Henry's Songbook

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It's Good To See You

  • (Allan Taylor)

    It's good to see you, so good to see you
    Oh how I've missed you since I've been gone
    'Cause I've crossed the oceans, travelled through many lands
    And it's good to see you, to be in your home

    There is something in me that needs to wander
    There is many a land I have to see
    When I'm far away in a land of strangers
    I know my good friends think on me

    When a man is down, down on his fortune
    He stands alone, sometimes alone
    He looks around him, looking for an open hand
    Sometimes there's one, sometimes there's some

    Oh it's a wonder when it comes to friendship
    No matter how far away, no matter how long
    There's a constant thread that's never broken
    It ties me to my friends and home

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1994:] I taught this song to Alex Campbell not long after I'd written it. He sang it all around Denmark, and I got invited over because of that. The only thing was, when I tried to sing this song people told me, "You can't sing that, it's Alex Campbell's song". "But I wrote it!" "It's still Alex Campbell's song." (Allan Taylor, intro Tonder)

  • [1997:] I wrote this song in 1977, on the beautiful island of St. Thomas, one of the Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. I had just come through the toughest part of my life; my performing career had almost ended due to the damage on my vocal chords caused through overwork, but a period of silence (no talking or whispering for three months) allowed the chords to heal. Then I had to start on the long and difficult process of learning to sing and talk without doing the same damage again [...]. My time in St. Thomas was to be a recuperation period, a time when I could forget all the problems of the recent past and concentrate on getting fit again for performing. And it worked. I came to make some major decisions about my future [...]. Extreme times make one assess one's life and values. I began to realise what was important and what could be discarded. Success is a relative concept - it depends on one's criteria. Establishing the criteria is the difficult part, and this is often influenced by extreme experiences. I began to realise the value of friends and how I wished some of them could be with me to share the island. It was in this mood that the song began to develop. My ex-wife Kathy, more in this than any other song I have written was a great help offering rhymes and ideas as I tried to form the song.

    Of all the songs I have written, this has been the most recorded by other performers, of quite diverse styles. It has been recorded as a Country Song (Don Williams), as an M.O.R. song (Nana Mouskouri) and as a soft Rock song (Frankie Miller), apart from the many versions by folk music performers. My favourite version is by Alex Campbell, who had a minor hit with it in Denmark. I had taught him the song backstage at the Norwich Folk Festival, around 1978 and he had taken it and made it his own. In fact when I first went to Denmark and sang the song many people would tell me that I shouldn't sing it as it was Alex's song! He knew how to sing the song because he had lived it, and as far as I know it was the last song he ever sang in public.

    Note: When Alex Campbell recorded the song he changed the last line of the second verse to: "Sometimes there's one, oftimes there's none," which I think is a better line than the one I wrote.

    When Frankie Miller recorded the song he changed the last line of the chorus to: "It's good to see you, to be in your arms". (Taylor, Songs 46)

Quelle: England

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aktualisiert am 19.08.2000