It is unusual to have a hit song sung by the Carpenters that brother Richard didn’t write. There was nothing unusual however in the song obtaining the Number 1 rating on the ‘US Billboard Easy Listening’ chart, as it does make easy listening on the ears of any music lover.
Richard Carpenter of the Carpenters heard the song during an evening of relaxation at the movies while on tour. He decided it would be ideal for the duo. It became a hit for them in 1971. When the original song was nominated for an Academy Award, the Carpenters were not allowed to perform it at the ceremony as they had not appeared in a film. At their request, the song was performed by British singer Petula Clark. Clark would later perform the song in concert on February 6, 1983, in tribute to Karen Carpenter, who had died two days before.
The song’s message is one that I am sure Richard Carpenter could be naturally comfortable with, as it falls within his style. The essence of the message is that ‘true love’ takes a lifetime to grow into a physical, psychological, mental and spiritual bond between two strangers who fall in love. In short; however much young lovers think they know their love mate, as the song says, “it takes a lifetime to say ’I knew you well and only time can tell a soul.’”
Love and peace Bill xxx