March 20, 2006

If you have a heart...

This is not cheap, fast music. It's music that weighs heavy in the heart, with words that comfort and teach. In 1992, June Tabor recorded this amazing Bob Franke song called "Hard Love" for her album called Angel Tiger. The Wyckoff Correspondent sent it to me - he said he thought it reeked of me (he's right!). I recently read a comment that Tabor made about this song, something to the effect that just when you think you have heard every aspect of love covered in song, you come across a gem like this, which offers a new experience of the most complicated emotion.

Not everyone gives or gets love the same; I think many of us have known someone who gives "hard love" - or maybe you are that person yourself. People who know me might have heard me say that humans are sometimes like cats: they may not come running to sit on your lap, they may not like to be held, but if you pay attention, watch them, you might notice how they stay in the room that you are in, or sit at the farthest corner of your bed. They may be facing away from you, but they are on your bed and not in some other room. They love you the way they can.

This blog is really about pop music, so I tend to ignore this whole other realm of songs that I love. I am posting an MP3 of this track for one week in hopes of giving you something totally different and exposing you to June Tabor. The CD is also on iTunes.

Hard Love
Words & Music by Bob Franke

I remember growing up like it was only yesterday
Mom & Daddy tried their best to guide me on my way
But the hard times & the liquor drove the easy love away
And the only love I knew about was hard love

It was hard love, every hour of the day
When Christmas to my birthday was a million years away
And the fear that came between them drove the tears into my play
There was love in daddy's house, but it was hard love

And I recall the gentle courtesy you gave me as I tried
To dissemble in politeness all the love I felt inside
And for every song of laughter was another song that cried
This ain't no easy weekend, this is hard love

It was hard love, every step of the way
Hard to be so close to you, so hard to turn away
And when all the stars and sentimental songs dissolved to day
There was nothing left to sing about but hard love

So I loved you for your courage, and your gentle sense of shame
And I loved you for your laughter and your language and your name
And I knew it was impossible, but I loved you just the same
Though' the only love I gave to you was hard love

It was hard love, it was hard on you, I know
When the only love I gave to you was love I couldn't show
You forgave the heart that loved you as your lover turned to go
Leaving nothing but the memory of hard love

So I'm standing in this phone booth with a dollar and a dime
Wondering what to say to you to ease your troubled mind
For the Lord's cross might redeem us, but our own just wastes our time
And to tell the two apart is always hard, love

So I'll tell you that I love you even though I'm far away
And I'll tell you how you change me as I live from day to day
How you help me to accept myself and I won't forget to say
Love is never wasted, even when it's hard love

Yes, it's hard love, but it's love all the same
Not the stuff of fantasy, but more than just a game
And the only kind of miracle that's worthy of the name
For the love that heals our lives is mostly hard love

©1982 Telephone Pole Music Publishing Co. (BMI)

One last thing: I wrote this post and then decided to link above to the album it is from. Note the image that June Tabor chose for the cover. And a note to Tremble Clef - this is an attempt to give you a great song, especially after you got me obsessed with Memphis!


Trasha said...

i can't wait to hear this at home!!!!

love the kitty pic of the cover as well as your analogy about cats. it actually gave me great insight--thank you for that! it's very important to me. :)

lucas said...

Great song! She sounds JUST LIKE Heidi Berry, don't you think?

xolondon said...

Glad ya'll liked the song. It's a killer.

Brittle said...

Thanks for this -- it seems a fair trade, me getting you interested in Memphis and you giving back this lovely track. I can hear k. d. lang and, weirdly enough, Stephin Merritt doing this song.

However, I once tried reading the body language of my cat, and had to wash his mouth out.