Today’s song is ‘Kiss an Angel Good Morning’. This is a song written by Ben Peters. It was recorded by American country music artist, Charley Pride. It was released in October 1971 as the first single from the album ‘Charley Pride sings Heart Songs’. The song quickly became one of his signature tunes and was his eighth song to reach Number 1 on the country charts. ‘Kiss an Angel Good Morning’ was also Charley Pride's first single to reach the pop charts, peaking at Number 21 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’, and went into the Top Ten of the ‘Adult Contemporary Chart’. It also reached Number 19 on the U.S. ‘Cash Box Top 100’. The song spent four months on the pop chart; longer than any of his other hits. Billboard ranked it as the No. 74 song for 1972.
The song is about a man and a woman who are happily married, and his friends ask the secret to their love. He says that he gets to "kiss an angel good morning", referring to his lover, and to "love her like a devil," referring to himself.
I must confess that there have been many a woman who I kissed good morning and whom I never knew before meeting them the previous night, as well as having loved them like a devil. However, not until meeting and marrying my wife, Sheila, did I ever experienced waking up in the morning and ‘kissing an angel beside me’.
I have a sneaky feeling that an old mill mate, called Albert, whom I once worked alongside in Brighouse, would have been able to supply his own seasoned reasoning to this phenomenon. I worked alongside Albert for over two years before I first got married. Indeed, the only time I asked Albert about some aspect of marriage (him having been wed for forty years at the time), he sarcastically replied, “If tha’ wants advice on marriage, lad, I’d say don’t do it! It’ll be the death of thee!”
Albert was a cricket-playing romancer who gallivanted around Yorkshire prior to settling down. He broke more hearts than anyone I've ever known. The more he treated his women followers badly, the more the women pursued him and wanted him for themselves. Being fancy-free, handsome and feckless, Albert was as close as one could possibly get to having been a defiler of the fairer sex in his twenties before he fell madly in love with a woman who he courted and married within one year of their first meeting.
She had caught Albert with the most irresistible feminine bait of all, which every woman has at her disposal. I, of course, refer to the promise of everything to come with the reality of nothing materialising. With the passing of every year that Albert was married, inner resentment of happily married couples he encountered grew. He gradually developed lines of permanent regret across his forehead whenever his wife issued him with another order, and he wished and wished he was still ‘at the wicket’ as he carried out her instruction like the Methodist mouse he would sadly become.
Within their first year of marriage, Albert’s wife turned him from ‘debaucher of women’ to ‘devotee of Methodism’. Had Albert been around today, I am sure that as an expert in being able to distinguish ‘a good woman’ from ‘a bad one’, and knowing the lasting effect that both types can have on a man’s mind and body when he enters a new relationship, he would have had something cutting to say about a relationship between an old man and a younger bride (Sheila and I married on my 70th birthday when she was a sprightly 56-year-old).
He would most certainly have pointed out that fate can play tricks on the ageing eyesight and failing faculties of an old man finding love for the last time and believing it to be ‘lasting love’. His Yorkshire scepticism would automatically seek to sink any remaining hope of happiness I harboured, as he unleashed a sea of sarcasm. Being mindful of the bitter disappointment that his own marriage had brought him (changing him from being a ‘man’s man’ to a ‘husbandly worm’ and ‘converted Methodist’ over the course of forty years), he would have pointed out the dangers of a new marital relationship in old age. He would have indicated the risk of seeing things that don’t exist, except in one's own mental wishing-well of wedlock. He would have undoubtedly observed the physical form and fitness of my stunning wife, and after having compared Sheila’s beautiful physique alongside my feeble body structure, he’d have wryly smiled before quoting some biblical scripture about the ‘spirit being willing but the flesh being weak’.
Albert may have been wicked in his youth but with increased age came a level of streetwise wisdom in abundance. He’d probably have told me that the closer to departing this life an old man is, makes him more likely to view something he is unlikely to hold very long as being a thing more precious than it really is. He would have reminded me that seeing the new woman in my life as being ‘angelic’ in all ways was merely representative of hope; whereas the reality would soon turn illusion into delusion.
I dedicate today’s song to my Singapore Facebook friend, Chand Mahtani. I have, in my time been pleased enough to have visits from Facebook friends who live relatively close to me, but to have so good a friend such as Chand, is a fortune of the highest order. Two years ago, at a time when my body was much weaker than it now is, Chand willingly travelled thousands of miles from her home in Singapore to visit me in Haworth. Chand is one of the world’s most sensitive individuals who is generous to a fault. She is nothing less than walking kindness and is loving in everything she thinks, feels and does. Along with my Sheila, Chand is most certainly an angel in the making. Thank you for being the best of friends to me and Sheila, Chand, and have a nice day.
Love and peace Bill xxx