Yesterday Once More - The Carpenters

This blog entry is archived from the previous Retropolis site. This was originally posted on 08.11.03.

30 years ago this week that song was topping the charts. Karen Carpenter was singing about how it felt listening to music when she was young, yet she was only 22 when she sang that song. It's hard to believe. Her rich voice sounded so mature for her age. If she was still alive today, she would be 53 years old. Little did she know when she sang that song then, that some day people would be reflecting back on that song as the very type of song that she was singing about. When people who grew up with The Carpenters hear their music today, they feel the same way Karen did when she sang.

 

The harmonies of The Carpenters will bring you right back to where you were the first time you heard each of their songs. Even if you were too young to know who the Carpenters were when they were popular, you may have heard "Sing (A Song)", which you would likely associate with memories of Sesame Street. She sang that song on Sesame Street in 1973 and it has been associated with Sesame Street ever since.

 

Most Carpenters songs have that peaceful, magical feeling of the past which always makes you think, "Things were so much simpler then... so much more peaceful... and innocent."

 

That same year (1973) there were other songs by other artists that bring the same "those were the innocent days" feelings, such as "Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree" by Dawn, "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" by Stevie Wonder, "Rocky Mountain High" by John Denver, and "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love" by The Spinners.

 

I can't think of any songs like that for 2003 ...YET. Maybe it takes time for a song to have that feeling. I checked out a list of the hits of 1983 and found that there were some songs that certainly seemed innocent, but they do feel different from the songs of 1973. They bring you to a different time and place. Here are a few examples: "Africa" by Toto, "Faithfully" by Journey, "(Just) You & I" by Eddie Rabbitt & Crystal Gayle, and "Islands In The Stream" by Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton. Can you imagine a song like "Islands In The Stream" being in the top 10 today?!

 

Let's check out the innocent songs of 1993: "A Whole New World" by Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle, "Can't Help Falling In Love" cover by UB40, "Fields of Gold" by Sting, "Everybody Hurts" by REM, "Walk On the Ocean" by Toad The Wet Sprocket, "Have I Told You Lately" by Rod Stewart, and "If I Ever Lose My Faith In You" by Sting. Actually, the 1993 "innocent" songs have more of a 70's feeling than the 80's ones do!

 

What songs today will bring back those sorts of memories in the future? My guess is that kids today will look back at the songs by the American Idol winners (Clay & Ruben) and have fond memories of watching the show, the same way people today reflect back on American Bandstand. They'll remember the way all the finalists joined together and sang "Proud To Be An American" and "What the World Needs Now" right after the war began. When they hear those songs, 2003 will seem like a very innocent year. Music can do that.

 

"All my best memories Come back clearly to me Some can even make me cry. Just like before It's yesterday once more"

 

- The Carpenters 

 

Comments

I really love this band and I

I really love this band and I am very amazed of all their songs. - Feed the Children Reviews