February 23, 2008

Song Mysteries: Ladies and Dream Weavers

Growing up listening to 70’s and 80’s music, I’m often amazed at how many song lyrics my brain has indexed. Although my wife and kids have never complained (to me anyway), I’m sure I drive my family crazy singing along to song after song. I’ve long been guilty of taking anything in any conversation, shuffling it through the songs in my brain, and if there is even the slightest of matches, segueing it to a song lyric. Just typing this makes me annoyed at myself!

There are two 70’s songs that I have wondered about for many years. I am certain that I have heard two different versions of:

“Dream Weaver” by Gary Wright
“Lady” by Styx

What’s unique about these differences is just one word in each song (in italics below):

“I’ve just closed my eyes again”
“I have just closed my eyes again”

“Touch me and my troubles all fade”
Just touch me and my troubles all fade”

I’ve always thought that because Styx had a nasty breakup that “Lady” was re-recorded by one of the jilted parties for financial purposes. I just discovered that Styx actually re-recorded “Lady” when they reunited in 1995 (only to split again not long after this). I’m not sure I understand why you’d re-record a classic song like that. I’m equally confused by re-recording it and changing just one word. Was this intentional?

cornerstone.jpgI still can’t help but think about how Tommy Shaw has referred to Styx’s “First Time” (a sappy Dennis DeYoung ballad he was able to get on Styx’s fine Cornerstone album) basically as the beginning of the end for the band. A good song perhaps for Andy Gibb – I have to side with Tommy on this since it was just hard to hear “First Time” after the hard rocking “Renegade” or “Miss America”. At the same time, in 1979 at the age of 14, I didn’t mind it being non-rocking since I recall getting to couple skate at the roller rink to “First Time” with a popular girl named Betsy from a rival school. I was the king of the world for 4 minutes and 24 seconds! Later, I remember finding out she didn’t kiss very well.

As for 1976’s classic Dream Weaver, I’m convinced I’ve heard two versions with the one-word difference mentioned above. I’ve not been able to find out why. By the way, speaking of the Dream Weaver album, one of my favorite 70’s songs is also on the Weaver disc: “My Love Is Alive”. I loved it in the 80’s too when Chaka Khan covered it and made it into an awesome, thumping 80’s night club mix.

If anyone knows anything about the alternate versions of these songs, I would love to hear it! Maybe Gary Wright will read this and chime in.

For my music pals, here are the two beloved versions of “My Love Is Alive”:

Gary Wright

Chaka Khan

Check out the live performance of “My Love Is Alive” on the Midnight Special below. This is quite a discovery since it’s an amazing display of keytar skill and I’m betting Will Ferrell took cowbell lessons from Gary’s background singer! Man, she is really playing that cowbell.


Listening to: Kansas – Carry On Wayward Son

Listening to: Kansas – The Pinnacle

Listening to: Jon Anderson – Hurry Home (Song From The Pleiades)

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February 23, 2008



Comments (6)

  • M. Long February 25, 2008 

    Didn’t Gary re-record (a re-mix) of “Dreamweaver” and start the song with, “I HAVE just closed my eyes again”?

    I think I have that re-mix and I think I got it from you.

  • Ausbury February 25, 2008 

    Matt, that must be it. I know I’ve heard it before, but couldn’t find it amongst my MP3s. I may have deleted that version went I did some consolidation last year. There is no doubt that he says “I have” versus “I’ve” and I would love to know why. Is it possible that while under contract with a record label, that the artist would have to share royalties with the label….then perhaps that is the reason an artist would re-record the song and release it in attempt to collect full royalties once they are no longer under contract?

  • Laura (aka, Laurie!) March 6, 2008 

    I have to say — Your love of music hasn’t changed ONE BIT since we were friends in Junior High at Jackson!!! You opened my ears to Rush (I still love them) and I would swear I saw my first Styx concert with you…does that sound right?? I probably still have a Styx or Rush concert t-shirt somewhere….scary, huh? Through the years, I learned to love –and actively seek out — NEW music while still rocking out to my old favorites. And my list of “favorites” grows longer every day.

    The power of music and lyrics continue to be an important part of my life. I THANK YOU for helping me tap in to my love and appreciation for music many, many years ago when we were young(er)!

    Apparently, you still ROCK! Take care, LL

  • Auz March 6, 2008 

    Hey LL, your comment warmed my heart. What do you remember about that Styx concert? Wasn’t it the Paradise Theater tour?

    What a shame that I had to move and our friendship wasn’t able to extend through our high school years.

    Here’s a question for you. Do you remember band camp our freshman year and the light bulb incident?

  • Laura (aka, Laurie!) March 8, 2008 

    YES! It WAS the Paradise Theatre tour…and I definitely have the concert T in my little box of Jr high and HS memorabilia. And I remember band camp our Freshman year, but you need to refresh me on the lightbulb incident.

    I was also remembering the other day about the long distance phone codes that we used to get in college…do you recall that? I hope the Good Lord doesn’t strike us down for a temporary lapse in judgement!! It was all so we could keep in touch with our friends, so maybe he will forgive us 🙂

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