Norah Jones

Maybe I’m Amazed

Maybe I’m Amazed

A few weeks ago I woke up with a song in my head, not a song I was going to write, but a song I knew the words and melody to, although I didn’t know how. Has that ever happened to you? I couldn’t think who had recorded it or why I was thinking of it. I just woke up and it was there. I got up, went to Google and found the answer. It was “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney, that amazed me even more as I had no idea it was by him. YouTube was next and it gave me the answer, sometime over the last month I’d seen Dave Grohl and Norah Jones perform it at the Kennedy Centre celebration of Paul McCartney’s life in music. Norah has never looked more beautiful and Grohl was as always, cool. I loved their version but was still surprised that it came to me in a dream. The song is still there all these weeks later.

The story of the song

I went to Wikipedia, the font of all immediate knowledge with the question of what was the song about? Why did McCartney write it? My next surprise, he was still in The Beatles at the time and had written the song for his first self titled solo album. He plays all the instruments on it as well. The band were falling apart, John was head over heels in love with Yoko and Paul had fallen for Linda Eastman. It was a troubling time for a young rock star. In the song he sings about his amazement at being so in love with this woman and of how he felt about his best friends and didn’t know the way to turn. Maybe she would support him through his troubles? To me its curious that John and Yoko were so vocal about themselves in “The Ballad of John and Yoko” and yet “Maybe I’m Amazed” is a far better song. It is sung with real passion, real pain and real love. To me it’s one of the best love songs ever. In it’s subject matter it is also similar to Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill”, his farewell to Genesis.

Solsbury Hill

At the time of writing it Gabriel was being courted by William Goldman, the director of “The Exorcist”, he wanted Gabriel to go to Hollywood to be involved in film making and Gabriel didn’t know what to do, stay in the band or leave. He would eventually leave the band and “Solsbury Hill” describes his turmoil. No ballad for the Genesis front man though and no love to take him away. Similar subjects, different approaches. When we learn the story behind a song we can relate to it so much more, don’t you think? It makes us think of our situation. “Maybe I’m Amazed” speaks to me now in the way that so many other songs have done so over the years.

Musical memories

I never understand people who aren’t into music, it stimulates me, makes me think, makes me want to dance, soothes me and inspires me. Whatever genre they favour, I admire people who have their own tastes and their own favourite choices. Music reminds us of a time, a place or an event, a moment in our lives. “Abracadabra” – the Steve Miller Band and the summer of 1982, “Everything I Do”, Bryan Adams and his 16 weeks at No 1 in 1991; “More Than Words” – Extreme – also 1991 and the birth of my son, there are so many to chose. My song of 2013 has been “Gorilla” by Bruno Mars, in fact he’s seemed to be around all year. There are stories behind the songs and not all of them by the artistes who wrote or performed them, it is is in our stories, our memories. The songs that provoke emotions when they catch you unawares as you drive along or do the housework, they set off a memory. The final word to Macca though, the song he wrote in 1969 as a worried young man who’d had everything and thought he’d lost it all, the power of his love for a woman who helped him through and how many of us have been lucky enough to have that during hard times? No wonder he was amazed.