Lyrically Evocative (15)

This is one of my all-time favourite songs, and if I think about it, definitely in the top three. It has featured on this blog before, but I consider the lyrics to be worth inclusion in this series. It was written by Leon Russell, and I first heard it a long time ago, in 1970. I was only 18 then, but I got a chill up my back, and knew this was something special.

The following year, I heard a new version from the soul singer, Donny Hathaway. As much as I liked Leon’s original, this new one really hit the spot for me, adding a soulful feel, and slipping sweetly inside my brain. It has since been covered countless times, by an incredibly diverse range of singers. When you see the lyrics, you will understand why.
It breaks my heart, every time.

A Song For You.

I’ve been so many places in my life and time
I’ve sung a lot of songs
I’ve made some bad rhymes
I’ve acted out my life in stages
With ten thousand people watching
But we’re alone now
And I’m singing this song to you
I know your image of me is what I hoped to be
I treated you unkindly
But darling can’t you see
There’s no one more important to me
Baby can’t you see through me?
‘Cause we’re alone now and I’m singing this song to you
You taught me precious secrets
Of a true love
You wanted nothing
You came out in front
When I was hiding
But now I’m so much better
And if my words don’t come together
Listen to the melody
‘Cause my love is in there hiding
I love you in a place
Where there’s no space or time
I love you for my life
You’re a friend of mine
And when my life is over
Remember when we were together
We were alone
And I was singing this song to you
I love you in a place
Where there’s no space or time
I love you for my life
You’re a friend of mine
And when my life is over
Remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singing this song to you
We were alone
And I was singing this song to you
We were alone and I was singing this song
Singing this song to you

Songwriters: Leon Russell
A Song for You lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

And here is Donny Hathaway, singing my own favourite version.

31 thoughts on “Lyrically Evocative (15)

  1. Ahhh…Danny Hathaway. Great voice. I love his work with Roberta Flack, especially “Where is the Love”. So tragic, his death.
    I prefer the Leon Russell version of a Song for You as much as I like Hathaway. Saw Russell in concert back in Texas at one of our local hot spots called Dos Amigos. There were about two thousand people packed in a place that was designed for fifteen hundred. In my top ten concerts of all time. Genius.
    Love, love Danny Hathaway, though. Such a handsome, talented guy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not sure about the quality of the lyrical construction, David. I will leave that to the experts, like you. 🙂
      But I do ‘get’ this song so much, and it hits every sentimental spot in my brain.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, FR. It is indeed a very sad love song, and very well know. I’m surprised you haven’t hear at least one of the many versions. Andy Williams, and The Carpenters, both had huge hits with it. But you were probably too young at the time. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. All the “Greats” die way too young……just think of the music they could have produced……I seldom like any remakes especially of soul songs…..there is a mood set by the original that few can match…….like “Dock of the Bay” there is only one version that is acceptable…Otis. chuq

    Liked by 1 person

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