simon moving to England, where he played the folk circuit and recorded an obscure solo album.  Simon toured England’s pubs and small folk clubs, and he met Kathy Chitty, who became the object of his affection.

The Simon & Garfunkel story could have ended there, except for a brainstorm of their producer, Tom Wilson (who also produced several of Bob Dylan’s early albums).  Folk-rock was taking off in 1965, and Wilson, who had helped Dylan electrify his sound, took the strongest track from S&G’s debut, ‘The Sound of Silence’, and embellished it with electric guitars, bass, and drums.  The Byrds, five ex-folkies who turned rockers, created a new hybrid sound that was immediately termed “folk-rock” with their hit cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ and this is the format that Simon and Garfunkel decided to follow.  Their newly recorded song ‘The Sound of Silence’ got to number one in early 1966, and the album peaked at #30 on the Billboard album chart in 1966.  This gave the duo the impetus to reunite and make a serious go at a recording career, so Simon returned from the U.K. to the U.S.  In 1966 and 1967, they were regular visitors to the pop charts with some of the best folk-rock of the era, including ‘Homeward Bound’, ‘I Am a Rock’ and ‘A Hazy Shade of Winter’.

After Queens College Simon briefly attended Brooklyn Law School for one semester before he dropped out of New York law school, and went to England.  In 1964, 22 year old Paul Simon was in England, when he met an 18 year old girl who loved folk music.  This love brought Kathleen Mary “Kathy” Chitty to the Railway Inn folk club, in Brentwood, Essex, where she sold tickets.  During their relationship Paul wrote dozens of hits that were later performed with Art Garfunkel.  Kathy is mentioned by name twice in ‘America’ and the song ‘Homeward Bound’ is about returning from a gig in Widnes to see her in Essex.  However today I am writing about ‘Kathy’s Song’ which Paul wrote about missing her while he was in New York.

In 1964, the very first English folk club that Paul Simon played in, the Railway Inn Folk Club was where he met his then girlfriend Kathy Chitty.  ‘Kathy’s Song’ came out on the 1966 album Sounds Of Silence.  They met on 12th April, 1964 and it appeared to be love at first sight.  Later that year he invited her to the US where they toured around mainly by bus.  Kathy returned to England on her own with Simon returning to her some weeks later.  During this separation he wrote ‘America’, which was clearly a love song to Kathy and ‘Kathy’s Song’, which some people consider to be one of the most beautiful love songs ever written.

When he returned to London he recorded the album The Paul Simon Songbook which included ‘Kathy’s Song’, and it featured a photo of Simon and Kathy on the cover.  In the meantime, The Sound of Silence started to receive major air-play in America eventually becoming No 1 in the US charts in 1965.  Simon felt the need to return to the US to continue his career, but this meant splitting up with Kathy because she wanted no part of the crazy US music scene.  Kathy later married and brought up three children in a remote mountain village in North Wales where she still lives and is now a grandmother.

Simon married Peggy Harper in 1969, but they split after having one son, Ben, in 1975.  He then had a two-year marriage to Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher after proposing during a live New York Yankees baseball game in 1983.  He has three children, Adrian, Lulu and Gabriel, with Edie Brickell, the singer with the 1980s band the New Bohemians, after they married in 1992.

The personnel that played on the Sounds Of Silence album included Paul Simon singing lead vocals, and playing guitar, Art Garfunkel also sang lead vocals, Fred Carter Jr. a Nashville musician who was a member of the Hawks, Glen Campbell, and Joe South who wrote ‘Games People Play’ and ‘Rose Garden’ all played guitar, Larry Knechtel a member of the Wrecking Crew was on keyboards, Joe Osborn a Los Angeles and Nashville session musician played bass guitar and the infamous Hal Blaine played drums.  Simon won 12 Grammys both as a solo artist and with Simon and Garfunkel.  His biggest hits include ‘Mrs. Robinson’, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ and ‘Graceland’.  In 1990, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were both inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

This song utilizes a metaphor of applying rain to represent Paul Simon’s feelings toward his girlfriend Kathy, who he was separated from at the time.  London is not the wettest city on earth, but it does rain rather frequently in Britain, and this is mostly due to the island being unfortunately located right in the path of the atmospheric jet stream, which would account for the association that Simon makes.  Paul goes on to say that he is still thinking about her even though they are many miles away and he mentions how this is affecting his ability to write songs.  All he can do is watch the rain and he feels like he is like the rain, but for the grace of Kathy he goes.

