'By the Time I Get to Phoenix' is a song written by Jimmy Webb. Originally recorded by Johnny Rivers in 1965, it was covered by American country music singer Glen Campbell on his album of the same name. Frank Sinatra called it 'the greatest torch song ever written.'
The inspiration for 'By the Time I Get to Phoenix' originated in Jimmy Webb's breakup with Susan Horton. They remained friends after her marriage to Bobby Ronstadt, a cousin of singer Linda Ronstadt.
Webb stated that the song was not intended to be geographically literal. He said, 'A guy approached me one night after a concert and he showed me how it was impossible for me to drive from L.A. to Phoenix, and then how far it was to Albuquerque. In short, he told me that the story in this song is impossible. And so it is. It's a kind of fantasy about something I wish I would have done, and it sort of takes place in a twilight zone of reality.' Although the protagonist in the song plans to leave his lover, Webb did not leave Horton.
It is always hard to experience the approach of a relationship’s end, whether you are the person who is ending it or the one who wants it to continue. It would be nice to think that all relationships end in mutual agreement and emotional accord after having run their natural course, and where to continue would merely to witness the relationship go downhill with increasing speed the longer it went on, but life is rarely so fair in its distribution or clinical in its execution. Humans are emotionally charged individuals who act ' highly irrationally' when they are in love. They also act so when they are falling out of love.
Remember that overwhelming immovable force that physically magnetises two individuals falling in love with each other, and whose only instant desire is to think, feel and love as one heart and soul for as long as they live? Well imagine and know this; that neither rhyme, reason nor rational explanation can be found in one person needing their partner as being the half which ‘completes’ them and makes them ‘whole’.
If you are an optimistic person you will be able to spot all your partner’s good characteristics and invite them towards yourself as often as possible and in doing so, profit handsomely from your relationship. If, however, you are a pessimistic person, after the flames of passion have been extinguished, you will most likely tell yourself, “How could I possibly think that you could have been my complimentary half I found in the romantic stage of our relationship; my missing part, the one to make me a ‘whole’ person. I never wanted to feel fat, miserable, powerless and insignificant!”
There is often one person in a relationship who doesn’t appreciate all they have and whose eyes and feet are forever wandering elsewhere. There is usually one person in a less than warm relationship who has a much longer battery life than their mate and does everything possible to keep the flame of love burning; and yet, sadly there are too many partners whose insensitive, uncommunicative and unfaithful actions keeps kicking out the flickering flame with their spouse while trying to furtively light up the heart of another elsewhere.
If you have a loving partner, love them and treasure them every moment of your life and thank God and fate for your blessings that you found each other. You will be a much more completed and wholesome individual if you learn to take from them all that is good to enhance your time living together than if you misguidedly tell yourself that you would die for them and cannot live without them! When you love someone deeply, that is the time to ensure that when they are no longer with you that you do not allow yourself to withdraw from the world also. Cherish your past and remember it fondly, but be unafraid of the future and be prepared to embrace all that is good to come.
It is so lovely and special, that feeling of being in love with your partner. Treasure it for every moment it lasts and respect it for its boundless happiness and limited time-span on this earth.
Love and peace. Bill xxx