The song was first recorded by Richard Chamberlain and released as a single in 1963 as, ‘They Long to Be Close to You’. Other recordings of the song were released by Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, and most notably by the Carpenters.
Karen and Richard Carpenter recorded the most commercially successful version of the song. In 1970, it was released by the Carpenters on their album ‘Close to You’, and it became their breakthrough hit. The song stayed at number one on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ for four weeks. This song was originally given to Herb Alpert as a follow up to his number one hit, ‘This Guy's in Love with You’, another Bacharach-David composition. Alpert was not thrilled with his version and shelved the recording. Looking for a follow-up success, in 1969 Alpert decided to give it to the ‘Carpenters’.
With ‘(They Long to Be) Close to You’, the Carpenters earned a Grammy Award for ‘Best Contempory Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus’ in 1971. It became the first of three Grammy Awards the Carpenters would win during their careers.
If one wanted to choose a position in life that produced the greatest feelings of happiness, security and contentment, it would undoubtedly be ‘being close’ to the one you love most in the world.
When one is first in love and even during life thereafter when one is still with their one true love, the thing least wanted is being separated from each other for any significant amount of time. ‘Being Close to You’ is the only comfort blanket needed to complete any love nest.
Hence, the bereavement and loss of a loved one is the greatest of life’s sacrifices. It should be of little surprise to therefore discover, that it has been estimated to take a minimum of three years after the initial loss of a loved one (even when the mind and body have healthily processed the event), before the bereaved person is ‘emotionally ready for moving on’.
Please note that being emotionally healthy for ‘moving on’ doesn’t mean that the bereaved person re-enters the dating scene, sells up the matrimonial home and buys another in a different area of the country or flings themselves into a new business venture, or takes up that educational course and obtains that qualification they always planned to get, or pursues that profession they always dreamed of one day entering had they not married as early as they did.
No! ‘Being ready to emotionally move on’ is just the recognition that ‘one’s emotions are no longer unsettled or disturbed’. One is simply saying to one’s own mind and body, “Hi there, I’ve had my bad time; I’ve healthily gone through the storm that followed which left me feeling emotionally battered and bruised. And although my body may always carry those marks of a sad event that I’ll never forget, I have now come through the storm and am now out of it at the other side. While I am not particularly seeking any specific change in my life at the moment and remain happy to just live it day by day, ‘ I’m now emotionally available’ in the event of wanting change in my future life”.
Even then, the bereaved person will forever remember their loved one whom they will always keep close to them in their mind and heart. Each time they engage in an act that was once shared with their loved one or visit a favourite place or celebrate some other aspect of life like birthdays, holidays, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the memory will instantly recall the occasion and the emotions inside will express a bit of sadness. Even after the bereavement process has been healthily negotiated, the need of the bereaved person ‘never to forget’ the one they loved and lost will remain an unconscious choice of the mind and body ‘because not forgetting them is the only way of remaining close to them’.
Love and peace Bill xxx