pain

Jimmy & Me cover art
Jimmy & Me (MP3)

words & music by Jimmy Webb

Favorite version: Art Garfunkel, Angel Clare, 1973

Notes:

This song is the most famous one of the entire collection. Though it's been recorded quite a few times, I think the original version is still my favorite. Some have called "Wichita Lineman," another of Jimmy's more famous works, the "perfect song." While I agree that one's hard to beat, for my money, it's this one. It would be hard to find a more sincere, beautiful, heartbreaking ode to loss. There've been so many times in my life when all the wrangling and ranting and raving has...

Freed cover art
I've Been Freed (MP3)

Lyrics & notes

20 Mar 1976

blessed be His name
glory to His name
Jesus holds all things in His hand
let us praise His holy name

(repeat chorus)

even in our darkness
we know His love won't fail
when the best that you can seem to feel is bad
so bad
His love will show the way
when those that you look up to let you down
Jesus won't desert you
He'll heal when others hurt you
He'll chase away the memories
and help you love again

(repeat chorus)

℗ © Creative Measures (ASCAP) (originally Trinity Sound Corporation,...

Truth cover art

Lyrics & notes

4 Sep 1980

you telephoned
how can you sound so close, yet distant
we keep pretending time is nonexistent
you’re laughing like you used to do
but the most that I can seem to do is
smile at the illusions I had planned
cause now I hold your laughter in my hand
somehow it’s lost the power of command

I can’t feel it anymore
can’t conceal it anymore
neither joy nor pain can enter through a bolted door
and I can’t feel it anymore

ghost towns
they lived here once, but now they’re gone
they gave up all the hopes they...

Singer cover art

Lyrics & notes

11 Nov 1975

how can you look without seeing?
your eyes look at me almost every day
and yet you never see me
not the real me
that lives behind my eyes
you never let your eyes
touch mine for very long
you know that touch could
make us so strong
tell me—would touching be so wrong?

how can you listen without hearing?
your lips ask me questions almost every day
but you can't wait for answers
I can see the clock that's there
behind your smile
you never give yourself
to feel my pain
and as long as I can smile
we just maintain...

Freed cover art
I've Been Freed (MP3)

Lyrics & notes

6 Feb 1975

here I am
crying again
my heart is breaking in two
here I stand
my love in my hand
I'm ready to give it to you

somehow I'm always expecting too much
and right now I long for your healing touch

here am I
just one lonely guy
that don't wanna hear no more lies
here I am
and here I will stay
please teach me to rest in your ways

(repeat chorus)

here I stand
my love in my hand
I'm ready to give it to you

just let me be what you want me to be
and from all of myself, Lord, please set me free

here I am...

Singer cover art

Lyrics & notes

23 Sep 1975

Jesus never fails
Jesus never fails
I've got a friend who won't
ever forsake me
Jesus never fails

He gives me songs in the night
when the sleep won't come
He holds me tight
when all my other friends are sleeping
He hears me when I'm weeping
with lullabies so sweet
with love He bids my sorrows cease
with hands that knew the pain of nails
He wipes the tears away

℗ © Love's Music 1979, assigned to Creative Measures (ASCAP)

1979 Notes:

If I had to leave with the world only one song, I would...

Jimmy cover art
Jimmy & Me (MP3)

words & music by Boudleaux and Felice Bryant

Favorite version: Jimmy Webb, Letters, 1972

Notes:

Jimmy didn't write this song, but I discovered it on his Letters album. And the way he sings it, he might as well have written it. As I said, I often performed it, and I think I rather shocked people with it. I was doing contemporary Christian music mostly, and when I unleashed this one... Well, jaws dropped. It's the flip side of the coin, you see. Love could not be quite so wonderful and heavenly if it could not also hurt like...

Truth cover art

Lyrics & notes

6 Aug 1980

oh, September
why’d you have to come so soon
just when I finally started to have some fun
I remember well
the spell of an August moon
and I was just gettin used to livin in the sun
look what you’ve done,
September

summer’s warmth is gone now
there’s that coolness in the air
seems like love is changing with the leaves
how can I be happy when the trees stand stripped and bare
it’s plain to see it’s summertime that this boy needs

oh, September
why’d you have to come so soon
just when I...

Jimmy cover art
Jimmy & Me (MP3)

words & music by Jimmy Webb

Favorite version: Linda Ronstadt, Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind, 1989

Notes:

Even though I love Ronstadt's version of this, I've always thought it was too short. I guess I just love the song so much I never want it to end. (Ever feel that way about a song?) Anyway, I added a repeat so it wouldn't end quite so soon.

What a simple, beautiful lyric. And the surprise chord that shatters the middle of each verse... Another perfect one. I think it follows "Simile" exceptionally well, not just because it starts in the same key...

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