Sing it One More Time for the Broken-Hearted
It’s hard to think of any other song that I’ve written which conjures up so many great memories with such a vast array of wonderful people.
When the Faith Brothers split in 1987, I remember talking with Lee and, though I was already writing Mass, I didn’t want to stop playing live.
I often tell friends that for the 2/3 hours I’m on a stage singing, the world is exactly how I want it to be.
Both of us had always loved soul music and so I suggested that for the sheer fun of it, we form a soul band. We would try to restrict our set to classic soul from the Stax, Atlantic and Motown catalogue.
We gathered a few friends, including Will Tipper and Steve Howlett from the Faith Brothers and The Big 5 were born. Joining us were two lifelong friends who both played and sang professionally, Tommy Mason and Tony Carpenter.
For the next few years it is no exaggeration to say that both nights were always packed to the rafters and we put on some of the most exciting shows of our long careers.
The list of friends I made over those years is extensive. Particularly at The Old Leather Bottle.
I particularly remember a couple of young American fellas who would be there every week. They were in London for six months as part of their U.S education.
One week, they approached me and asked if they could film the gig. Of course I agreed. A couple of days later I met with the film maker, he gave me a VHS of the gig, I gave him a cassette of some of my songs. His name was Mick McCleery and we went on to make 3 movies together, including Tribute This!, along with countless pop videos, the latest of which was last year’s My World.
Him and his then classmate, Johnny Innocenzo have been among my closest friends since that encounter almost 3 decades ago and it’s a rare summer that I don’t visit the U.S to spend some time with them (this year being one such occasion, when I walked he Camino de Santiago instead).
And so to the song.
Here’s a clip from the movie Tribute This! that tells the story.
No matter where I go in this world, this is what I do. When the official show is over, I gather everyone around me. Pull up a chair, sit my guitar in my lap and sing my heart out until I have nothing left to give.
I don’t simply love what I do, I’m actually in love with what I do.
I’ve played for 6 people and 60,000, and I could not say that one was more rewarding than the other.
Some years ago I did an online interview with a life coach. He asked me how I would describe myself. I explained that terms like singer/songwriter don’t do my work justice.
He replied, “you’re a troubadour. You travel and you take music wherever you go and you sing for people in all kinds of situations, that’s what a troubadour does.”
Of course I am principally a songwriter but in essence he was right. I have become a troubadour. I say that with a real sense of pride. The joy it brings to me and those around me at the time, is undeniable and unavailable anywhere else.
So, this song, Sing it One More Time for the Broken-Hearted is a commemoration of that magic. A celebration of how music will bring people together and, for a short time, allow your fears and worries to slip away.
So, whenever asked to “sing it one more time,” my answer will always be a resounding and heartfelt yes.
Enjoy and share.
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