I hear the drizzle of the rain
Like a memory it falls
Soft and warm continuing
Tapping on my roof and walls

And from the shelter of my mind
Through the window of my eyes
I gaze beyond the rain-drenched streets
To England where my heart lies

My mind’s distracted and diffused
My thoughts are many miles away
They lie with you when you’re asleep
And kiss you when you start your day

And as a song I was writing is left undone
I don’t know why I spend my time
Writing songs I can’t believe
With words that tear and strain to rhyme

And so you see I have come to doubt
All that I once held as true
I stand alone without beliefs
The only truth I know is you

And as I watch the drops of rain
Weave their weary paths and die
I know that I am like the rain
There but for the grace of you go I

Power To The People

In the 1960s and the early ‘70s, this phrase indicated that individuals needed to take the control away from governments and institutions, and John Lennon advocated this in his song ‘Power to the People’.  He did not shy away from controversy, but he was not really a leader of any kind, as he just wanted to write music that the people could sing along with.  Since John Lennon also wrote ‘Give Peace A Chance’, he is just as much of a revolutionary activist as he was a member of the pacifist movement.  The times they were a changing and nobody was saying “love is all you need” any more.

John Lennon sang lead vocals, played electric guitar and piano with Klaus Voormann who knew the Beatles from the time they spent in Hamburg, and worked with Harry Nilsson and the Bee Gees on bass guitar, Billy Preston who backed artists such as Little Richard, Sam Cooke and Ray Charles also playing piano and keyboards, Bobby Keys who toured with the Rolling Stones for more than 45 years on saxophone, Jim Gordon who played in Derek and the Dominos on drums and Yoko along with Rosetta Hightower who was in The Orlons and others sang backing vocals.

Power to the people was said as a form of rebellion against The Establishment, because people believed that they were being oppressed.  It was used to protest the rich, the ruling class that was dominating society, and many students used it to protest America’s military campaign in Vietnam.  The song was written by John Lennon and recorded on his 1970 debut solo album Plastic Ono Band and this song eventually made it to #7 on the charts.

Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

Say we want a revolution
We better get on right away
Well you get on your feet
And into the street

Singing power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

A million workers working for nothing
You better give ‘em what they really own
We got to put you down
When we come into town

Singing power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

I gotta ask you comrades and brothers
How do you treat you own woman back home
She got to be herself
So she can free herself

Singing power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on
Now, now, now, now

Oh well, power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

Yeah, power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

Written for FOWC with Fandango where today’s prompt is Power.

Area Of A Round Field

The Egyptians knew how to calculate the area of a square or rectangular field, by taking the length of one side and multiplying it by the width of another side, but areas became more difficult when they had to work with circles.  The Rhind Mathematical dates back to about 1650 BC and it is named after the Scottish antiquarian Alexander Henry Rhind who purchased the papyrus in 1858 in Luxor, Egypt, which was apparently found during illegal excavations. It is one of the main sources of our knowledge of Egyptian mathematics.  It is also called the Ahmes Papyrus, as Ahmes or Ahmose or A’h-mose papyrus, as he was the Egyptian scribe from the Second Intermediate Period and the beginning of the Eighteenth Dynasty who is credited for copying a set of mathematical procedures for this manuscript.  Thus the Rhind papyrus is named after the person who purchased it and the Ahmes Papyrus is named after the person who wrote it, so we have two different names for the same thing.

Since today March 14th is Pi day, I will explain how this document helped the Egyptians figure out the area of a circular field. The Rhind Papyrus gives us an ancient estimation for pi, which it is fairly accurate.  The Egyptian measurement of area is termed the ‘setat’ and this was defined by a square with sides being 100 cubits long.  Problem 50 of this document questioned how the area of a circular field could be determined if the diameter was known.

