NEVER BEEN GONE - 2009


itunes Amazon

You Belong To Me

The Today Show - Air Date 10/28/09 - Band members include: John Forte, David Saw, Peter Calo, DJ Logic


You're So Vain

Private Sessions - Air Date 06/29/08 - Band members include: Ben Taylor, David Saw, Peter Calo

Liner Notes

This album is dedicated to Jake. May we both never be completely gone.

Special Thanks to: Richard, Sally, Dean and Bodhi, Giulia, Matt & Andy, Blue, Amanda Z, Jim Hart, Lizzy Doon, Steve Sinnett, John Lamb, Scott Kessler, Missi Callazzo, Kris, Jessica, Jacob & Samson, Alisse Kingsley, Linda Carbone, Marci, Annabelle & Henry, TopSpin, Ric Sherman, Marianne, Fiona, Amelia & Molly, Gibson Guitars, Collings Guitars, Our friends at Yamaha Keyboards, Paul & Pam, Peter & Tammy, Paul, Tamara, Gary, Noah & Jules, Ellie Filipetti, Vicky Gohl, JK, Flip Scipio, Andreas, Karen Thorne, Mick, Pearse & Geraldine Roddy, Patty Fairbanks, Amanda B, Jane Bierne, Michael Nussbaum, Orrin Hatch, Arlyne Rothberg, Flo Forté, Sebastian & Anastasia Wahl, Sebastian Plettenberg, Mol & Gov

Note to Frank

Whenever it says this on any album of mine: “so and so and Frank Filipetti,” it means: “Frank Filipetti.” Whenever it says: “so and so with Frank Filipetti” it means: “Frank Filipetti.”

He is the driver. He has the car. He knows the car and its engine and its body. Frank has always been so encouraging to me. I feel good enough to ride in the passenger seat.

When Frank wants to be a part of a project, it means the project will be twice as good as if he had not signed on in the first place. In recording and engineering Never Been Gone, he followed a path down a wandering and winding and sometimes dangerous road. He drove the car. What was the car he drove anyway? I think an ancient and very cared for one. Not a dent anywhere. And you never know the year or the make. Don’t need to.

It’s Frank’s car. Let’s go to Italy and make our next album. You can drive 'cross the Atlantic, no?

Credits

Release Date: 10.27.09
Label: Iris Records
Billboard Peak: 134

Produced by Paphiopedilium for Iris Records (Benjamin Taylor, Carly Simon, Larry Ciancia, Peter Calo & David Saw)

Musicians: Ben Taylor, John Forte, Sally Taylor, David Saw, Margaret Bell, Peter Calo, Teese Gohl
“You Belong To Me” co-produced with John Forté, JK & Ben Thomas
“The Right Thing To Do” co-produced with Ben Thomas
Mixed by Frank Filipetti at Legacy, NYC and Studio B, Martha’s Vineyard
Engineered by Benjamin Taylor, Carly Simon, Frank Filipetti, Derik Lee, Larry Ciancia,
Jim Parr, Carlo Pennisi, Chris Davies and John Forté at the following studios:
Legacy Recording Studios, Simon/Taylor studios: A, B and C, Parr Audio, Pulse Music, Elk Ears Studios

Mastered by: Bob Ludwig, Gateway Mastering and DVD, Portland, Maine
String Contractor: Jill Dell’Abate
Carly’s Personal Assistant: Meghan La Roque
Business Management: Boulevard Management
Advisor: George Howard
Manager: Alan Mintz
Legal Management: Manatt, Phelps and Phillips
Cover Photo and Layout: Carly Simon
Artwork Design: Steven Jurgensmeyer
Website Manager: Jodie Wright (CarlySimon.com)
Contact: CarlySimon.com

Orchid Breeder & Artist: David B. Geiger

The Right Thing To Do
Words & Music by Carly Simon

There's nothin' you can do to turn me away
Nothin’ anyone can say
You’re with me now and as long as you stay
Lovin’ you’s the right thing to do
Lovin’ you’s the right thing

