My song today is ‘Loving Her Was Easier Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again’. This song was written, composed, first recorded, and first released by Kris Kristofferson. It was also recorded and released by Roger Miller, who included it on his album ‘The Best of Roger Miller’ and who released it as a single in July 1971. Ten years later, it was recorded by ‘Tompall and the Glaser Brothers’ for the album ‘Loving Her Was Easier’. It has also been covered by Mark Chesnutt: Billie Jo Spears: Nana Mouskouri: Willie Nelson, and many others.
Kris Kristofferson recorded the song on his 1971 album for ‘Monument Records, The Silver-Tongued Devil and I’. Kristofferson's rendition of the song was not promoted to country music radio. It reached Number 26 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart, and it also got to Number 4 on ‘Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks’. In Canada, it reached Number 21 on the RPM ‘Top Singles Chart' and Number 8 on that same publication's ‘Adult Contemporary’ list.
In the song, the narrator describes a lover in somewhat nostalgic terms, using images drawn from nature and references to inter-personal intimacy.
Occasionally in my life, I have heard of men and women using the phrase, ‘I tried to love him/her but………’. I can tell you with certainty that where loving somebody is concerned, ‘trying’ does not come into it. ‘Loving’ someone just happens. There is nothing easier in life than letting good things happen to oneself, and both loving’ and ‘being loved in return’ is up there with the best of things that could ever happen.
There are some people in life who have tried ‘to prevent themselves from loving another’, especially when personal and social circumstances like being promised or married to another makes extra romantic attachments highly inappropriate to engage in. Such irregular relationships can involve a great deal of physical and mental resistance, along with much psychological torture and emotional struggle.
Between 1970 and 1995 I was employed as a Probation Officer in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. Sometime during the 1970s, I had occasion to work with a woman whom most men might objectively describe as being ‘a woman and a half’. The woman concerned was in her thirties, and she was a beautiful person inside and out. She possessed every individual asset that one could ever find in a sibling, friend, lover, partner, wife, or lifelong soulmate. She was sensitive to the needs of others, considerate and emotionally measured in all she said and did. She was also generous to the core, truthful, faithful, respectful to everyone’s need, and highly popular with her peers. She was also committed 100% to everything she ever undertook.
The woman concerned was not a Probation client, but someone with whom many Probation Officers at the time might occasionally contact in a professional capacity, or the agency she worked for. They do say that ‘nobody is perfect’ and if this woman had one flaw, I would say that it was a tendency to come across as being ‘too special a woman for men to ignore’. While she did not flaunt her attractiveness of face and body, she nevertheless remained a woman who could not stop men ‘falling in love with her’. Although of single status, and never having married, she did not consciously attempt to attract any man, and yet any reluctance in this area on her part merely resulted in more men being attracted to her and remaining more determined than ever to secure a favourable response to their advances. In fact, she was acutely embarrassed by all the attention she would receive from male admirers.
Over the years, she was sought by men of single and married status, both handsome and in powerful employment positions. In short, like the theme of today’s song, her suitors found that ‘Loving her was easier than anything they’d ever do again’.
However, this lovely person harboured a secret which had tormented her since her teenage years; a secret that explained why not one man had ever persuaded her to relinquish her single status and marry him. It was to be a secret that I was to discover towards the end of the 1970s.
At the time I was operating my ‘Relaxation and Assertion Training Groups’ in Huddersfield and around West Yorkshire with great success. I ran my groups not only in Probation Offices but also in the community at large. I operated these groups for over twenty years. These groups would be comprised of people with and without offending records and included ordinary members of the public as well as many professional workers. The group mixture would include both sexes, and members would be known by their first name only and never by status unless they chose to reveal such personal details. Groups might comprise of offenders, non-offenders, the uneducated, teachers, parolees, prisoners, and psychologists.
Having been the founder of ‘Anger Management’ during the early 1970s, the groups I ran attracted mass membership. Apart from the groups I ran in the community, I was also regularly asked to contribute to the course teaching and learning of trainee probation officers, trainee police cadets, trainee fire officers, trainee teachers, trainee nurses, trainee psychologists, and other professionals who wanted to improve their relaxation teaching methods or benefit from becoming more appropriately assertive in their behaviour.
From the hundreds of groups that I operated for over two decades, my success rate was high enough to attract more membership than I was ever able to comfortably accommodate in any group I ever ran. I never operated groups of less than one dozen members, and I would usually run groups with thirty members in it. I once took a relaxation group session of over one hundred and fifty people in a venue in Bolton.
The overall aims of my groups would teach members how to relax, sleep better, come off medication, reduce high blood pressure, lower stress levels, control anger states, break certain addictions, improve self-confidence, and become more appropriately assertive in their response pattern and individual behaviours. The lady who is the subject of today’s story, attended one of my community groups as she wanted to learn how to improve her teaching of relaxation methods.
After certain groups ended, dependant on the time of day or where they were convened, I would often hang around and speak with some of the group members, have a bite to eat with them or enjoy a coffee or a drink.
One day, after the group in which the woman in question attended had ended its session, we spoke afterwards over a coffee. During the group sessions, the woman was a member of, she would frequently offer her opinion on some aspect under discussion but never divulged any personal information about her own lifestyle and circumstances to other group members. During our private conversation over a coffee after one group session, she told me that she had lived with a partner for the past ten years, but added that this was not something that she dared to publicise. When I asked her to tell me about the lucky man, she smiled in an embarrassing way and said, ‘ Not a man; she’s a woman, Bill. I’ve never been into men in my life!”
By telling me that she was ‘gay’ and had lived the secret life of a lesbian with a partner ten years her senior for the past decade, I did not think she was seeking my approval but simply providing me with a reason why she had never volunteered anything too personal about her own private and home life in the group sessions.
She told me that she was the only child born to professional and well-to-do parents in their sixties who lived in Somerset, and she had never told her parents about her sexuality or acquainted them with her living arrangements up north. She indicated that while she would not have worried about her mother learning of her true sexual disposition, she would never have the heart to tell her father (with whom she'd always been extremely close) that his 'little girl' was a lesbian.
We were still in the late 1970s, and while changing times did lead many homosexuals to ‘come out of the closet’, I never personally knew of any lesbians who did ‘come out’ at the time, apart from the lady in question to me. She did acknowledge feeling better for having told someone about her sexual status although it was a number of years down the line before she felt confident enough to tell the world that she was a lesbian. I did not learn if she ever told her parents.
Love and peace Bill xxx