The Egyptians used a khet for measurement of length and this is about 50 meters.  This circular field had a diameter of 9 khet and Ahmes stated that the way to solve this is by: Taking away 1/9 of this area, giving you the remainder of 8.  Then you solve the area using this 8 as being a side of a square, so you multiply 8 times 8 you will get an area of 64 setat.  The solution for this problem of determining the area A of a circle that has a known diameter d can be stated with a modern formula, that looks like this: A = (d – 1)2.  This formula when the diameter is 9 is actually a very close approximation to the modern formula that we use for area of a circle being A = πr2.  The problem with this formula is that it only works well within a limited range of diameters, as you can see in the table below.  If the diameter is less than 6 or more than 11, you are not getting that good of an estimate.

Circle Diameter 6 7 8 9 10 11
Ahmes A = (d – 1)2 25 36 49 64 81 100
Modern A = πr2 28.26 38.47 50.24 63.6 78.5 94.99

History gives us a glimpse into the past, but it does not tell us everything, so we need to speculate about what happened from the facts that we know.  Math is an exact science, it is about getting the correct solutions to problems and this is only accomplished by being consistently accurate.  The Rhind Papyrus gives us insight into the mathematics of ancient Egypt, but more is needed so we can understand how the Egyptians were able to calculate the area of a circle using the value of 3.1605 to represent π, which would not become a thing till much later.  Mathematicians began using the Greek letter π in the 1700s.  It was introduced by William Jones in 1706, and the use of the symbol π was popularized by Leonhard Euler, when he adopted it in 1737.  There is a story here between the history and the math, which I will relate to you, as I love explaining things.

Did the Egyptians construct a table like the one that is above and realize that this obscure formula only worked within a certain range of numbers?  I guess we will never know for sure, but their value for π was based off of the circular field problem from the Rhind papyrus and this problem #50 does use the diameter of 9.  How did the Egyptians actually came up with their estimation for the value of Pi π or Π that was equal to  or 3.16, which is very close to the 3.14 that was calculated much later?   You might say that this was good enough for government work, which use to mean that it could pass the most rigorous of standards, but today this means that the job did get done, but probably not with the best work and it would only meet the minimal acceptable standards.

Going back to our problem, we now know that the correct circle area formula is A = πr2, but since the Egyptians liked to use the diameter instead of the radius, they did not have A = π2.  Looking at the circular field problem, the diameter that we are given in the Rhind Papyrus is 9, and knowing that 2r is the diameter, if we take 1/9 of the diameter we would get  (1/9)  (2r). Now if we “cut off” 1/9 of the diameter and then we subtract that from the original diameter this will give us, 2r – (1/9)  (2r), which leaves us (8/9)(2r).  We turn that length into the side of a square, thus the area is the expression to be squared is [(8/9)(2r)]2.  This simplifies to become [(256/81)(r)]2 and the Egyptians almost had it.  They used a rational number (a number which can be expressed as a ratio) being the fraction 256/81.  It would take a long time to discover that the value of π was irrational.  That is enough math for one day, as I don’t want anyone’s head to explode, but next year on Pi Day, we will get into some deep stuff discussing Leonhard Euler and π.  Until then make sure that you enjoy some pie today.

Things Inside My Head

Bowie said that the song ‘Janine’ was written about his association with George Tremlett, an English author, bookshop owner, former politician and a freelance British music journalist, who wrote The David Bowie story and David Bowie: Living on the Brink and who also interviewed Bowie in late 1969 and the girl that he used to go out with that seems to be just a little too much.  It’s how David thought that he should see her.  ‘Janine’ is also thought to have been influenced by Lindsay Kemp, a British dancer and choreographer who acted as a mentor and collaborator to David Bowie.  ‘Janine’ came out on Bowie’s second studio album, Man of Words/Man of Music in 1969 by Mercury, which was later retitled reissued in 1972 by RCA Records as Space Oddity.  ‘Janine’ captures a new Bowie who doesn’t quite know who he is yet, sort of like he is jumbled up and fighting for control.  This underrated song has since been mainly forgotten lapsing into obscurity.

