My song today is ‘Say You, Say Me’. This song was written and recorded by Lionel Richie for the film ‘White Nights’. The single hit Number 1 in the United States and on the ‘R&B Singles Chart’ in December 1985. It became Richie's ninth Number1 on the Billboard ‘Adult Contemporary Chart’. The track is not available on the film's soundtrack album, as Motown did not want Richie's first single following the massive success of his 1983 album ‘Can’t Slow Down’ to appear on another label. It was included by Motown on Richie's 1986 release ’Dancing on the Ceiling’.
The track won an ‘Academy Award for Best Original Song’ and a ‘Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song’. A music video was made for the song that featured inserted clips from ‘White Nights’. In 2008, the song was ranked at Number 74 of the top songs of all time on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart, commemorating the first 50 years of the chart.
The single was hugely successful in South Africa, attaining the Number 1 spot on the weekly charts and remaining there for a total of 30 weeks. It eventually became the Number 1 single of 1986 on that country's year-end Springbok charts, proving that, even during Apartheid, music transcended all racial lines. It also reached the Number 1 spot on the ‘Canada Adult Contemporary’ chart: ‘US Adult Contemporary’ chart: Netherlands (Single Top 100) chart: ‘UK Singles’ charts: ‘US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs’: ‘South Africa (Springbok Radio)’: ‘US Cash Box Top’ 100.
When this song was first released, I was 43 years old and my youngest child, Rebecca was ten months old. For the first three years of her life, Rebecca (who suffered from bad asthma attacks), needed to be regularly rushed to the general hospital at Dewsbury. Usually, these emergency visits happened during early morning hours, and knowing that I could drive her to the hospital myself before an ambulance would arrive to take her there, I would dash off with Becky strapped into the car seat, and my wife would stay with our other child, William, and phone ahead informing the hospital that we were on our way.
The situation gradually improved after the first three years of Becky’s life, but until it did, we dare not leave our daughter in her cot overnight. Becky would sleep with me and her mum in our bed. I used to place her face down resting on my chest in bed, so that I could instantly know when her breathing pattern became erratic.
As children grow, it is in their nature to become naturally inquisitive. It is also in the nature of their parents to hold different views on which is the most appropriate response in several given situations. Children are prone to play one parent off against the other if they think they can get away with it, and should they ever discover that they can, they play the game to their best advantage. If ever Becky’s mum refused Becky’s request to do this or that, Becky would ask. “And what does dad say?” in a bid to breach the parental dam of agreement, and vice versa. If ever Becky’s mum or I said something to our Becky which she did not want to hear, she would immediately respond like a little smart arse asking the other parent, “and what does mum/dad say?”
While I would try to keep in agreement with what my wife told Becky anytime (even if I did not fully concur with the view expressed or action executed by Becky’s mum), my wife was often too relenting towards our daughter and would often say something different to what I had previously told Becky.
With regard to my own personal view concerning the usual differences in parenting between both a mother and a father trying to bring up their children the best way they think fit, I invariably feel such differences represent a biological and physiological force of opposition which is simply irreconcilable.
God may have made Adam first and then created Eve from one of Adam’s ribs, but when it comes to which parent has the final say in the area of child management, God seems to have placed more soft tissue in the woman's head and heart, and more spine
and much broader shoulders in the backbone of the man!
Whenever Becky tried to profit from such parental difference, I would merely say to her, “This is not ‘say you, say me’. This is ‘say me, say you’, and ‘you do what I say!’”
Love and peace Bill xxx