Song Lyric Sunday — Jay & the Americans — “This Magic Moment”

My rational mind knows that this week, as every week, Jim Adams chose multiple Song Lyric Sunday theme words: haunted / magic / mystery / supernatural / trick. The only word that registered in my other brain was “magic.” I very briefly thought of remaining true to my Cars and featuring their 1984 hit “Magic,” but I just couldn’t. For me, the only only only song HAS to be “This Magic Moment,” written by lyricist Doc Pomus and pianist Mort Shuman. The song was first recorded in 1960 by the Drifters, sung by the inimitable Ben E. King and peaking at #16 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Of course, I’m including a Drifters video for history’s sake (and for Ben E. King), but their version isn’t MY version. Neither, for that matter, is Lou Reed’s 1995 effort (video also included below for shits ‘n’ giggles).

As far as I’m concerned, “This Magic Moment” really belongs to Jay & the Americans. Whenever I hear their first guitar chords, I am transported back to one magical night early in 1969, when my then-boyfriend gave me his high school ring as “This Magic Moment” played on the car radio. Those blissful going-steady moments ended far too soon when my father grounded me until my 17th birthday, nine months away. Jay Black and the Americans, on the other hand, had many more magic moments that year, with their version of this sweet song peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was their third, and last, top ten hit.

 

This Magic Moment

This magic moment
So different and so new
Was like any other
Until I kissed you

And then it happened
It took me by surprise
I knew that you felt it too
By the look in your eyes

Sweeter than wine (sweeter than wine)
Softer than a summer night (softer than a summer night)
Everything I want, I have (everything, everything)
Whenever I hold you tight

This magic moment (this magic moment)
While your lips are close to mine
Will last forever
Forever till the end of time

(this magic moment)
Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
(this magic moment)
Oh-oh-oh-oh

Sweeter than wine (sweeter than wine)
Softer than a summer night (softer than a summer night)
Everything I want, I have (everything, everything)
Whenever I hold you tight

This magic moment (this magic moment)
While your lips are close to mine
Will last forever (this magic moment)
Forever till the end of time (magic)

Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh (magic)
Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh (magic)
Oh-oh-oh-oh (moment)

Oh-oh-oh-oh (magic)
Oh-oh-oh-oh (magic)
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh (magic)
Oh-oh-oh-oh (moment)

Magic, oh-oh-oh
Magic, oh-oh-oh
Magic, oh-oh-oh (moment)

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday 2

Magic Everywhere!

Time was, magic was feared as the embodiment of evil. Feared, that is, until conventional wisdom somehow downgraded it to frivolity, all card tricks and smoke and mirrors. Either way, no self-respecting person would admit to seriously believing. So, what changed? Magic has been pushing itself into the zeitgeist for a few years now, at least since 1997 when Harry Potter burst onto millions of pages and, subsequently, movie screens. If Harry Potter is responsible for the resurgence of magic, that’s more a testament to the magic of J. K. Rowling’s pen than to the perceived power of magical incantations.

I’ve always considered myself to be a non-believer. Haven’t even read Harry Potter. Of course, I would have to have been living under a rock not to have Harry Potter and his magic somewhere near the forefront of my consciousness. I mean, four years ago, I even named my new kitten “Potter”! That doesn’t necessarily make me a believer in magic. Admittedly, I do love fantasy, however. Stories full of dragons, fairies, and elves have long been my secret pleasure. Part of it is a deep, wistful longing that magic in a supernatural sense actually exists. That longing spars with the comparably deep certainty that it doesn’t.

If it’s not real, then WHY is magic everywhere? Not abracadabra, hocus pocus, rabbits pulled out of hats, illusionary magic. I mean literally the word “magic.” Has it always been there?  As I’ve said, magic has been growing in popular culture for a while. Years. But just over the past few months I’ve been seeing the word “magic” increasingly often. I’m not looking for it, but the universe seems to be sending it.