I know you've had some bad luck with ladies before
They drove you or you drove them crazy
But more important is I know
You’re the one and I’m sure
Lovin’ you’s the right thing to do
Lovin’ you’s the right thing

And it used to be for a while
That the river flowed right to my door
Making me just a little too free
But now the river doesn’t seem to stop here anymore

You hold me in your hands like a bunch of flowers
Set me movin' to your sweetest song
And I know what I think I’ve known all along
Lovin’ you’s the right thing to do
Lovin’ you’s the right thing

Darlin’ I hold you in my arms forever
And I love you more than just a little bit
More than just a little bit, I love you
More than just a little bit,
For the rest of my life
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Arranged by: Carly Simon
Carly: Vocal, Acoustic Guitar, Piano
Peter Calo: Acoustic Guitar, Acoustic Bass
Benjamin Taylor: Background Vocals
Ben Thomas: Drum Programming, Additional Piano

© 1972 C'est Music ASCAP
It Happens Every Day
Words & Music by Carly Simon

It happens everyday
Two lovers with the best intentions to stay
Together they decide to separate
Just how it happens
Neither is certain
But it happens, happens everyday

It happens everyday
After you break up, you say these words to your friends:
“How could I have loved that boy
He was so bad to me in the end?”
Well, you make him a liar
Turn him into a robber
Well, it happens everyday

But I don’t regret that I loved you
How I loved you I will never forget
And in time I’ll look back and remember
The boy that I knew when we first met

Still it happens everyday
Two lovers turn and twist their love into hate
But am I so different from that young girl you used to date?
You used to adore me, you used to adore me
Still it happens everyday

Arranged by: Benjamin Taylor with Peter Calo, Larry Ciancia, David Saw & Carly Simon
Carly: Vocals
Peter Calo: Acoustic Guitar, Baritone Guitar & Background Vocals
Larry Ciancia: Cajon & Percussion
Benjamin Taylor: Acoustic Guitar, Loops & Background Vocals
Ben Thomas: Electric Piano & Bass

© 1983 C'est Music ASCAP

Never Been Gone
Words by Jacob Brackman, Music by Carly Simon

The wind is coming up strong and fast
And the moon is smiling on me
Miles from nowhere so small at last
In between the sky and the sea

I'm bound for the island
The tide is with me
I think I can make it by dawn
It’s night on the ocean
I’m going home
And it feels like I’ve never
I’ve never been gone

Seagulls cry and the hills are green
And my friends are waiting for me
Great ambition is all a dream
Let me drown my pride in the sea

I'm bound for the island
The tide is with me
I think I can make it by dawn
It’s night on the ocean
I’m going home
And it feels like I’ve never
I’ve never been gone
Oh it feels like I’ve never
I’ve never been gone

Arranged by: Benjamin Taylor with Peter Calo, Larry Ciancia, Teese Gohl, David Saw & Carly Simon
Carly: Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
Peter Calo: Acoustic Guitar
Giulia Casalina: Background Vocals
Larry Ciancia: Cajon
Frank Filipetti: Background Vocals
Teese Gohl: Acoustic Piano
David Saw: Acoustic Guitar
Benjamin Taylor: Background Vocals, Acoustic Guitar

© 1979 Maya Productions Ltd. / C'est Music ASCAP

Boys In The Trees
Words & Music by Carly Simon

I'm home again in my old narrow bed
Where I grew tall and my feet hung over the end
The low beam room with the window looking out
On the soft summer garden
Where the boys grew in the trees

There I grew guilty
And no one was at fault
Frightened by the power in every innocent thought
And the silent understanding passing down
From daughter to daughter
Let the boys grow in the trees

Do you go to them or do you let them come to you?
Do you stand in back afraid that you’ll intrude?
Deny yourself and hope someone will see
And live like a flower
While the boys grew in the trees

