Thursday, May 26, 2016
Story Songs -- I Write the Songs
Bruce Johnston wrote the greatest tribute to songwriters with "I Write the Songs," a timeless composition that reminds us about the importance of music in our lives.
Johnston, a longtime member of The Beach Boys, composed the song in 1975. It was first recorded by David Cassidy and The Captain & Tennille. Then Barry Manilow reluctantly covered the song, taking it to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1976 -- 40 years ago.
The song begins,
"I've been alive forever
And I wrote the very first song
I put the words and melodies together
I am music and I write the songs"
He goes on to say,
"My home lies deep within you
And I've got my own place in your soul"
For those who love music, we know there are songs that stay with us forever, for whatever reasons.
Johnston writes that,
"... music makes you dance
And gives you spirit to take a chance
And I wrote some rock 'n' roll so you can move
Music fills your heart
Well, that's a real fine place to start"
And the unforgettable chorus,
"I write the songs that make the whole world sing
I write the songs of love and special things
I write the songs that make the young girls cry
I write the songs, I write the songs"
While some folks thought the song was about Beach Boys' gifted band mate Brian Wilson, Johnston has stated the "I" in the lyrics represents "God" and the creativity in everyone.
Johnston's timeless tune went on to win the Grammy's "Record of the Year" in 1977. It has been recorded by more than 200 artists, including Johnston on his "Going Public" album that same year.
Johnston, who turns 74 in June, has had an impressive and prolific career as a singer, songwriter, and music producer. Another favorite of mine is his "Disney Girls (1957)," from the Beach Boys' "Surf's Up" album in 1971.
We can be thankful for his contributions, especially his wonderful song about music -- and songwriters.
Until the next time....