My song today is ‘All Alone Am I’. This song from 1962 was popularised by the American singer Brenda Lee. The song was originally composed by the Greek composer Manos Hatzidakis and recorded in Greek by Tzeni Karezi for the soundtrack of the film ‘To nisi ton genneon ‘(The Island of the Brave) The original song in Greek translates to ‘Don't ask the heaven’. Later, a new version of the song with English lyrics was produced by Owen Bradley and appeared as the title track on one of Brenda Lee's albums.
‘All Alone Am I’ became a top 10 pop hit in both the US and the UK. The song peaked at Number 3 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart in November 1962 and reached Number 7 on the ‘UK Singles Chart’ in February 1963. The song also spent five weeks atop the ‘Billboard Easy Listening Chart’ in November and December 1962, Lee's only song to do so.
In 1960, the Greek film ‘Never on Sunday’ was released to considerable acclaim, earning multiple Academy Award nominations in the US. The film's star, Merlina Mercouri was nominated for Best Actress, while the title song from the film won the Oscar for ‘Best Original Song’ for Greek musician Manos Hatzidakis who had composed the music used in the film. A melody that appeared in both ‘Never on Sunday’ and ‘The Island of the Brave’ was sent to Lee's management as a tune to be considered for the singer to record, and after being translated into English by Arthur Altman, became ‘All Alone Am I’.
While I have always had many associates, I have tended to stick to a few close friends and have spent a great deal of my life ‘doing my own thing’. Because of extensive and serious body injuries caused by a traffic accident at the age of 11 years, I was in hospital nine months, having suffered a damage spine, a punctured lung, a crushed chest, and all of my limbs badly broken. I was unable to walk for almost three years after having been told by the medics that I would never walk again. I also missed out on over two years of schooling, and when I did walk again, I spent the next seven years until my 21st year of life engaged in every vigorous sport and balancing activity I could manage. This was to normalise my walking ability and standing posture as well as possible to compensate for two legs which were unequal in length and could not straighten or bend like they ought to.
All of this was only made possible by my dedication over a ten-year period of my life towards physical rehabilitation and the improvement of my functional mobility. To do this required much additional reading, learning, and practising eastern disciplines of pain control, mental imagery, progressive relaxation and transcendental meditation, along with breathing patterns, muscle control and posture balance exercises. Much of my spare time was taken up between the ages of 15 years and 21 years of age alone(when I was not working in textiles or out dancing and dating). I naturally became accustomed to my own company more than other young men of my age group, although my love of singing and rock and rolling, along with dating as many beautiful young women as I could ensured that I was never alone whenever I chose not to be.
I suppose that when I look back over my life, I have always preferred my own company over long periods of time because my individual interests and physical self-improvement essentially marked me out as being different from the rest of my age group. My previous life experiences effectively estranged me from my natural peer group before I was a teenager and forced me to grow up before my time. My thinking patterns, my own behavioural responses to certain situations, my working methods and my various achievements have always made me different in respect of the level of independence I have always needed and displayed.
Even in my late teens, I would often prefer the company of older women as a romantic requirement, and the conversation of older men of providing sufficient stimulation. When I became a Probation Officer, the Behaviour Modification learning I required for the methods I wanted to use were largely practised in America and were alien to this country. I needed to go outside the Probation Service for much of my learning and the specialised practices I wanted to engage in. I would attend courses where the membership might be psychologists, psychiatric nurses, or even hypnotists. All the specialised books I read also had to be bought overseas from either America or France and Switzerland, and I remain totally grateful to the Probation Service for paying for them and the different types of courses I attended to facilitate my own successful method of working with clients and positively modifying their behaviour. I can honestly say that for over 25 years of my work in the Probation Service, I was so engrossed in my own work and extensive research, that some days I would forget to take meal breaks between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm, and when I did eat, I tended to eat the unhealthy fat foods which were quick and ready to eat on the hoof.
Many colleagues would probably have thought me rather eccentric, some even arrogant, but most hopefully would have considered me a good work mate! Essentially, during my years to date, I have grown up in a world that I often seemed to occupy alone, and with a lifetime of experiences which have necessitated me being more of a loner than most men. I grew to like my own company early on in life.
Love and peace Bill xxx