The theme for today’s M4 is “opposites attract,” and I’ve chosen the words “hard” and “soft” (okay, “softly”) as my opposites. Here are three pairs of songs, one “hard,” one “soft.”
Easy To Be Hard – Three Dog Night From the musical Hair, Three Dog Night took this to #4 on the Hot 100 in 1969, and it was the #33 song for 1969.
Killing Me Softly With His Song – Roberta Flack There’s some dispute over who wrote this. It was done originally by Lori Lieberman, who wrote a poem after hearing Don McLean’s “Empty Chairs.” She passed the poem on to songwriter Norman Gimbel, who passed the poem on to his songwriting partner, composer Charles Fox, to set to music. However, Fox disputes this and says that he and Gimbel wrote it, and Ms. Lieberman said it reminded her of a Don McLean concert. McLean says that Ms. Lieberman wrote it, and it appears that she did. Anyway, Roberta Flack recorded the song in 1973, and it reached #1 for five non-consecutive weeks (displaced by “Love Train” by The O’Jays for one week before regaining the #1 spot).
A Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles The theme song from their first movie, to this day one of my all-time favorites, if not my favorite. The title came from a comment Ringo made at the end of a particularly trying day. It went to #1 in most of the world in 1964.
Softly As I Leave You – Frank Sinatra Wanted to throw in some Sinatra for Uncle Jack. This was originally an Italian song by Giorgio Calabrese and Tony De Vito, with English words by Hal Shaper. Bobby Darin, Elvis, and a host of other singers have done this one.
Harden My Heart – Quarterflash A million-selling gold record for the group in 1981.
Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise – George Benson This song was written by Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein II for the operetta The New Moon in 1928. It’s become a jazz standard. I like George Benson’s instrumental version best, but it does have lyrics, which you can see here.
What other songs have “hard” or “soft” (or some form of them) in the title?
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for June 6, 2016.