On the first Sunday of the month, I share two songs with similar themes (music videos and/or audio version below). The comparison for July 1st is Me and Bobby McGee and My Elusive Dreams. Both songs tell the story of finding love while pursuing ill-fated dreams in search of happiness, and ultimately experiencing the loss of someone you love simply due to the hard knocks and disappointments of life.
My Elusive Dreams was written by Billy Sherill and Curly Putnam. Tammy Wynette and David Houston recorded the song as a duet in 1967, and it reached Number 1 on Billboard’s Country Music chart in October of the same year. It also reached Number 89 on the Billboard Top 100. The song has been covered by various artists, but none had the success of the original with Tammy and David. In 1973, Tammy Wynette and George Jones recorded My Elusive Dreams for their album, Let’s Build a World Together. Personally, I prefer the Tammy and George version, because it has a slower tempo that accentuates the mournful feelings of the death of a child. Knowing no other way of life, the couple continues their footloose wanderings, much sadder, but not necessarily wiser, in their continuing quest to find their elusive dreams.
Me and Bobby McGee tells the tale of temporary companionship, perhaps love, between two drifters who hitchhike across the American south, sharing their deepest secrets and longings with each other. But forever is not theirs to have, and they part ways. Me and Bobby McGee was written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster, and was originally performed by Roger Miller. Janis Joplin’s iconic version was released posthumously and reached Number 1 as a single in the U. S. Roughly 100 artists have covered this song. While my favorite rendition is Kris Kristofferson’s, Janis’s performance is as tightly wound as a two-dollar watch, and the angst and regret in her voice is thick and almost painful to hear. Janis’ version is ranked Number 148 in Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Until next time,
Writing through history one romance upon a time
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