About a Song: Take Me Back… Reflections Of My Life – Marmalade

By Madeline Bocaro © MarmaladeReflections

We all know that a song can bring us back to a place in time – feeling with all of our senses as if we are transported and in the midst of a super realistic dream. One of my favorite songs of all time speaks of nostalgia. The singer yearns to go back home – as we all do. Looking ahead, he knows that the world is “a bad place, a terrible place to live” buthe vows to make changes and has a strong will to survive.

‘Reflections Of My Life’ by Marmalade was constantly on the radio in 1969.  Although I was only a pre-teen, I knew that one day I would miss my home and had fears about the unknown future. ‘Reflections Of My Life’ evokes feelings of joy and sadness at once. Although the lyrics are despondent, the song is in a major key rather than in melancholy minor. Trumpets and sweeping strings add grandeur, giving the song a timeless quality.

We rarely saw the faces behind the voices emitting from our AM radios, and I wondered who was singing this beautifully sad, yet hopeful song of longing.

The song’s first line immediately takes us from light into darkness…

The changing of sunlight to moonlight

Reflections of my life

Oh, how they fill my eyes…

The Scottish pop group The Marmalade (later, simply Marmalade) from Glasgow formed in 1961 as the Gaylords. They had ten songs on the UK singles chart from 1968-1972. The most successful was ‘Reflections of my Life’ which made the top 10 in the USA and reached No. 3 in the UK.

The song was written by singer Dean Ford and guitarist Junior Campbell who played a strange backwards guitar solo using a back-masking recording technique pioneered by the Beatles on their 1966 album Revolver.

Speaking of the Beatles, Marmalade released a single covering their songs; ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ with the B-side ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’. The single hit No.1 in Australia, Switzerland and Japan. Although the Beatles never released a single from their epic self-titled 1968 double masterpiece (known as the white album). Marmalade’s single of Beatles’ cover versions reached No. 1 in the U.K. in January 1969.

Marmalade – ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ (1969)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lu2mEkhcrQA

Also see my story about The Beatles 1968 album: White on White

https://madelinex.com/2018/10/15/white-on-white/

Further iterations of Marmalade ensued through the decades (still touring today) with numerous revolving members. Original singer Dean Ford left the band in 1974 and released a solo album in 1975. Moving to Los Angeles, he then battled alcohol addiction in 1979.  Dean worked as a limo driver in L.A. where his many celebrity passengers included Michael Jackson and Bob Dylan. Dean never mentioned his days as a musician to any of them.

Dean Ford passed away in December 2018 from complications of Parkinson’s disease.
In 2014 Dean recorded this stunning new version and video for ‘Reflections Of My Life” which rivals the tear-jerking original. The cello and banjo make it exceptional.

Listen here:
https://youtu.be/Dn9bAvWS4RU

Download @ http://store.cdbaby.com/cd/deanford13

Music produced & arranged by Joe Tansin, Directed by Joe Tansin – Director of photography Chris Hume , Dean Ford – Vocals, Joe Tansin – Guitar, Banjo, Keyboard, percussion & backing vocals, Jon Gold – Organ, Jen Kuhn – Cello, Rick Sailon – Fiddle. Asst. Engineer Jack Tansin.

“Reflections of My Life 1969 – original recording – HQ AUDIO – YouTube
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xTeI65yrhGw&feature=youtu.be

 

Read more stories in my featured category:

ABOUT A SONG…

https://madelinex.com/category/about-a-song/

 

Reflections of My Life 

The changing of sunlight to moonlight
Reflections of my life
Oh, how they fill my eyes

The greetings of people in trouble
Reflections of my life
Oh, how they fill my eyes

All, my sorrows
Sad tomorrows
Take me back to my own home

All, my crying (Oh, my crying)
Feel I’m dying, dying
Take me back to my own home

I’m changing, arranging
I’m changing
I’m changing everything
Everything around me

The world is
A bad place
A bad place
A terrible place to live
Oh, but I don’t want to die

All, my sorrows
Sad tomorrows
Take me back to my own home

All, my crying (Oh, my crying)
Feel I’m dying, dying
Take me back to my own home
 

All, my sorrows
Sad tomorrows
Take me back to my own home

 

 

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