Touched by the Sun

The haul of CDs I scored from Columbia House (please see my February 4, 2020 post on ‘Jimmy Mo Mhíle Stór’), many years ago, included Carly Simon’s ‘Letters Never Sent.’ 

I remember Simon’s early hit, Anticipation’ (1971), which was used by Heinz for a commercial demonstrating how slowly their ketchup poured because it was so thick and rich. It’s incredible to me how this practice has become widespread lately, with drug companies sampling notable excerpts from popular music to create catchy slogans and jingles for their products. At the same time, the voiceovers give endless cautionary notes.

‘Letters’ (1994) was Simon’s 20th record, and she has said the inspiration for the album came when she found a box of letters she wrote but didn’t send. Some of these letters were put to music and onto the album. I recently heard today’s song on the radio and recalled that we used to listen to the CD a lot at home or in the car before MP3s and playlists were a thing.

The next year, Simon released ‘Live at Grand Central,’ a live concert held in the main rotunda of the train station. ‘Touched by the Sun’ opens the show, quite dramatically, with a solo acoustic guitar playing the rhythm and slowly ushering the remaining band members and Simon onto the stage. We have a VHS tape of this concert; it has never been released on DVD… what a shame — it is a fabulous concert, the best way to experience a performer, as says my sweety (and I agree!).

Simon wrote the song for her friend, Jackie Onassis. I find it a very inspiring piece, talking about brave people, artists and dreamers; to me, it also speaks to astronauts, the modern equivalent of seafarers who courageously explored the uncharted oceans hundreds of years ago.

“If you want to be brave
And reach for the top of the sky
And the farthest point on the horizon
Do you know who you’ll meet there
Great soldiers and seafarers,
Artists and dreamers
Who need to be close, close to the light
They need to be in danger of burning by fire
And I, I want to get there
I, I want to be one
One who is touched by the sun”

(from ‘Touched by the Sun,’ by Carly Simon)

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Please enjoy. 

Here’s the official video from Carly Simon’s YouTube channel:

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