Last night I slept in sheets the color of fire
Tonight I lie alone again and I curse my own desire
Sentenced first to burn and then to freeze
And watch by the window
While the boys grow in the trees

Arranged, Engineered, and Mixed by: Carly Simon
Carly: Vocals & All Instruments
Sally Taylor: Background Vocals
John Forte: Additional Background Vocal

© 1978 C'est Music ASCAP

Let The Riverrun
Words & Music by Carly Simon

Let the riverrun
Let all the dreamers
Wake the nation
Come, the New Jerusalem

Silver cities rise,
The morning lights
The streets that lead them
And sirens call them on
With a song

It's asking for the taking
Trembling, shaking
Oh, my heart is aching
We’re coming to the edge
Running on the water
Coming through the fog
Your sons and daughters

We the great and small
Stand on a star
And blaze a trail of desire
Through the darkling dawn

It's asking for the taking
Come run with me now
The sky is the color of blue
You’ve never even seen
In the eyes of your lover

Oh, my heart is aching
We’re coming to the edge
Running on the water
Coming through the fog
Your sons and daughters

Let the riverrun
Let all the dreamers
Wake the nation
Come, the New Jerusalem

Arranged by: David Saw & Benjamin Taylor
Carly: Vocals
Margaret Bell: Background Vocals
Peter Calo: Baritone Guitar
Larry Ciancia: Djembe
Teese Gohl: Piano & String Pads
David Saw: Acoustic Guitar & Background Vocals
Meredith Sheldon: Background Vocals
Benjamin Taylor: Acoustic Guitar & Background Vocals

© 1989 C'est Music / TCF Music Pub. ASCAP
You’re So Vain
Words & Music by Carly Simon

You walked into the party
Like you were walkin’ onto a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf, it was apricot
You had one eye on the mirror
As you watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed
That they’d be your partner
They’d be your partner, and

You're so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you? Don’t you?

You had me several years ago
When I was still quite naive
Well, you said that we made such a pretty pair
And that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved
And one of them was me
I had some dreams
They were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee and

You're so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you? Don’t you? Don’t you?

Well, I hear you went up to Saratoga
And your horse, naturally, won
Then you flew your Lear jet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun
You’re where you should be all the time
And when you’re not, you’re with
Some underworld spy
Or the wife of a close friend
Wife of a close friend, and

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you? Don’t you? Don’t you?

Arranged by: David Saw & Benjamin Taylor
Carly: Vocals & Guitar
Peter Calo: Acoustic Guitar
Larry Ciancia: Cajon & Percussion
Frank Filipetti: Background Vocals
Teese Gohl: Acoustic Piano
David Saw: Acoustic Guitar & Background Vocals
Benjamin Taylor: Acoustic Guitar & Background Vocals
Ben Thomas: Bass

© 1972 C'est Music ASCAP

You Belong To Me
Words by Carly Simon, Music by Michael McDonald

Why'd you tell me this
Were you looking for my reaction
What do you need to know
Don’t you know I’ll always be your girl
You don’t have to prove to me
You’re beautiful to strangers
I’ve got loving eyes of my own

You belong to me, you belong to me
You belong to me, you belong to me

You belong to me
Can it be, honey, that you’re not sure
You belong to me
Thought we’d closed the book
Locked the door
You don’t have to prove to me
You're beautiful to strangers
I've got loving eyes of my own
And I can tell

Tell
Tell her your were fooling

You belong — you belong — you belong to me
You belong to me…. (fun scat)

Arranged By: John Forté, JK & Benjamin Taylor
Carly: Vocals
John Forté: Background Vocals, Acoustic Guitar & Additional Programming
Teese Gohl: Acoustic Piano
JK: Lead Guitar
David Saw: Background Vocals
Benjamin Taylor: Background Vocals
Ben Thomas: Bass, Drum Programming, Organ

© 1978 C'est Music / Snug Music ASCAP
No Freedom
Words By Carly Simon, Music by David Saw & Benjamin Taylor

Hey now, Mama used to say:
“What’s the use of spoiling a perfect day?
Does a flower compromise its beauty
Wond’rin if it’s gonna rain?”