David Bowie is often referred to as being a musical chameleon, adapting himself according to fashion and trends.  David Bowie formed his first band at age 15, playing rock-and-roll jams at weddings and belonging to a couple bands after that, including one R&B group called the Buzz.  By the age of 20, Bowie released his first album, David Bowie, which was a kind of pop meets psychedelia experiment that didn’t chart.  David Bowie finally got real press coverage when he released Space Oddity on July 11, 1969, five days ahead of the Apollo 11 launch.

David Bowie sang vocals, played acoustic & 12-string guitars, stylophone a digital version of the kazoo, kalimba a thumb piano, Rosedale organ and he did arrangements on Space Oddity working with Mick Wayne who was in the group Junior’s Eyes on guitar, Tim Renwick who was in The Sutherland Brothers and Quiver on guitar, flute, recorder, Keith Christmas who toured with and supported The Who, King Crimson, Ten Years After, Frank Zappa and The Kinks on acoustic guitar, Rick Wakeman best known for being in the progressive rock band Yes on Mellotron, electric harpsichord, Tony Visconti one of the most influential producers of the glam rock era on bass, flute, recorder, arranger & producer, Herbie Flowers a member of T. Rex on bass, Terry Cox who was in Pentangle, Duffy’s Nucleus and Humblebums on drums, Paul Buckmaster who also collaborated with Elton John and Harry Nilsson on cello and Benny Marshall & Friends who worked with Uriah Heep and Mott the Hoople on harmonica.

‘Janine’ is one of the fun songs on this album being a rocker hidden within a folk song that has an almost country-rock groove.  Tony Visconti said that he liked ‘Janine’ best of all the Space Oddity tracks.  ‘Janine’ also appears on the 2000 live album Bowie At The Beeb – The Best Of The BBC Radio Sessions 68-72.  I was not able to find out who this girl Janine is, but I did find a connection with David Bowie and a Janine.  Australian entrepreneur and Boost Juice founder and Shark Tank judge Janine Allis worked on Bowie’s yacht Deneb Star in the ‘80s when she was 21, cleaning up after Bowie and his guests, while cruising the Mediterranean.  Deneb is the brightest star in the constellation of Cygnus, the swan and it is one of the most distant stars you’ll ever see without the aid of a telescope.

‘Janine’ is bouncy puppy love folk-rock song, with lyrics that examine a love affair which include undercurrents of violence and this need to shield one’s true identity for self-protection. Bowie proclaims that if Janine takes an axe to him, she won’t kill him, but instead she would be killing another man entirely.  ‘Janine’ discusses a lovelorn romance that a man has with a woman who he is very attracted to, but he doesn’t have the guts to show her the whole truth.  She wants to know what is on the inside of him, what makes him tick, but he’s worried that if she does get inside of his head, he will need to push her away, so he tries to keep their relationship at a distance.  This girl scares him, because the feelings that he has for her are too intense.  He doesn’t want her to know his true self, therefore he has to keep a veil of deception or wear a mask to hide them, and this allows him to pretend that he is actually another person.  Whenever she tries to discover his dark side, he must keep her in her place, not allowing her to destroy his walls and see what he is hiding.  Janine wants to break his walls, to see what is hiding behind the mask, but she will never get to know him.

