Sunday, September 7, 2014

I Can Feel It Happening to Me

[Note: According to the liner notes I have, the author of this work is "unknown," but I am including it just in case.]

This is a very mature song, and an old-fashioned one, more along the lines of "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" or "Embraceable You" instead of an Elvis or Everly song.

The song is set in the same circumstances as "Some Enchanted Evening," another song of that ilk. Our speaker sees a stranger from across a crowded room... OK, so he doesn't say it was "crowded," per se, but still, "I saw you clear across the room."

"I can feel it happening to me," he begins, ending with, naturally, "Let me see/ That you can feel it happening to you." This, then, is the theme-- did lightning strike her, too?

At first, he assumes, yes: "...when your eyes met mine/ Then the fire was there/ Desire was there." It's a bossa nova-ish number, but the emotion is as physically taut as a tango: "I'm aware of something very strange/ Deep inside, I know there's been a change...  Then the chills began/ Thrills began/ I held my breath/ Half-scared to death/ My knees grew weak/ I couldn't speak."

Then, he has doubts. What are the chances of lighting striking twice? "It started suddenly... can it be that love begins so fast?" Probably not... And did he ruin everything by his behavior due to his assumption/ hope that it had? "I'm afraid that I'll frighten it away/ If I... stare too much."

The song uses repetition in a very sly, sophisticated way to indicate that, regardless of whether she requites his ardor (yet)... he still has to say 'Hello' first! "Here I am/ Wondering how to let you know/ That here I am/ Wanting you with all my heart/ But when to start?"

To recap-- He sees her, has a love-at-first-sight experience, thinks she caught the spark too, and almost faints. Then he recovers and thinks, "Oh, great. I really came across as desperate. I imagined a whole relationship in my head and I don't even know her name yet. All right, let me take a breath. I'll wait for an opening-- stop ogling her! Come on, get a grip!-- and try to introduce myself without proposing if I can."

In the hands of a teenager such as Simon/Landis at this point in his career, the whole thing comes across, unfortunately, as a bit too sophisticated. This song belongs, instead, in the repertoire of a Mel Torme or Wayne Newton.

Next Song: Let's Make Pictures

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