Hey now, you might have the power
People bowin’ down
They give you all those special things
Just because you’re world renowned

But there ain’t no freedom
When you got a worryin’ mind

Hey now, you might be sailin’
On the perfect sea
Water is lapis lazuli
And eighty-five degrees

But there ain’t no freedom
When you got a worryin’ mind

You might be travellin’ at the speed of sound
As light as a feather, as high as the sky
Never lookin’ down

Hey now, Mama used to say
“What’s the use of spoilin’ a perfect day?
Does a flower compromise its glory wondrin’ if it’s gonna rain?”

Hey now, you might have a hit
On the radio
Success might scoop you up
And never let you go

But there ain’t no freedom
When you got a worryin’ mind

Arranged by: Benjamin Taylor
Carly: Vocals
Larry Ciancia: Drums & Percussion
Benjamin Taylor: Acoustic Guitar, Loops, Drum Programming, Piano, DJing & Background Vocals
Christopher Thomas: Bass

© 2009 C'est Music / RAK Publishing Ltd. / CNMNE Music ASCAP

That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be
Words by Jacob Brackman, Music by Carly Simon

My father sits at night with no lights on
His cigarette glows in the dark
The living room is still
I walk by, no remark
I tiptoe past the master bedroom where
My mother reads her magazines
I hear her call sweet dreams
But I forgot how to dream

But you say it's time we moved in together
And raised a family of our own, you and me
Well, that’s the way I’ve always heard it should be
You want to marry me, we’ll marry

My friends from college, they're all married now
They have their houses and their lawns
They have their silent noons
Tearful nights, angry dawns
Their children hate them for the things they’re not
They hate themselves for what they are
And yet they drink, they laugh
Close the wound, hide the scar

But you say it’s time we moved in together
And raised a family of our own, you and me
Well, that’s the way I’ve always heard it should be
You want to marry me, we’ll marry

You say that we can keep our love alive
Babe, all I know is what I see
The couples cling and claw
And drown in love's debris
You say we’ll soar like two birds through the clouds
But soon you’ll cage me on your shelf
I’ll never learn to be just me first, by myself

Well O.K., it’s time we moved in together
And raised a family of our own, you and me
Well, that’s the way I’ve always heard it should be
You want to marry me, we'll marry

Arranged by: Carly Simon
Synth Guitar Arranged by: Carly Simon,
Played By Jimmy Parr
Carly: Vocal, Keyboard Programming
Teese Gohl: Orchestrated & Conducted By
Benjamin Taylor: Background Vocals
Violins: Elena Barere (Concert Master), Toni Glickman, Yana Goichman, Ann Lehmann, Katherine Livolsi-Landau, Nancy McAlhaney
Violas: Vincent Lionti, Adria Benjamin, Alyssa Smith
Celli: Richard Locker, Stephanie Cummins, Eugene Moye

© 1971 Maya Productions Ltd. / C'est Music ASCAP
Coming Around Again
Words By Carly Simon

Baby sneezes
Mommy pleases
Daddy breezes in
So good on paper
So romantic
So bewildering

I know nothing stays the same
But if you’re willing
To play the game
It’s coming around again
So don’t mind if I fall apart
There’s more room in a broken heart

You pay the grocer
Fix the toaster
Kiss the host goodbye
Then you break a window
Burn the soufflé
Scream the lullaby

I know nothing stays the same
But if you’re willing
To play the game
It’s coming around again
So don’t mind if I fall apart
There’s more room in a broken heart

And I believe in love
But what else can I do
I’m so in love with you

I know nothing stays the same
But if you’re willing
To play the game
It will be coming around again

