Love and longing

By Robbi  //  Love and Longing  //  3 Comments

Love and longing

If you take a handful of the greatest songs ever written and pick the one thing out that they have in common what do you think that would be? To me it would be a sense of yearning or a quality of longing. It seems to me that ‘longing’ possesses an actual sound quality, like the bending of a blues note. John Lennon brings this to the fore when he sings “i give her all my love”. Though he is confirming that it is a love song lyrically, his tone of voice and the melodic structure lean towards a sound of yearning. He was a master at this and could bring it to perfection in one word. For example listen to how he starts the song with the word ‘mother’. From the moment you hear him say it you are gripped by the deep yearning! The same with the sound of the voice and melody in two of the greatest love songs ever written in my opinion – Bridge over Troubled Water and The first time ever i saw your face, both these songs posses this quality in the extreme sense. It’s this yearning quality that lifts them up beyond their fantastic lyrics into a place of spiritual longing. There is a sound of longing in Neil Youngs voice when he sings “Jesus I saw you…walking on the river….” , when Bono wails “Sunday bloody sunday”. There is deep longing in the guitar solos of David Gilmour. Robert Plant is soaked in this quality and often times goes straight for this feeling by simply crying out “ooh”. Most often if a song, a piece of music or a guitar solo, doesn’t posses this quality of longing it is short lived in my personal picks list. Much of pop music these days lacks this noble quality . Here is a demo of the tail end of a song we are working on called Hello.

In this song I am aiming at this feeling of longing. The story is this: the viking boy, curious about dreams and feelings he is having about a girl he has never met in real life, goes to the High Priestess of the island and has a ‘session’ with her. She reads the crystal ball and reads his palm, and tells him about a “soul mate” who is also longing to be re-united with him. The opening line of the lyrics describes the boy looking at his palm and speaking to the girl.

hello, to the line upon my hand,
to the line that shows a friend,
to the friend who forms the line.

There is a greater alchemical mystery embedded in this album for those who know, but for now – we will stick to the story.

3 Comments to “Love and longing”

  • I´m really craving for the new album. That´s all so inspiring to me! Thank you so much for all your great music. I´m a follower and fan for about 20 years. Shine on.

    • Hey ChrisE
      thanks for your encouragement!!!
      shine shine shine!!

  • it’s the full moon a week before the summer solstice.
    the longing in it’s light is primordial yet ever present in the here and now.

    i just sang a song to my sleeping wife and child. it was just simple descending chords on an acoustic guitar with a vocal line…”we’ve seen this moon light a million times, and it’s like the first time”.
    the line is nothing special, and it just came out, literally as they slept and as i sat with guitar and a view of the moon.

    in regards to what robbi talks about in the sense of longing, i think looking at the moonlight and trying to grasp it’s light in this context of what it is now and what it was before we even existed is an interesting thing.
    it’s a simple perspective, but at the same time it presents a strange sense of wonder. what was it like before human existence? was the earth full of serenity? was it volatile as it was so young and still forming? what was the moonlight like then? was it the same or different as to what it looks like now?
    ultimately this wonder is just a light source that leads back to godhead. (even if godhead doesn’t exist).
    getting back to the source. how we came to be, and if there is a purpose or if it’s all just random.
    either way, the fact that through music and through song, like many other forms, this ultimate question gets subconsciously asked in the love song through longing and discovery. who am i? who are you? who are we?…(who are the who?…ha!).

    from woody guthrie, to dylan and to mark knopfler…who wrote an amazing modern version of romeo and juliet on dire straights making movies record.
    to this day, that song hits me like a ton of bricks about all the relationships gone bad with the sense of longing and loss.

    i really appreciate robbi’s mention of john lennon in the context of longing and love.
    “mother” and “god” are good representations.
    in lennon’s “god”, it’s his longing for humanism. this song is so connected to imagine it’s quite amazing if you think about it. to get beyond religious dogma and the longing for that realization… is pure love.

    past, present and future is summed up by ziggy marley…’you don’t know the past you don’t know ya future”.

    the longing is all around us. it’s not about not having what you want, it’s about owning the not in what you don’t have. nurturing that to see if it can grow into something, anything.
    what have we got to lose?
    the song of love and the love of song.

    leonard cohen longing on a full moon night!

    the song’s of greek rembetico, another great example…
    all of it gives us the reminder and the sustenance of living life to the fullest.

    working to live, not living to work.

    love song and the song of despair, becoming one….


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