Oh my love, Janine
I’m helpless for your smile
Like a Polish wander
I travel ever onwards to your land
And were it not just for the jewels, I’d close your hand

Your strange demand
To collocate my mind
Scares me into gloom
You’re too intense
I’ll have to keep you in your place
I’ve no defense
I’ve got to keep my veil on my face

Janine, Janine, you’d like to know me well
But I’ve got things inside my head
That even I can’t face

Janine, Janine, you’d like to crash my walls
But if you take an axe to me
You’ll kill another man
Not me at all

You’re fey, Janine
A tripper to the last
But if I catch you standing on my toes
I’ll have a right to shout you down
For you’re a lazy stream
In which my thoughts would drown

So stay, Janine
And we can glide along
I’ve caught your wings for laughs
I’m not obliged to read you statements of the year
So take your glasses off
And don’t act so sincere

Janine, Janine, you’d like to know me well
But I’ve got things inside my head
That even I can’t face

Janine, Janine, you’d like to crash my walls
But if you take an axe to me
You’ll kill another man
Not me at all
Yeah
Oh ah
Ooooo
Oh Janine
Hey Janine
Oh Janine
Ah ho
Oh Janine
Ho how
Janine
Ah Janine yeah
Janine Janine Janine
Yeah yeah

The Orange President

Does Trump consume a lot of carrots, or is constantly eating pumpkin, or is it possible that he is not using the correct shade of tanning oils on his skin?   Forget about his hair and his small hands, it is that perplexing orange colored skin that gives him this unhumanoid quality, which he doesn’t want exposed.  There is nothing natural about the way he looks and his look is definitely not the result of good genes, as he would have everyone believe.  His orange tinge remains a state secret and this glow will not make America great again.  Trump has been called the Angry Creamsicle, Comrade Cheetolino, Mango Mussolini and Agent Orange, however ethnically he identifies himself as being white or Caucasian.  This Trump thing will never catch on, as aesthetic additions and color modifications to make your face look orange is widely viewed as unacceptable within popular culture and this orange fake bake look is definitely laughable and a clear signal that something has gone radically wrong.

Written for Linda G. Hill Life in progress One-Liner Wednesday – March 13 prompt.

Try And Understand

‘Bella Linda’ is a cover of an Italian hit by Lucio Battisti and Giulio Rapetti Mogol, ‘Balla Linda’ which appeared on the 1969 Grass Roots third album Lovin’ Things and this song reached #28 in the U.S.  The Grass Roots started with P.F. Sloan & Steve Barri, two talented songwriters from Los Angeles.  Sloan and Bari were both from New York, however their families both moved to Los Angeles.  Sloan was born Phil Schlein in 1945, and Steve Barri was born Steve Lipkin in 1942.  Sloan started writing and recording songs for small labels and Barri got a job in a music store, where he heard lots of records and learned some guitar chords.  They worked for Dunhill Records, a new label headed by Lou Adler who was a record producer, A&R man, record company executive, music publisher, budding movie producer and sometimes he worked as a personal manager.

Lou was in charge of Trousdale Music and he formed Dunhill Records with Jay Lasker, who was running Vee Jay Records.  Almost overnight, Dunhill became very popular and ABC purchased it.  It was renamed ABC Dunhill, and Lou had the Midas touch at Dunhill, as everything he got involved with turned to gold.  Adler was at the top of the charts seven times with ‘Surf City’ by Jan & Dean, ‘Memphis’ and ‘Poor Side of Town’ by Johnny Rivers, ‘California Dreamin’’ and ‘Monday Monday’ by the Mamas and the Papas, ‘San Francisco’ by Scott McKenzie and ‘Eve of Destruction’ by Barry McGuire which was a protest song that was written by P. F. Sloan in mid-1964.  This single was certified a million-seller in just four weeks.  They also cut records for Peter Allen, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Johnny Rivers, Barry Mann, P. F. Sloan, The Turtles, Carole King and many others.  Lou Adler also co-produced the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.

Sloan and Bari created The Fantastic Baggys, an American surf and hot rod studio group in 1964 which was unsuccessful. Adler signed P. F. Sloane to Dunhill Productions, and Dunhill gave Sloan and Bari the task of putting together a collection of songs so the record label could have some impact on the budding folk rock trend going on in 1965.  The duo wrote ‘Where Were You When I Needed You’ which both Sloan & Barri took part in recording along with some seasoned studio musicians at Dunhill.  The record received positive feedback, so they searched to find a band to become The Grass Roots.  An audition was held at the Whisky-A-Go-Go in San Francisco.

