Today’s song is ‘Tonight, I Celebrate My Love for You’. This song is a romantic ballad written by lyricist Gerry Goffin and Michael Masser. The song was initially recorded by Peabo Bryson and Roberto Flack for their 1983 album of ‘Duets: Born to Love’. The song became a million-selling international hit.
Although this song was first released in 1983, I somehow missed it; presumably, because I was going through an acrimonious separation and divorce at the time. The very first time I heard the song was in September 2019 when a Facebook friend whose wedding anniversary it was told me that it was a favourite of hers and her husband from their wedding anniversary and added that they also played it annually on their birthday. So, I decided to cover the song recently.
It matters not where we are born or when, society has always marked special occasions by the act of celebration. The most marked celebrations of an individual were first introduced in the western world by the church and the religious observation of one’s birth, First Communion, Confirmation, Marriage, and death.
Over the years Society has added to the number of special occasions one marks for celebration. The most prominent is probably the celebration of adulthood. In the Jewish faith, the Bar Mitzvah commemorates the religious adulthood of a boy on his 13th birthday. Some African and Asian countries recognise ‘adulthood’ around the early teenage years, and many get married and parent children when they are 12 and 13 years old. Great Britain and most European countries postpone the recognition from child to adult until their 18th birthday, and more significantly, their 21st birthday when they are symbolically awarded 'the key of the door’. No longer is a 21-year-old required to wake up the household after having a night on the town, by knocking for entry on the parental door after midnight yelling, “Let me in, Mum”; especially when they have their own house key to maintain their independent lifestyles, and the sleep of the neighbours.
Then, there are all those occasions which society celebrates to mark their passing like bank holidays, Easter, Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas, Pancake Tuesday, Whit Sunday, American Day of Independence, Thanks-Giving Day, etc. etc. Even moving into a new house is often marked by a bottle of wine left as a welcoming present by the last owners and there is often another celebration when one sells up house and home to emigrate and start life anew in another country.
Not forgetting the famous ‘Os’ that the birthday card business was quick to cash in on like the famous birthdays of 30,40,50,60,70,80,90 and 100 (not forgetting a few with ‘5’ on the end, like 65, and 75.
My own view is that life has always been hard for some and will always remain hard for many, so, a celebration is just one way of taking the edge off one’s day for a few of us. For the vast majority, however, marking special occasions in our lives and celebrating certain events is just a good excuse for cracking open another bottle of wine, having a barbeque or putting on a family spread or softening the saying of 'Goodbyes'.
I dedicate my song today to Ann Moor who lives in Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia, Karen Hooson from Halifax, West Yorkshire and Barry Foley from County Waterford, Ireland. All three of these Facebook friends of mine are celebrating their birthday today. Have a super birthday, Ann, Karen and Barry and may your special day be filled with much happiness and surrounded by much love. Thank you for being my Facebook friends. Bill x
Love and peace Bill xxx