Bits and Pieces

15 Mar

Usually, or at least a great deal of the time, I can immediately associate how I remembered a song by either who I happened to be hanging out with at the time, or by an event I tagged with it, by a girl I was linked with, a band I played in, a season, or at least by a unique, if rather tenuous, random yellowed highlight of a distant foggy memory. There is always something that somehow reminds me of that track.

But there are instances where I have that small particle of a phrase in a song that pop into my mind every so often where I can’t for the life of me remember anything about how I even have the right to know that particle. Case in point is the phrase “5-10-15-20 (25 30 Years of Love)” that appeared to me from time to time precipitously dangling in my mind. I’d randomly remember that phrase, and that phrase only – even remembering the music that accompanied that phrase, but only able to recall that minute section of the song. It wasn’t until maybe 10 years ago that I found that it was performed by the Presidents.

I would believe that the inability to remember a scrap of some tune from somewhere out of the past happens to all of us who have put way too much time into listening to music and who have developed an encyclopedic knowledge of trivia throughout the years. Sometimes it may be that it gets all too much to retain every individual and unique orphaned, floating subdivision of everything we’ve ever heard.

Manfred MannThere’s been another example of a tiny jagged sliver of a song that had been moving within my cranium for years, of which I have only recently cracked where it came from within the past few weeks. How I ever remembered this particular phrase that has swirled in my head I can’t begin to understand how or why. Again, every once in a great while it dips into my mind chamber, dallies for a few short moments and abruptly flutters away for a year or more yet again. All I could grasp onto were the words and music of the line / chorus “Sooooo hard, living without you” and a catchy lead following those lines.

Quite by accident I bumped into it while playing video montages by decade as background on the laptop while doing little things around the house. I hadn’t thought about it for, I don’t know how long, but suddenly those words and the music that comes with them squirted out of the speakers and I was floored.

Turns out, the song was by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band! Manfred Mann – he who actually made a career as a cover band making hits culled from the catalogues of the Exciters, and more successfully, by Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. This song that had been pecking at me for years had been written by none other than the great Randy Newman.

The milk truck hauls the sun up
The paper hits the door
The subway shakes my floor
And I think about you
Time to face the dawning grey
Of another lonely day
It’s so hard living without you So hard, so hard
It’s so hard living without you
So hard, so hard
It’s so hard living without you
Off of 1972’s Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, here’s “So Hard”.

And a video from – geez, looks like a guest spot from … I think, a French-based show? Any ideas?

So, another shard of musical trivia is solved, and I would have bet that the answer would have been a one-hit wonder and not someone so well known.

I can’t be the only one who has had bits and pieces of something from the past only to have been deciphered in later years, am I?

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