Today’s song is ‘Feeling Good’. This song (also known as ‘Feelin’ Good’) was written by English composers Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse for the musical ‘The Roar of the Greasepaint- The Smell of the Crowd’. It was first performed on stage in 1964 by Cy Grant and by Gilbert Price in 1965 with the original Broadway cast on a UK tour.
The song has been covered by numerous singers including, Nina Simone: Michael Buble: John Coltrane: George Michael: Billy Eckstine: Sammy Davies JR. and many others. It has been described and regarded as ‘a booming song of emancipation’ during its original stage version days.
When this song was first released, I was living in Canada for a couple of years. I was enjoying life tremendously as I travelled around much of Canada, along with being able to visit several States in the U.S.A. I was able to do this because of two major aspects. When I was first in Canada, I got a job on the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), and although I worked in the modest role of catering server on the trains, the job enabled me to travel on three-day train journeys across Canada and see some wonderful sights along the way (free of charge of course). I was also financially independent as I had received a large amount of compensation which had been kept in trust for me between the ages of twelve and twenty-one years of age, arising from a bad traffic accident I incurred during my childhood. Consequently; I had enough financial independence to do what I wanted to do and see the places I wanted to go. My only financial need was to earn sufficient money monthly to eat and pay for my accommodation so that I didn’t drain my emergency resources unnecessarily. During these years of freedom and fascinating exploration, my mood could be best summed up in today’s song I sing as ‘Feeling Good’.
I suppose when I think back, I’ve been blessed by the fact, that for the most part, I have always felt good about myself and the people who surrounded me, especially my family and significant others. While I may not have truly appreciated just how important each significant person in my life was to me at the precise time of their presence, they each left an indelible stamp on my personality, and collectively, all crafted the character of the man I was to become. They are in short, as forever close to me as is my shadow, and are ever-present in my sunniest of days; ensuring that they walk the same path as myself, and giving me a sharp tug on my coat tails if I need it, keeping me on the path of righteousness and preventing me deviating from a worldly walk of wholesomeness.
These important people who helped form my earliest memories and who went on to shape my future and determine my character are not only a part of any good thought, feeling or action I have ever experienced or executed, but they are an intrinsic part of me today; just as if they still lived! The good things they taught me about life course through my veins with the vibrancy of healthy blood flow. They prompt my mind with all manner of wise and positive thoughts. Their presence in my life, now as then, pulsate my heart with the regular flow of unqualified love they shared with me, and my fond memory of them reproduces an air of constant freshness in an often stagnant world. They may be dead and have ‘passed on’ to the rest of the world, but to me, their influence on me will never die. They, along with all the other influential people in my life currently, are the reason that every day I awake and 'feel good’.
I jointly dedicate my song today to my great-nephew, Leon Swales. Leon and his family recently moved up to start a new life living in Aberdeen in Scotland. Have a smashing birthday, Leon and may you ‘feel good’ throughout your special day and on every day of your life thereafter, because all days are special. Love Great Uncle Billy x
I also dedicate today’s song to my Facebook friend, Jacqueline Allum who lives in St. Thomas, Ontario, and whose birthday it also is today. I lived in Toronto, Canada for a couple of years, 55 years ago and although I never went to St.Thomas, I did once spend a day in nearby Hamilton, about 80 miles south of Toronto. Jaqueline’s Facebook page entries reveal her to be a thoughtful and sensitive person. Thank you for being my Facebook friend, Jaqueline and I hope you have a smashing birthday. Bill x
Love and peace Bill xxx