You might think I’m crazy (superfluous Cars reference), but, like many other people, I believe the universe (or loved ones in the afterlife or God, if you prefer) sends messages. My sister-in-law, for instance, often finds heart-shaped stones and beach glass that she believes are messages from my late niece. Other people see butterflies, dragonflies, hummingbirds, rainbows, or some other sign that their loved-one’s spirit still lingers. I, myself, see multiple 11s everywhere that I don’t remember seeing until after my husband passed away over five years ago.

When I first began pondering the apparent resurgence of magic as a concept, I came to realize magic has been a background thread in my life since at least high school, when my boyfriend and I considered Jay and the Americans’ “This Magic Moment” to be our song. But I’ve only started seeing “magic” multiple times per day fairly recently. And not just in logical contexts, like when I’m listening to The Cars and their song “Magic” comes up on my playlist. No, I mean out of the blue references, like when I’m researching treason and stumble upon a book called “Magic as a Political Crime.” Or when I get an emailed ad from a tee shirt store, and the ad features a shirt saying “Black Moms are Magical.”  Or when researching morticians for a possible upcoming blog post, Parke’s Magic Valley Funeral Home pops up.

Why is this happening? What message, exactly, is the universe sending?

 

Although I’ve been trying capture my thoughts about magic for weeks now, the impetus to finish this draft comes from Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt “-ic or -ical.” So, giving credit where credit due, even if my technique isn’t on point.

As a bonus, here’s Jay and the Americans’ “This Magic Moment” (from WABCRADIO77’s You Tube account because that’s what we were listening to at the time):

The Dream

Walking past the display case, she stopped short. That was his leather jacket behind the glass. The one he wore in her favorite videos and on two of his album covers.  She remembered he wore that jacket on stage the night they almost met.  She hadn’t thought about it for many years. Could it really have been 30—no, 35—years ago? Peg had scored front row seats for the four inseparable girls celebrating their high school graduation. They were so giddy and boisterous that night, dancing and singing along. Towering above them on stage, he laughed along with them, encouraging them, singing directly to them most of the time. He couldn’t take his eyes off them, off her. He may have sung the really rocking songs to the four of them, but the ballads he sang only to her. Her friends even noticed it and teased her about it as they ran for the train after the concert.

Just as she reached out to press her hand against the glass, her reverie was interrupted by an insistent female voice asking, “Are you Julianna? You are Julianna. Definitely. I’d know your face anywhere.”

“Have we met?”

“No, but he told me all about you. OK. You’re probably thinking I’m a crazy person, and what I have to say is sort of crazy, but I have proof. Listen, can we go sit down over there? Maybe grab some coffee? I really think you’re going to want to sit down for this.”

Curious, Julianna agreed.  Waiting for the coffee, the strange woman rummaged around in her oversize tote and began talking.

“I’m Kathy, by the way. I met Bobby a little over a year before he died. What a man! He wasn’t really famous any more, and he wasn’t the young rock god he used to be, but put him on a stage, in that leather jacket, black leather pants, black boots ….. There were five other guys in his band, who were also fading rockers, but he was the one you couldn’t take your eyes off. When one of the other guys was singing or showing off with a theatrical guitar solo, he would back out of the spotlight and just stand there, tapping his foot, playing his guitar. Even then, he was the one you watched. Well, we got engaged fairly quickly, but I knew he was never going to marry me, especially after I found these.” Triumphantly producing two large manilla envelopes and a small box from the maw of her bag, she pushed one of the envelopes across the table to Julianna. “Go ahead; open it.”

Julianna’s jaw dropped as she looked at all the drawings. “This is me. These are all me! But…but…how…?”

“Clearly, you made an impression on him.”

“But, I never met him. My friends and I went to a concert for our high school graduation, and I felt like he was singing only to me, but we never met. I never even went to another concert. Never even saw him in person again. And these pictures….. They’re not just me as the 17-year-old senior I was at the concert. They’re me with my brothers when we were 5, 6, 7 years old; another one when the two youngest were 3 and 6, and we older ones were teenagers. There’s me at my first wedding; me with my second husband; me graduating from college. I was 37 for god’s sake! Here’s another, twenty years later at my husband’s funeral. Bobby died 15 years before my husband! This is insane! How could he possibly have drawn these?!”

