Don McLean – Castles in the Air

Don McLean is possibly best known in posterity for his two numbers "American Pie" and "Vincent". The equally compelling "Castles in the Air" may not have gotten much airplay here in Malaysia in the past decade or so; but you’d be surprised at how this cooling song even compelled once-famous Taiwanese singer Chyi Yu to record an interesting compilation of pop standards of the 70s; this included, unsurprisingly, "Vincent" and this delightful number by one of America’s talented folk rock exponent. I’ve the recollection that my dad used to have the tape containing Chyi’s English pop standards but I’ve no idea where the Chyi recording physically is right now; still, the cassette tape was clearly from the mid-1980s (around 1986) but it’s difficult to ascertain the label and its origins. In that recording, her command of English was nothing short of sensational and her vocals paid excellent homage to the great, original songwriter.

You can listen to a superb, fast-streaming, unadulterated McLean version here. It’s an easy-going, relaxing song which conjured up memories of what my life used to be in the mid-1980s and it was quite by chance that I’ve gotten the title from the Wikipedia entry on Don. To be honest, I do recall the melody and some bits of the song’s lyrics but the title won’t just spell itself out, wouldn’t it. I’ve heard the song again sometime back on the local LiteFM channel in 2004 but the title again would not reveal itself, no thanks to the local DJs slurring their Manglish rather than to shoot out words as if they meant something. It didn’t help matters that I didn’t even know that the  original singer of the song was actually McLean himself although it was quite by chance that I was suitably impressed by his "American Pie" and "Vincent" to be able to try out "Castles" on Youtube and the result is as easy as you can predict. Here are the lyrics to go with it. Apologies if my script contains mistakes but McLean’s voice can also sound quite lazy on occasion. Enjoy.

=========================================================================================================================================

Lyrics:

And if she asks you why, you can tell her that I told you;
That I’m tired of castles in the air;
I’ve got a dream I want the world to share;
And castle walls just lead me to despair.

Hills of forest green, where the mountains touch the sky;
A dream come true – I’ll live there till I die;
I’m asking you to say my last goodbye;
The love we knew ain’t worth another try.

==Chorus==

Save me from all the trouble and the pain;
I know I’m weak, but I can’t face the girl again;
Tell her the reasons why I can’t remain;
Perhaps she will understand if you tell it to her plain.

==

But how can words express the feel of sunlight in the morning;
In the hills, away from city strife;
I need a country-woman for my wife;
I’m city-born – but I love the country life.

For I will not be part of her cocktail generation;
Partners waltz – devoid of all romance;
The music plays – everyone must dance;
I’m bowing out – I need a second chance.

==Chorus==**

=========

And if she asks you why, you can tell her that I told you;
That I’m tired of castles in the air;
I’ve got a dream I want the world to share;
And castle walls just lead me to despair.

 

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