The San Francisco group called the Bedouins was comprised of  Denny Ellis on rhythm guitar, Willie Fulton on vocals and lead guitar, Joel Larson on drums and David Stensen on bass.  They had all grown up in the San Francisco music scene, but they were all under the age of 18, so their mothers had to sign their recording contracts.  The group went to Los Angeles and their first single became a regional hit.  In 1966, drummer Joel Larson left The Grass Roots and joined the Gene Clark Group, but in 1971 he returned after having worked with Gene Clark, The Turtles, The Merry-Go-Round and Lee Michaels and he stayed with them through the end of their heyday in 1975.  Dunhill received an impressive demo tape from a local Los Angeles based quartet called the 13th Floor who wrote their own compositions as well as playing cover tunes and they offered them the opportunity to take over the Grass Roots name and work directly with Sloan and Barri.  Dunhill secured their name The Grass Roots, which had previously been used by Arthur Lee of Love.

Creed Bratton played lead guitar, Rick Coonce played drums, Warren Entner sang and played rhythm guitar and Kenny Fukomoto sang and played bass for the newly formed Grass Roots.  Fukomoto was drafted into the army, so he was replaced by Rob Grill who was a bass player and sang.  They had a big hit with ‘Let’s Live For Today’ which climbed to #8 on the charts.  In 1968, they released the single ‘Midnight Confessions’ which shot up to #5 on the charts.  This marked the highest chart position the group had achieved.  Lead guitarist Bratton left in 1969 and he was replaced by keyboardist and vocalist Dennis Provisor.

In 1966, Sloan & Barri wrote ‘Secret Agent Man’ for Johnny Rivers which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Sloan left Dunhill to pursue a solo career while Barri shifted to an emphasis on production.  In 1970, Jimmy Webb wrote a song titled ‘P.F. Sloan’ because Sloan had helped him get started in the songwriting business.  Phil Sloan died on November 15, 2015 at the age of 70 after contracting pancreatic cancer.  Barri ran the entire A&R department at Dunhill and he was involved in signing Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night, Steely Dan, Jim Croce, The James Gang, Jimmy Buffett, Rufus (featuring Chaka Khan) and others.  Barri was personally involved in the writing/production of hit songs and albums for many of the acts he signed, as well as hits for Tommy Roe, Mama Cass Elliott, The Four Tops, The Turtles, Herman’s Hermits, B.B. King and others.  After leaving Dunhill Barri worked with Warner Bros. Records, Motown Records, Capitol Records, JVC Records and Gold Circle Entertainment/Samson Music.

In 1969, ‘Bella Linda’ continued to cement the Grass Roots standing as hit makers.  They were a main staple on the radio across the country.  The girl Linda in this song is neither beautiful, intelligent nor bewitching, but there is something about her that makes the singer not want her to leave him.  They have had some bad times and he has made her cry, mostly because he was thoughtless about her emotions.  He would like Linda to try and understand that he will never change, and know that if she goes away, he will die.

Bella Linda, try and understand
Bella Linda, I’m doin’ all I can
Bella Linda, I’m only what I am

It’s so hard for me to say
The things I really feel
If I could I’d chase away
The pain your eyes reveal
The pain your eyes reveal
From foolish things I’ve done
The times that I let you down
And I’ll never change, believe me I try
If you go away, you know that I’ll die
Oh I love you, please don’t say goodbye

Bella Linda, try and understand
Bella Linda, I’m doin’ all I can
Bella Linda, I’m only what I am

We’ve had bad times
Through the years
And though I’ve made you cry
Think of me through tender tears
And try to close your eyes
And try to close your eyes
To thoughtless things I do
The dreams that don’t come true
‘Cause I’ll never change, believe me I try
If you go away, you know that I’ll die
Oh I need you, please don’t say goodbye

Bella Linda, try and understand
Bella Linda, I’m doin’ all I can
Bella Linda, I’m only what I am

Bella Linda, try and understand
Bella Linda, I’m doin’ all I can
Bella Linda, I’m only what I am

Bella Linda