“I told you it’s crazy. When I found these pictures, naturally I thought they were drawings of a family member’s life. Bobby could have just let me think that, but, remember, this was a year or less before he died. He knew he was terminally ill. And he wanted me to know about the pictures, and the songs and letters in the other envelope so I could tell you.”

“Songs and letters?”

“Yes. Starting when he was a teenager, he wrote songs for and about you. Throughout his lifetime, he wrote around 20 of them. I don’t think he ever recorded any. Well, not for commercial release, anyway. That other envelope has all the songs, both written lyrics and tapes, some with the whole song; others, only the music. He wrote letters to you at least once a year, either on his birthday or yours. Don’t worry; I haven’t read any of them. It just about killed me not to, but I promised him I wouldn’t. At some point, when he was in his 30s, I think, he started drawing the pictures.”

“And he wanted you to tell me all this?”

“He was sure that someday you and I would meet, and he wanted you to know that he searched for you his whole life. The way he explained it was, you and he have been meeting in different lifetimes for hundreds of years. In every lifetime you were sometimes best friends, but mostly you were married or, at least, lovers. I have to admit, even though I promised him I’d try to find you and tell you, I thought he was nuts. That it was the chemo or the cancer itself that addled his brain. He also wanted you to have this.”

Julianna opened the little box. Nestled inside was a small gold ring. Engraved around the band was “Bobby  Julianna = magic “.  It fit perfectly on the third finger of her left hand. With tears streaming down her face, she said

“Julianna!!! For Pete’s sake, wake up! You’re going to be late for school! And shut off the damn alarm!”

Stretching, her dream fading, Julianna thought maybe she and her friends shouldn’t have indulged before going to the concert last night. She reached for the alarm clock, knocking somthing off the night stand. Bending to pick it up, she discovered it was a small gold ring. But whose? She only has silver jewelry. Inspecting the ring, she found engraving “Bobby  Julianna = magic “.

 

1005 words. Written in response to Fandango’s One Word Challenge prompt “dreamer“.

 

 

The Gift

Both engrossed, intently concentrating. He, juggling mic, guitar, and amp. She, balancing a tray of empties. Inevitably, they collide. Mumbling apologies, both drop to the floor to clean up the broken glass. Reaching for the last shard, their hands touch. Their eyes shyly glance. Gasping as one. Joyfully giggling, speaking together:

“You’re Bobby; I’ve been waiting for you!”

“Julianna? I’ve been searching for you!”

“Do you remember me? Us? How? Why?”

She, suddenly serious: “Are we allowed to remember?”

He, eyes twinkling: “Don’t know, but I’m not questioning any magic the universe sends.”

 

“Just A Little Bit Of Magic” in Song Lyric Sunday

 

It’s Sunday and time for one of my favorite prompts/challenges: Helen Vadahti’s Song Lyric Sunday! This week’s theme is “break”. The first thought in my mind was “break up song,” but that’s just too gloomy for the lovely day here in New England. That must be why Poco’s peppy “Pickin’ Up The Pieces” permeated my pate. (OK, I won’t do that again.) Richie Furay created some great songs for Poco. Written fresh off the 1968 breakup of Furay’s prior band, Buffalo Springfield, “Pickin’ Up the Pieces” is rumored to be a reference to that breakup. This is off their 1969 debut album of the same name. In my opinion, it’s one of the best and is my favorite. Lyrics are posted after the video, if you want to sing along.

 

“Pickin’ Up The Pieces”

Well there’s just a little bit of magic
In the country music we’re singin’
So let’s begin
We’re bringin’ you back down home where the folks are happy
Sittin’ pickin’ and a-grinnin’
Casually, you and me
We’ll Pick Up The Pieces, uh-huh

Somebody yelled out at me
Country music and company kind of makes it
On a Sunday afternoon
Picnic lunches of yesterday
Should still have a place in your heart today
Think it over
‘Cause we’ll all be goin’ home so soon

[Repeat first verse]

https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/poco/pickinupthepieces.html