Today’s song is ‘If You Don’t Know Me by Now’. This song was written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, and was recorded by the Philly soul musical group ‘Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes’. It became their first hit after being released as a single in September 1972, topping the ‘US R&B Chart’ and peaking at Number 3 on the ‘US Billboard Hot 100’.
‘If You Don't Know Me by Now’ has since been covered by several other artists, most notably the English pop/soul band ‘Simply Red’, who took their version to Number 1 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ in 1989. The song was chosen as one of the ‘Songs of the Century’ by the RIAA. The song went on to great commercial success for ‘Simply Red’.
Whoever we are, we each keep certain things in our experiences from entering the minds of others, however significant these people may be in our lives, and I’m willing to bet that we even try to keep certain things we have done or experienced from trespassing into our own thoughts and memories also.
No person has lived an unblemished life or hasn’t done something they regret. Nobody comes to their new relationship without a past; without a few skeletons in their cupboard and dark secrets wrapped in shame.
Every couple who plan to marry, have second thoughts on their wedding day. It’s only natural to want to feel certain that the one they’ve chosen to marry is right for them. No bride ever walks down the aisle arm-in-arm with the man who is giving her away, in the certain knowledge that the father she walks alongside is indeed the man whom her mother lay alongside the moment she was conceived. No groom can resist making a ‘double-take’ as his bride walks up the aisle on their wedding day. The groom looks lovingly at his bride as she approaches him in her beautiful wedding dress and veil and muses silently at the deceptive whiteness of it all as he thinks, ’If they only knew’. Then, like a boastful angler, just as he starts to congratulate himself on the beautiful catch he has netted, he gazes across at his bride’s mother sitting close by in her little pink fascinator poised like a lonely punctuation mark on top of her rather large head and gets an instant image of the old trout his young wife will undoubtedly become during the years ahead. He instantly recalls some wise advice he once received from his best friend (who would become his best man at his wedding). His best friend, who was as street-wise as anyone he knew had told him, “Bill, if you want to see what your wife will be like in twenty years’ time, all you have to do is to look at her mother now!”
Before the groom has time to reconsider if he should wed his intended, his best man has rapidly exchanged rings on behalf of the couple as the bride says “I do! I do!” in her most hurried voice.
With the marriage ceremony well and truly over, the wedding reception that follows soon gets into full flow. The very first time the groom’s eyes stray towards the fetching Chief Bridesmaid who possesses a body to die for, he immediately starts to suspect that he has fallen victim to the ‘Me too-I Do-Marriage Trap’. He may have said ‘Yes’ at the altar steps, but only because he’d been misled by his bride three months earlier that she was pregnant and that he was the father of the child to be. Little did the groom know that the best man had finally proved better than him in playing the long game.
Bedtime arrives on their marriage night and the newlyweds decide if start their marriage as they mean to go on. Should they declare all their skeletons tonight, and identify every other every person they've ever been with and reveal every sordid act they'd ever done? Or should they stay schtum and risk the emergence of some dark secret escaping from their wicked past at a future date, and risk marriage breakup as a consequence? Both decide 'lest said, best said' to be the wisest course to pursue, so, they stay schtum!
The bride says nothing about her sexual exploits down a dark alley in Bolton one cold Saturday night with the groom's best man, and the groom fails to take the opportunity to mention his previous marriage to a Burnley barmaid and the two children they parented before an acrimonious divorce ensued. He was going to tell his new girlfriend when they initially got together but then decided “I’ll tell her later. It’ll come a lot easier if I tell her when we are more settled as a couple”. But the longer their relationship went on, the harder it became to tell her. So, he continued to conceal the truth of his married past as he whispered in her ear that she was the only woman he’d ever loved.
So, anyone out there who is thinking of walking the matrimonial plank in 2020, look at your intended spouse before you say ‘I do’ and know this fact to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth:
“What you don’t already know about your partner at the altar steps, you never ever will.”
Love and peace Bill xxx