The heartbeat went out of our house
The rhythm went out of our romance
But in life that happens and you just
Have to remember to breathe
And it then will return, if you just remember to breathe
After all I’ve been through, I’ll wait it on through
If I can just remember to breathe
It will be coming around once more, you will see,
I’ve been in love with you and I do believe in love
Love — it’s gotta break you before it makes you

Arranged by: Carly Simon & David Saw
Carly: Vocal
Peter Calo: Acoustic Guitar
Larry Ciancia: Cajon & Percussion
David Saw: Acoustic Guitar & Background Vocals
Benjamin Taylor: Acoustic Guitar & Background Vocals

© 1986 C'est Music ASCAP

Anticipation
Words & Music by Carly Simon

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them just the same
And I wonder if I’m really with you now
Or just chasing after some finer day

Anticipation, Anticipation
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting

And I tell you how easy it feels to be with you
And how right your arms feel around me
But I rehearsed those words just late last night
When I was thinking about how
Right tonight might be

Anticipation, Anticipation
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting

And tomorrow we might not be together
I’m no prophet — I don’t know nature’s ways
So I’ll try to see into your eyes right now
And stay right here, and stay right here
'cause these are the good old days
These are the good old days
Stay right here
‘cause these are the good old days

Arranged by: Carly Simon & David Saw
Carly: Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
Peter Calo: Acoustic & Bass Guitar
Larry Ciancia: Cajon
Jill Dell’Abate: Background Vocals
Teese Gohl: Acoustic Piano
David Saw: Background Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
Meredith Sheldon: Background Vocals
Benjamin Taylor: Background Vocals

© 1971 C'est Music ASCAP
Songbird
Words By Carly Simon

Most everyone I know leaves New York on holidays
The fourth of July is a little lonely here
And a little holy
Fireworks out on the river and the boys all drinkin’ beer
Sing hallelujah for the year
Hallelujah for the year

There’s a songbird in my tree
I don’t know where it leads
But I believe, it sings its song for me
And never sees the things I see
Oh ‘n’ I can dream for the rest of my life
For the rest of my life

Hide away the freezing days
And when the sun returns
I will have learned to sing
Your haunting melody
You’ll take the notes that harmonize me
And bring me back to hallelujah
For the rest of my life
Hallelujah…

Strings Arranged by: Ben Thomas & Teese Gohl
Carly: Vocal, Piano
Peter Calo: Lap Steel
Teese Gohl: Orchestrated & Conducted By
Benjamin Taylor: Background Vocals
Ben Thomas: Additional Piano
Violins: Elena Barere (Concert Master), Toni Glickman, Yana Goichman, Ann Lehmann, Katherine Livolsi-Landau, Nancy McAlhaney
Violas: Vincent Lionti, Adria Benjamin, Alyssa Smith
Celli: Richard Locker, Stephanie Cummins, Eugene Moye

© 2009 C'est Music ASCAP
Always Been Here

In retrospect – which is the only trustworthy “spect” in our arsenal, experiences being neatly under glass, and all – one looks over the many, many stories written about Carly Simon over the years. And a perennial theme, a kind of smack-in-the-face leitmotif, strikes one. It is what I call the sovereignty curse. It is the endless string of metaphors equating Miss Simon’s life with that of a princess. To which I utter a hushed, Oh, Sweet Jesus.

The youngest daughter of publishing giant Richard Simon and his petite bride Andrea, Carly’s early life has been generally categorized as one of privilege, exclusivity, and chiffon dresses. All right. Her folks were cultivated people. Yes, the household often saw brilliant notables of the day, fiddling on the keyboard and imbuing the living room air with wit and insight. This was undoubtedly grand. But it is nonetheless a larger and hazier picture, and one that blithely overlooks the isolation, dreams and yearnings which Carly’s implacable honesty set down in her earliest songs.

