The Air That I Breathe

This morning while driving home from an appointment, I heard the British pop group The Hollies’ cover of “The Air That I Breathe” playing on SiriusXM radio’s The Bridge soft rock stream. It’s a station I listen to a fair amount when not listening to my own playlists.

“The Air That I Breathe” is a song I associate more with Judy Collins, whose version of it from her album Fires of Eden (1995) is one my sweety and I have played often. We own the CD and put another song from it, “The Blizzard,” on our wedding keepsake CD.

British singer-songwriters Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood (1941-2001) co-wrote the piece, which first appeared on Hammond’s 1972 album It Never Rains in Southern California.

The Hollies, a Merseybeat-type band formed in Manchester, England in 1962 by Allan Clarke and Graham Nash (also of Crosby, Stills & Nash, later Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), released their version as a single in 1974. It appears on numerous compilation albums. (English songwriter, musician, audio engineer and producer Alan Parsons performed the audio engineering on the single.)

I didn’t know until reading about the song today that the English alternative rock group Radiohead was sued for copyright infringement by the song’s publishers, as the song “Creep” (1992) shared some melodic content and chord progressions with “The Air That I Breathe.” The settlement saw the composers receiving some of the song’s royalties along with co-writing credit.

Described as a love ballad, I would go further and call the song a soulful ode to lovemaking, with its dreamy, sensual rhythm, lilting strings, and lyrics telling a story of bliss.

“If I could make a wish
I think I’d pass
Can’t think of anything I need
No cigarettes, no sleep, no light, no sound
Nothing to eat, no books to read

Making love with you
Has left me peaceful, warm, and tired
What more could I ask
There’s nothing left to be desired
Peace came upon me and it leaves me weak
So sleep, silent angel, go to sleep

Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe
And to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
Yes to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe

Peace came upon me and it leaves me weak
So sleep, silent angel, go to sleep

Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe
And to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
Yes to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe

Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe
And to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
Yes to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
And to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
Yes to love you”

(“The Air That I Breathe,” by Albert Hammond, Mike Hazlewood.
Unofficial lyrics courtesy of AZLyrics.com.)

Now you know a little about why this is My Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy. And, I hope that whatever you do this weekend will bring you blissful feelings.

Here’s the audio for the song from The Hollies’ official YouTube channel:

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