One evening as I was trying to arrive at a play list for the next day, I came across a CD in the radio station's library. Almost lost in the tightly-packed rows on the shelves was a compilation of the title songs from the James Bond movies. I had played some of those songs from the CDs of the artists that had sung them (Golden Eye from a Tina Turner CD, for example) and I had wondered why no one had ever thought of collecting all the James Bond movie songs in one place. Phew! That one CD made my prep work easy that day.
Golden Eye is hands down my favorite Bond song, followed closely by McCartney's Live and Let Die.
And then there is Carly Simon's Nobody Does It Better from The Spy Who Loved Me.
I've always enjoyed this song whenever I've listened to it and the other Carly Simon song I am familiar with, You're So Vain.
These days I just listen to her with a new ear, a new understanding and a new respect for her art.
In this heartbreaking but beautifully written personal essay in The Daily Beast titled How I Found My Voice, Simon traces the history of her struggle with stuttering. Who knew!
Here Simon describes the frist time the words got stuck in her throat:
As I tried to speak this line, a snake that had been hibernating near my oesophagus, grabbed at and strangled the beginning of each word. As the word “fair” struggled to live, the serpent constricted its passage and as if deprived of air, I balked two or three times at the ‘F’ before the word emerged ravaged and in need of oxygen.[...]
This was the unhappy and astonishing birth of my stammer or at least my first gripping self-conscious awareness of it. My sisters and cousins, if they noticed this—and I can’t imagine they didn’t—must have been puzzled by the strange new guttural utterances. They likely imagined they were temporary and didn’t even consider to do or say anything about it. This would fade and disappear—like scratches, bruises, and babysitters.
For at least the grammar school and high-school years, there was merciless teasing, graduating by about eighth grade to a less beastly imitation and “behind the back of me” fun. In the early years, I was beaten into states of self-hatred and begging to go “home.” Home plate. Please let me go home. To my mother. I was assaulted, bruised, battered, and broken. I knew the answers in class and couldn’t raise my hand. I had to learn that the first devastating lesson was to learn to have the courage to face life.It's an amazing and humbling story of how she still struggles with speaking, but found along the way that she could sing. And so beautifully at that!
My mother and I had the closest of times a child and mother can have. I would sit on her lap and we would practise the words. Any word. She would rock me and relax me. Sometimes a word would roll off my tongue, perfectly, passing the throat guards undetected and my mother would say: “See darling, you can do it!”
If you'd like to read the article, please do (click on the 'How I Found My Voice' link above), but come back and tell me which of the Bond songs you like best.
Related Post: My Day as a Radio Jockey.
This is the eighth post in the Footloose Friday series. The rest are here.