More absurd was the prevailing notion, fed by the macho sweat used as ink in Rolling Stone, that Carly became a great heiress. Uh...not quite. In point of fact, the young woman Carly went to work — just like we do! — for Newsweek magazine, which stint may have provided grist for her Oscar-winning, soaring “Let the Riverrun” years later. And she wrote songs, and she toured little places in the Northeast with her sister Lucy and sang folk music, and we even have a recording or two from those days. (By the way: if you’ve never heard Carly’s, “My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose,” there is some serious poetry missing in your life.)

And, when the new star Carly married James Taylor, the heralds went blue in the face with their trumpeting. Carly and James were pop’s royal couple. So omnipresent was this analogy that one tended to visualize James kicking back, strumming a guitar and watching the Jousting Channel. While Carly, in pointed wimple and veil accessory, made the egg salad. The marriage did in fact endure for many years – no small tribute to Miss Simon’s affection for domesticity – and children Sally and Ben, more happily and realistically, remain the great joys of Carly’s life.

Yet: most disturbing to me of all is that latest crown thrust upon Carly’s abused brow, that of the first great voice exalting the sexually free woman. It makes me take the Lord’s name in vain again, and bad. For this predominant tag is about as facile and empty an assessment as it gets. It is not unlike claiming that E M Forster’s genius lay in extolling the architecture of cottages. When Carly Simon writes of sensuality, it is a sincere, but by-the-way, aspect of the larger experience of love. Always. Her scope has always been much too expansive to find release in the mere celebration of physical passion. Her gift is too widely human, and far too far-reaching, to settle for the kicks of a bedroom romp. Are we now clear on this? Good.

Now, to the business at hand. That is, the songs on this charming little circle of plastic, or metal, or whatever. One of the things about art (I am told there are quite a few, too) is that, the finer the work, the more open to interpretation and recreation it is. “Hamlet” has been reinvented a zillion times, Matisse’s “Le Danse” may strike terror in one heart and make for giddiness in another, and the songs of Carly Simon were, as it were, born to evolve. They are just that big. They contain so great a plethora of layers and shades of meaning, that fresh arrangements open new doors for us. Good art, like Carly herself, is just so damn cool.

Miss Simon has penned her own notes on the songs contained herein, and only a fool would seek to amplify on that. When the lamps are dimmed and the cat is let out at night, the artist alone must have the final say on the work, and any other voices, no matter how erudite or caring, are merely a chorus of finches. Pleasant, maybe, but not all that helpful. What matters is that you hear the songs. What is important is that she gets to do what she has always done so surpassingly gorgeously. In a word, she will once again locate your heart, and find and sing the songs you yourself have therein.

To this I say, you go, princess. With all our love.


About The Songs on Never Been Gone by Carly Simon

I decided to arrange a guitar-based version of “The Right Thing To Do.” I wanted to get closer to the song by trying to play it on a different instrument from the one I originally wrote it on (the piano). I spent a few months working out a pretty simple part on the guitar. The original had been in the key of C. I lowered it to the key of G. I sing lower now; anyway, it only seemed respectful. I should stand on street corners and do it honest.

I finished writing my arrangement and then practiced it for at least a month. I kept losing strategic fingernails, so I had fake nails glued to the ravaged ones on my right hand. While recording the guitar part at Ben’s house for this CD, it was as if I might just break into a Segovia like solo, so fluid I was with the strings in contact with the new nails. That comfort was immediately and uncomfortably truncated by the removal of the nails, which revealed nothing but the Rice Krispies, which I had dreaded.

