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2016年8月15日 星期一

Killing Me Softly with His Song & Empty Chairs (Lori Lieberman & Don McLean)他凴歌使我死在溫柔鄉 與 空椅子 ( 洛瑞·李伯曼--唐·麥克林)

Music is a mystery. Often, we listen to a song, perhaps by a stranger, perhaps by a friend or even some one long dead and gone. A little something stirs inside. We don't know where exactly, nor why nor how. But it feels as real as if we were right in front of the songwriter, the composer, the performer, confiding to us his most intimate secrets, his longings, his disappointments, his darkest pains and sometimes, his joys, his contentments. And we're touched.

Sometimes, we'll be moved to write something or other there and then. We just feel we had to do so. There seems to be a demon inside us about which we feel we've somehow got to do something, something which we must exorcise, something which cries out for expression, something which would give us no peace until we've done so. That's probably how Lori Lieberman felt after she heard Don McLean's song "Empty Chairs" in a small club in Los Angeles back in 1973. The result is a classic: Killing me Softly with his Song, made famous by another singer Roberta Flack.
 



Killing me Softly with his Song

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song

I heard he sang a good song, I heard he had a style
And so I came to see him to listen for a while
And there he was this young boy, a stranger to my eyes

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song

I felt all flushed with fever, embarrassed by the crowd
I felt he found my letters and read each one out loud
I prayed that he would finish but he just kept right on
Strumming my pain with his fingers

Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song

He sang as if he knew me in all my dark despair
And then he looked right through me as if I wasn't there
But he just came to singing, singing clear and strong

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song

What follows is the video in which Lori Lieberman tells us in her own words how that evergreen came to be written and another one in which Don McLean, the singer-song-writer who gave us another classic "Vincent", singing that original song which inspired Lori Lieberman to create her own.




"Empty Chairs"

I feel the trembling tingle of a sleepless night
Creep through my fingers and the moon is bright
Beams of blue come flickering through my windowpane
Like Gypsy moths that dance around a candle flame

And I wonder if you know
That I never understood
That although you said you'd go
Until you did, I never thought you would

Moonlight used to bathe the contours of your face

 Whilst chestnut hair fell all around the pillowcase
And the fragrance of your flowers rest beneath my head
A sympathy bouquet left with a love that's dead

And I wonder if you know
That I never understood
That although you said you'd go
Until you did, I never thought you would

Never thought the words you said were true
Never thought you said just what you meant
Never knew how much I needed you
Never thought you'd leave, until you went

Morning comes and morning goes with no regret
And evening brings the memories I can't forget
Empty rooms that echo as I climb the stairs
And empty clothes that drape and fall on empty chairs

And I wonder if you know
That I never understood
That although you said you'd go
Until you did, I never thought you would



I love both songs.
I hope you do too.
But perhaps there's no need for such hope.
How is it possible not to love them both?
They really speak to us.
Not very many songs do.
Perhaps that's why they are so precious to me, after so many years.