Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Friend and Lover – "Reach Out of the Darkness" (1968)


I think it's wonderful and how
That people are finally getting together

"And how" is an odd expression, isn't it?  (Usually, "and how" is used to express one's emphatic agreement with a statement made by someone else – not to emphasize the speaker's own sentiments, which is how it is used in the lines quoted above.)

Here's something else odd about this song.  The title of the song (and the title of the album it was subsequently released on) is "Reach Out of the Darkness," as this photo of my rental car's SiriusXM display plainly shows:


But the song's lyrics never say "Reach out of the darkness."  Instead, the lyrics say "Reach out in the darkness."  In fact, that line is repeated no fewer than nine times.  (I'm guessing the discrepancy may have been accidental – a mistake.)

I heard "Reach Out of the Darkness" on a recent visit to Cape Cod.  I was on my way to rent a bike to ride on the Cape Cod Rail Trail when the song popped up on my satellite radio.

My route to the bike rental place took me past the Brewster home of someone who sells tie-dyed T-shirts and other garments:


The tie-dyer trusts his or her customers to be honorable people and drop the appropriate amount of cash for their purchases through a slot in a wooden box:


(Surely karma would severely punish anyone who purloined a tie-dyed shirt without paying for it.)

Later that day, I saw a tie-dyed ukulele at The Sparrow Store in Orleans:


That store had ukuleles of all descriptions:


It even had ukuleles that can stand up by themselves:


Ukuleles are fine as long as you're never forced to listen to them being played.  Like children, they should be seen and not heard.

The Sparrow Store also had a nice selection of hip flasks:


Here's a closeup of a couple of flasks:


The store also had this dish towel, which would be a perfect gift for any new mom:


The Sparrow Store is just a few feet from the Cape Cod Rail Trail.  That trail is generally flat and straight, which makes it marginally less risky to ride one-handed while taking photos and videos:

Cape Cod Rail Trail
"Reach Out of the Darkness" first appeared on the Billboard "Hot 100" on June 1, 1968 – just a few days before the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.  One of the producers or writers of Mad Men must have figured that out because the song was played during an episode of that show that depicted people watching television when news of the Kennedy assassination was breaking.

I love "Reach Out of the Darkness."  I can't make a convincing intellectual case that it's a good song, but I've always had a soft spot for it.


Friend and Lover was comprised of Jim Post (who wrote the song) and his wife Cathy.  The couple eventually split up, but at the time they recorded the song, each presumably viewed the other as a friend and a lover.

I think most people would like to have a partner who is both a friend and a lover.  But a friend and a lover are two very different things.


A friend may eventually become a lover, but there's no guarantee that will work out in the long run.  Someone who is a wonderful friend is not necessarily the right person to be your lover.

Here's "Reach Out of the Darkness":





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