“It Happens Every Day” is a lyric where I paraphrase all the long-winded philosophical ideas I’ve ever had about breaking up. It came so simply, as I listened to 78s from the fifties and started to play the guitar in a 6/8 feel — imagining what Sam Cooke or Otis Redding would sing and how the Everly Brothers would turn a phrase. Thirty years later, Ben and Peter Calo started to fool around with it, changing the feel and time signature. Still my mind was agitating a flashback to the porch of the General Store where I met a boy who became a man, who became a great love, who then dispensed with my charms, as it were. Of course it’s debatable, but for the sake of the song, we can put emotional accents where we must. The words: “Twist their love into hate” summarizes how easy it is to alliterate your way into a big ol’ divorce. The outro which could be a new song called: “give it to the girls” was based on a bizarre memory of mine. As I was checking out on my big romance and decade of lasting love, there gathered on the sidewalk and on fire escapes a group of men who were giving me the ‘go ahead’ to move my bags into my girlfriend’s apartment. I still have no idea what they thought they were giving me the ‘high sign’ to do, but there they were, chorally encouraging me: “give it to the girls” and it riffed its way back to me during the final day of vocals on the song. “Give it to the girls” sounds like a cheerleading mantra. I felt as if I was the whole basketball team they were cheering for. How could they know? As I say, a bizarre memory. However some things just work as punctuation and then end up giving the song a new ‘twist.’

As I have sung “Never Been Gone” over the years, I come to care for it more and more. I wrote the melody as I was attempting a descant to “Greensleeves.” If you sing “Never Been Gone” while “Greensleeves” is playing, it just may fit neatly along side (don’t worry if it doesn’t). That’s where that simple anthemic melody comes from. It feels so very much about where I am existing these days as far as ‘pride.’ As usual, when I write a melody out of the blue and there is no existing lyric, I inevitably have trouble. So I call Jake (Jacob Brackman). He wrote the lyric. Many times, though, I have wanted to take credit because it feels as if I am the only one who understands ‘drown my pride in the sea,’ and how could he have known? Especially on the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard after a rejection or a tumble down the charts. It was Ben though, in this reinvention, who turned the time signature from a foxtrot into a waltz, the deviant little son of a gun, and we sang our brains out one night and the following day and the following night and one week later again.

This version of “Boys In The Trees” is word-for-word full of my mental pictures of these boys. And it has questions that I still ask as I let go one side of the rubber band around my wrist so it snaps me and reminds me that my thinking is outdated.

I made the most of my Yamaha Motif as I scanned it for sounds that would sonically agree with my words and melody. The vocal I stressed over for quite a while. It came together on a July night in 2009 as Larry watched over my shoulder, rode some of the faders, and I mixed it all on my little 24 track Tascam recorder. Light as a feather. And thank my lucky stars for Larry.

It’s the only track on the album I recorded, engineered and mixed. It turned up a collage of sounds, harmonies and vocals (Sally’s exquisitely gentle answers on the choruses and Forté’s several ‘man’ lines). It’s so fine to have Forté home and back and singing subtle parts that to me are a reminder of when and how so much in my life has changed.

David (Saw) was playing a glassy and folky version of “Let The Riverrun” one morning as I came downstairs. Ben joined right away to cement the idea, and I was once again seduced by these Young Turks. We went down to the Caribbean on a crazy vacation and played it endlessly in their very extravagant suite. Great acoustics, and tiny, pretty audiences. I had much help from the Gods and their dispatchers on writing this song and it turns out by the Grace of his Being, that it can be sung in many ways. Thankfully, most of those many ways feature Margaret Bell.

I never thought we could get through the re-record of “You’re So Vain.” Ben and David got the least likely guitar part down and I heard it upon upon entering the kitchen one morning last summer. The idea was to ‘chill’ and sing it. Well, sing it, but HOW? After struggling through a few live shows and turning the high notes an octave down (as in ‘walking onto a yacht’), I finally couldn’t sing it that way on the final recorded version. For days, trying to attain that note, all I did was crack and sound like a parched and strangled cat. Ben really tortured me on this vocal. I love him for it.

This version of “You Belong To Me” is a more straightforward R&B treatment than its original — cranked with Ben Thomas’ Funk bass part. My godson, John Forté’s interpretation is lusty to me…. and furious in a good way. Then after hearing it, Ben was jealous that he hadn’t been in the studio when John cut the track. So, the two Bens (Taylor and Thomas) went up to the studio here on the VIneyard and messed it up with finger paints, Marley-Bone, drums and bass. This is the version for playing with the top down. If the top won’t go down, take it off! It’s a little bit of all of our interpretations and I’m proud to be the singer!

