My wife Sheila has been my love-song muse since the mid-1970s. Lucky Man was the first love-song that I recorded, way back in 1976. At the time I wrote it, Sheila and I were teaching at different universities located about 200 miles apart. We saw each other only every couple of weeks. I missed her, and I used song writing as a way to be in touch with her. Lucky Man is about a man reflecting about his love and how lucky he is to have found her.

 

Late at night, when midnight's come and gone

Amid the rain and smokey blues, I daydream

Warm, at peace, and in love I feel

And she's done that for me

 

Knows where she wants to go, outgrown where she's been

It was hard to leave the past, but leaving it made me a lucky man

 

I recorded the latest version of this song in 2010 and it is on my Life Lessons album.

Whenever Sheila and I listen to this song, we are taken back to that time in our life together and to the feelings that created our relationship. All of it still rings true to both of us more than 35 years later. So songs can be a kind of memory aid. Songs are registered in a different part of the brain than other kinds of memories.

Around the time of our 34th anniversary, I was working on the Life Lessons album. I was ruminating about what a great thing it is to be intensely aware of the breadth and depth of loving someone for a long time. Here's the song I wrote, called Long-time Love:

Long-time love, it is the sweetest kind

Permeates your body, infiltrates your mind

Long-time love, it's through and through

Long-time love, it's me and you


Long-time love, it is amazing grace

It lights up the eyes, softens up the face

Long-time love, it's through and through

Long-time love, it's me and you


Lont-time love, it's always there to be

It shapes what you feel, it shapes what you see

Long-time love, it's through and through

Long-time love, it's me and you


This song tells essential truths for me--a bounty from the love-song state of mind--getting in touch with what's real about love. It is not a romantic place so much as a place where I focus on what is important. I get enormous joy from putting myself in the love-song state of mind and waiting to see what comes up. It's always good stuff, even if it doesn't turn into a song.

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