As we all know it’s a Wicked World.
As we all know it’s a Vale of Tears.
At the same time (we hold so many contradictory ideas at the same time) we all know it’s a Wonderful World.
We all know that on one bright day it is, indisputably, the best of all Possible Worlds.
When you become aware of the light surrounding you no darkness can prevail.
Presence is more powerful than absence.
When you see the light of love in another’s eyes and can return that light the world is aflame anew.
Love divides the light from the darkness.
Heart- Sweetening Light.
Heathers and Jasmines surging on crests of Light.
You cherish colours on solitary hills that science cannot overtake.
And, you dance by the light of The Moon.
You dance by the light of The moon.
An exchange of light from the eyes lights the whole sky and never says – ‘you owe me’.
Then you gazed at me and the answer was plain to see because I saw the Light in your eyes.
In your eyes.
Todd Rundgren, now 70, was in the 1970s as his 1973 album justly proclaimed : A Wizard, a True Star.
Brimful of talent and absurdly proficient as a musician, singer and producer he issued gleaming pearl after pearl.
Sometimes it came so easily to him he thought can this really be any good?
As so often trust the tale not the teller!
I Saw The Light dances like dappled sunlight on the imagination.
Todd does all the singing and plays all the instruments.
The Guitar solo is so perfect you think even Becker and Fagen from Steely Dan would have said, ‘That’s it! – A keeper!’.
Burt Bacharach, Todd’s melodic guru, would surely have thought – this one’s good enough for Dionne (though Todd may have imagined Laura Nyro imbuing the song with her own special magic).
Though written in 15 minutes, ‘I Saw The Light’ has demonstrably had staying power both as a staple of Pop Radio and as a romantic standard calling out to be covered.
I Saw The Light called out to Barb Jungr – an artist who knows that songs are not dry texts but living, breathing things.
She’s alert, waiting for those special songs to come knock, knock, knocking.
And, when they do she’s ready.
Barb is a scholar of Song and Singing – she has written eloquently on these topics and has a Masters in Ethnomusicology.
A singer of enormous technical and emotional resource she lives with the song seeking out where the Song wants and needs to go to sound just right – irrespective of how anyone might have done it before.
This is an artist who finds truth and joy, passion and pain in Songs which she then delivers with theatrical elan.
There’s a wonderfully mature sensual sway to her version.
Hal Ketchum takes the Song Way out West for a Saturday Night Hoedown.
He brings some hardwood floor springiness to the party that I find entirely charming.
Mari Wilson , a favourite of mine since the early 1980s, follows in the distinguished tradition of Dusty Springfield as a British Singer who has the versatility to make songs come alive whether they are pop confections, simmering soul ballads or swinging Jazz.
She can sell a song with winning sincerity or arch a perfectly plucked ironic eyebrow to find the humour in a lyric.
This version has tremendous poise and no little emotion.
Love the Light.
Love the Light.
This Post for The one who floods my eyes with Light every day – Happy Birthday!
Barb Jungr has made 3 superb Albums featuring the Songs of the greatest songwriter of our times, Bob Dylan. I like to think I’m very well versed in The Master’s canon yet listening to Barb’s, ‘Every Grain of Sand’, ‘Man in the Long Black Coat’ and ‘Hard Rain’ have afforded me fascinating slant wise insights into classics.
’Just Like a Woman’ is a deeply considered and felt tribute to the work of the incomparable Nina Simone.
Mari Wilson : I particularly recommend, ‘Just What I Always Wanted’, ‘Dolled Up’ and ‘Pop Dekuxe’.
Hal Ketchum : ‘Past the Point of Rescue’ is a near perfect collection.
Hats off to Emily Dickinson, Edward Lear, Hafez and Ravindranath Tagore for Poetic inspirations.
I recall the original with great fondness and was fascinated to hear the other versions, though for me my favourite was Hal Ketchum’s rendition. You’re absolutely right to feature this song – it’s beautiful and heartfelt and was a firm favourite of mine and my first husband…
Thanks. Good to see Hal’s version mentioned here. Regards Thom
LikeLiked by 1 person
Interesting tempos make a big difference in this song. Todd Rundgren’s video not avail.
Fine piece, Thom. I bought Something/Anything? when it came out, and I Saw The Light is still an absolute gem.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks Don. It holds up very well. Thom