Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Sweet Days of Summer Are Almost Gone

Song 217: With fall just 2 days away, today I posted the song Summer Breeze by Seals and Crofts (who also wrote the tune), since the sweet days of summer are almost gone. This track came across the radio like a cool breath of fresh air during the warmer months of 1972, and in that sweaty Chicago summer, I remember noticing a special summer breeze once or twice on a hot day, and connecting it with this song. I also liked that interesting and somewhat familiar sound in the middle section (sweet days of summer...) but didn't realize that it came from a child's toy piano. I did wonder, though, about the line When I come home from a hard day's work, as I was all caught up in the music business hype and didn't understand the realities of music business economics. I didn't consider musician work, whether recording, performing, doing interviews or whatever, as particularly hard work, but listening to the song, I also got the impression that the singer wasn't referring to musician work. After I heard a couple of other tracks from the Summer Breeze album, it sounded like a good investment, and the first time through the LP I felt pretty good about buying it. I picked up on a bit of a religious angle from some of the lyrics, but I sensed that it didn't come from any of the traditional Judeo/Christian branches. The early 1970s saw quite an expansion in the variety of religious messages attracting attention, and I soon learned that Jim Seals and Dash Crofts were followers of the Baha'i faith. I then discovered that the city where I lived (Evanston, IL) actually had its own Baha'i temple, and was one of the U.S. centers of the faith. I think this discovery happened when my childhood best buddy (the one who I wrote the song So Long Friend for) came to visit me, because during that stay, he made a pilgrimage up to the north end of town to see the temple, as a recent convert to the faith, though a few years later he drifted away from religion, into agnosticism. Unlike my friend, S & C doubled down on their faith, retiring from the music business to focus on religious work. I won't comment on the wisdom of either move, but simply say that listening to Summer Breeze still makes me feel fine. On a side note, you can click the title of my tune So Long Friend to find a lyric video on YouTube.

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