Not to be overlooked for an instant, Michael McDonald wrote the melody to “You Belong To Me,” and if we stepped on his toes at any time here, I am sorry. But Michael and I never DID tell each other what the hell we were doing during the writing nor the recording of either of our versions. Surprise, Michael. This is for you too.

“No Freedom” is a song the lyric of which I wrote a few years ago while on holiday. Anguilla was gorgeous, but it didn’t make me free. As long as I am locked in my brain, I am locked in a maelstrom of uncontrolled and sometimes unbidden thoughts. The lyric is pretty straightforward: “There ain’t no freedom when you got a worryin’ mind.” Last winter I showed it to David and then Ben, who finished the song in our great kitchen, where the acoustics are so infinitely attractive and flattering to the voice and the guitar, where anything is possible. It is one of the few appearances (“You Belong To Me” being the only other track) of the big drums.

“That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be” is a dark song. The lyrics are not the lyrics that should be sung at a wedding. It is filled with descriptions that are sad and scary. Can you miss the words: “but soon you’ll cage me on my shelf?” In the same way that “Anticipation” is deceptive about how ‘glorious is the moment,’ “That’s The Way...” is about the dark story that precedes the words about the shelf. For this version, I used a guitar part for the continuous thread around through which the strings and vocals are set. The song pounds away at the chorus as if marriage was supposed to be aspired to, attained, and forever gloried in. Jake wrote the lyrics – but then again, Jake always seems to be able to get in to my head.

By the way, ‘dark’ is the new ‘edgy.’ I am not going to use it again in any of the descriptions of the songs I write. Nor in any of my journal entries. The word ‘dark’ stops here!

I owe the song: “Coming Around Again” to Mike Nichols. He is a mentor to many people, but he’s my mentor more.

I had already composed an original version of “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and, when coming to writing the main and only song for the movie “Heartburn,” it seemed as if a little Angel (the one in charge of ‘bookends’) came down on my shoulder and a melody emerged to nearly the same accompaniment as “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” I changed a few chords and soon, there was the revelation to me of the complete song. More acoustic and less-produced, this track is without the crazy in-lovewith- Russ-Kunkel drum loop. Then I improvised a new vocal on the outro, which is now my favorite way of having a stream of consciousness moment. The improvisation is wistful and wise to me. It teaches me where I am with that song’s openly private sorrows. It revealed itself to me singing with nary a left-brain moment.

“Anticipation” is a song reflective and inclusive of an emotion I couldn’t have evoked even if I tried, when I wrote it in 1971. It has an eaiser to read irony in the lyric “And I tell you how easy it feels to be with you…but I rehearsed those words just late last night…” How difficult it really is to feel in the present. Present pleasure lasts only second to second. It drifts off far too fast.

“Songbird”: Thirty-nine years ago I wrote a song about how NYC emptied out on holidays. I didn’t go much further in the composition (called, I suppose, “Hallelujah For The Year”), before a bird landed on my brick windowsill on East 35th Street. From that point on, I began singing in a way as if the songbird had heard me playing in my living room, and had agreed with me. I changed to accommodate the very minute, musical variations of that bird. It felt like the so-looked-for “message” in one’s life; that everything is collaboration with the universe. The “Songbird” became the song.

I only re-found this recording (originally, squeaky piano stool and all) on a Walkman, in 2009. I gave it to Frank Filipetti to see whether it was salvageable. He was hopeful. I added a second vocal on to the second verse, which transits to a further new verse and vocal, written this past winter, cold and raw.

This song is a tip of the hat to the old me when I wasn’t writing for anyone but myself. Ben guided me through the new last verse. More tips of more hats, including the evocative string writing; and including Frank Filipetti who brought the sound of the song into an available universe.