Sing Me a Classic Song Sunday highlights two songs with similar themes (music videos and/or audio version below). Today’s comparison is a duet by Tammy Wynette and George Jones and a song by Gary Lewis and the Playboys . While these two song titles, Golden Ring and This Diamond Ring, conjure romantic, happily ever after images, both songs are actually angsty break-up songs. The lyrics to This Diamond Ring could easily be inserted into the Golden Ring song as the male perspective of she-doesn’t-love-me-anymore-and-she-took-off-her-wedding-ring.
This Diamond Ring, by Gary Lewis and the Playboys, is a 1965 single that reached Number 1 on Billboard Hot 100 on February 20, 1965. It is included in the album This Diamond Ring. The story tells of a broken engagement, and the man’s fiancé has returned his ring, yet he hopes this beautiful diamond ring will find the right couple whose ‘love is true’.
Golden Ring by Tammy Wynette and George Jones is a duet released in 1976 as the title track in their album, “Golden Ring”. The song eventually reached the Number 1 position on the Billboard country chart. The song is listed in RollingStone magazine as 37th in their list of 100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time* (June 1, 2014). The song tells the ‘life’ story of a wedding ring. The song begins with the ring waiting in a pawn shop, and a couple come in looking for a ring, because they are getting married later in the day. But, alas, time passes with marital difficulties that deteriorate into fighting and the eventual admittance that she doesn’t love him anymore. The ring returns to the pawn shop to await a new couple. A message in this song is an inanimate object is just “a cold metallic thing” until love transforms the object into something that holds value to the owner.
As you listen (or locate and read the lyrics) to these songs, consider how smoothly the lyrics of This Diamond Ring could be inserted into the man’s perspective in Golden Ring, and that it is this diamond golden ring that a couple looks longingly at in a pawn shop in Chicago on a sunny summer day…
Until next time,
Writing through history one romance upon a time
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