My first girlfriend in high school was a cute Asian-Canadian girl named Janet, and when she broke up with me one Sunday night after church, I staggered home and spent the next several days listening my roommate’s ancient Bee Gees album. It was loaded with wonderfully lugubrious songs like I Started A Joke:
I started a joke which started the whole world laughing
Oh, but I didn’t see that the joke was on me…
I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You, about a man condemned to die, was on the same album. ‘Robin Gibb, who wrote the lyrics, said that the man’s crime was the murder of his wife’s lover, though the lyrics do not explicitly allude to the latter premise (although there is a verse “Well I did it to him, now it’s my turn to die”).’
The preacher talked to me and he smiled
Said, “Come and walk with me, come and walk one more mile.
Now for once in your life you’re alone.
But you ain’t got a dime, there’s no time for the phone.”
I’ve just got to get a message to you
Hold on, hold on
One more hour and my life will be through
Hold on, hold on…
The song First of May, while sappy, is actually quite beautiful. Here is the original. You can also find it sung by Sarah Brightman, Lulu, and others.
When I was small, and Christmas trees were tall,
we used to love while others used to play.
Don’t ask me why, but time has passed us by,
some one else moved in from far away.
Now we are tall, and Christmas trees are small,
and you don’t ask the time of day.
But you and I, our love will never die,
but guess we’ll cry come first of May.
The apple tree that grew for you and me,
I watched the apples falling one by one.
And I recall the moment of them all,
the day I kissed your cheek and you were mine.