I also dedicate my song today to my Facebook friend, Sharon Glover Dunn of Pudsey, Bradford, West Yorkshire. Sharon also celebrates her birthday today.
Today’s song is ‘More Than I Can Say’. This song was written by Sonny Curtis and Jerry Allison, both former members of Buddy Holly’s band, the Crickets. They recorded the song in 1959 soon after Holly's death and released it in 1960. Their original version hit Number 42 on the ‘British Record Retailer Chart’ in 1960. It has been notably performed by singers Bobby Vee, Leo Sayer, and Sammy Kershaw.
The most successful of all versions of this song was covered by Leo Sayer. Sayer’s cover version of ‘More Than I Can Say’ spent five weeks at Number 2 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart in December 1980. Leo Sayer's version of the song was certified a Gold Record by the RIAA. It also spent three weeks at No. 1 on the ‘Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart’. In the U.K., the song peaked at Number 2 on the ‘UK Singles Chart’, while it spent two weeks atop the ‘Kent Music Report in Australia. Sayer has stated that while looking for an ‘oldie’ to record for his album ‘Living in A Fantasy, he saw a TV commercial for a greatest hits collection by Vee and chose the song on the spot: "We went into a record store that afternoon, bought the record and had the song recorded that night."
This song was first released in 1960 when I was 18 years old. This was a time when the world was my oyster and I was flying high. Although of working-class status, I had just been appointed the youngest textile shop steward in Great Britain, along with being the youngest Youth Leader in England. Although I’d left school at the age of 15 years without taking my GCE examinations, to work in the mill, I was an intelligent young man. At the age of 18, going on 19 years of age, the ‘Textile Trade Union of Dyers and Bleachers’ offered me a scholarship to Ruskin College that would ‘fast track’ me from that of Shop Steward to that of ‘Trade Union Area Representative’. However, I declined as I planned to travel and wanted to emigrate to Canada or the USA in the immediate years ahead.
I was at a time in my life when I considered no person or task to be beyond my reach and capabilities. Only my ambition to travel and see the world/experience the world/change the world surpassed my mounting ego.
The years between 12 and 14 had seen me unable to walk after I’d been run over by a large vehicle. The years between 14 and 18 witnessed me learning to become mobile once again and to engage in every kind of sport and activity imaginable to regain my balance and agility of movement.
The years between 18 and 21 were the years I romanced as many young women as I could, rock and rolled regularly at every dance hall within a twenty-mile radius, and had fisticuffs fights with every male who dared to mention my limp uncharitably. After fifty-three leg operations, my left leg was now a couple of inches shorter than my right leg. I was encouraged to wear a built-up shoe to compensate, but my childhood vanity wouldn’t even consider the prospect.
I’d always had a good singing voice since being a boy and had won several prizes between the years of 8-15 years. By the age of 18 years, I thought I was probably one of the finest undiscovered pop singers in the country and held out dreams of one day ‘making it big’ when I launched my singing career across the Atlantic Ocean after I emigrated as planned.
At this time in my life, it would be true to say that I thought too highly of myself. Indeed, one might safely conclude that ‘I LOVED ME MORE THAN I CAN SAY’.
Having been told by my mother the whole of my childhood that ‘I was a special child’, I naturally came to believe it. Everything I tried to do thereafter, I attempted to do in a special way. However, I needed to do a lot of growing up, growing wiser and become more worldly-wise through travel before I accepted the full truth. I realised that though I was indeed ‘special’, so was every other man, woman, child and creature who inhabited this earth! I was to learn that one does not have to deny one’s own ‘specialness’ in order to acknowledge the ‘specialness’ of another person.
That is why, this old man, who is but three days off attaining the age of 77, can say to my first granddaughter, Jessica on her 13th birthday, ‘I love you more than I can say’. Have a smashing day. Lots of love, Jessica from Granddad Forde and Sheila x
Happy birthday and have a lovely day, Sharon. May your day be filled with much happiness and love…and…lots of cake and suitable refreshments. Thank you for being my Facebook friend. Bill x
Love and peace. Bill xxx