Lyrically Evocative (14)

In 1972, I was twenty years old. I had already been in love a couple of times, or so I thought at the time. One thing I had learned already, was that relationships are never easy, and that they are often very different to how you see them in your mind. Forty-six years later, and many more relationships and marriages behind me, I now know the truth. I never learned anything, and wonder if anyone else ever did too.

That year, I heard a short song on the radio, by Todd Rungren. It was called ‘I Saw The Light’, and it got to me immediately, seeming to sum up lots of my feelings at the time. I went out and bought the single, playing it over and over on my old record player.
A lifetime later, it is just as relevant today.

Here are Todd’s lyrics.

It was late last night
I was feeling something wasn’t right
There was not another soul in sight
Only you, only you
So we walked along,
though I knew there was something wrong
And the feeling hot me oh so strong about you
Then you gazed up at me and the answer was plain to see
‘Cause I saw the light in your eyes
Though we had our fling
I just never would suspect a thing
‘Til that little bell began to ring in my head
In my head
But I tried to run,
though I knew it wouldn’t help me none
‘Cause I couldn’t ever love no one, or so I said
But my feelings for you
were just something I never knew
‘Til I saw the light in your eyes
But I love you best
It’s not something that I say in jest
‘Cause you’re different, girl, from all the rest
In my eyes
And I ran out before but I won’t do it anymore
Can’t you see the light in my eyes

Songwriters: Todd Rundgren
I Saw the Light lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

And here he is from 1972, singing them.

By coincidence, this very song was featured on The Immortal Jukebox yesterday, the wonderful music blog of Thom Hickey, not long after I had written this up as a draft. His far superior post features other versions of the song too. I cannot recommend his blog highly enough, and any music lovers would do well to give it a look.
Here’s a link.
Todd Rundgren, Barb Jungr, Hal Ketchum & Mari Wilson : I Saw The Light

37 thoughts on “Lyrically Evocative (14)

  1. This is a good one. My husband and I are Rundgren fans. Such a great musician, I had no idea what a great guitarist he is until I saw him in concert. I love the intricate word play that he uses in this song and how it rides so gently on the bridge:

    But I tried to run,
    though I knew it wouldn’t help me none
    ‘Cause I couldn’t ever love no one, or so I said
    But my feelings for you
    were just something I never knew
    ‘Til I saw the light in your eyes…

    Perfect. Thanks for reminding me, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for asking, Pete.. just kinda letting the news flow and devour itself for a while. Honestly.. I have a number of half-started posts that start with the best of intentions but drift into obscurity as I end up even boring myself because they get too long. Perhaps I can resurrect something.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Being an old rock & roll Boomer like yourself it was interesting hearing this song again. It pretty much gets zero play on oldies radio anymore. Funny how it still triggers a memory or two. In 1972 (I was 21) I was in my second year in USAF, stationed at McCoy AFB.. shared runways with Orlando Int’l Airport. I guarded B-52’s on alert with nukes. The base has long since closed up, although if one Googles the sat view next to the airport you can still see some of the aircraft parking areas. DisneyWorld was just opening.

    A couple months ago I just got back from a two week road trip back to my hometown Chicago and brought back with me a large amount of stuff cleared out from storage. Among that stuff were old newspapers with notable headlines, 1970’s era magazines of events… and my old record collection.. a ton of 45’s and a number of LP’s. I had to go out and buy a record player. Now I have a job moving all that to MP3.

    Interesting thought, Pete… in 1973, while most everyone was being sent to Southeast Asia they sent my ass to Keflavik Iceland. That’s about the closest you and I ever got to each other.. oh.. wait!! When I was stationed in Iceland I took a three day R&R to Scotland. That was the closest. Believe me when I say this, old buddy… I recall being on UK soil the coolest place I had ever been; being such a history buff I was proud to have visited there, although I didn’t get below Hadrian’s Wall.

    The older we get the more memories we are conjuring up.

    Liked by 1 person

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