IGNORED OBSCURED RESTORED
John Sebastian wrote “Darling Be Home Soon” for the soundtrack to Francis Ford Coppola’s 1966 film You’re a Big Boy Now, while still with The Lovin’ Spoonful.
“Darling…” is very sentimental which is typical of so many other Sebastian compositions. It was one of five songs Sebastian played at his unscheduled performance at Woodstock.
The Lovin’ Spoonful version is terrific but Joe Cocker did it one better. He ditched the sappy strings for a more organic musical arrangement (including a great piano part) and gave it a gospel feel, all without losing the earnest sentiment of the original.
The lyric is a love letter to a dear one that is away and sorely missed. This has got to be the only song in rock history that would attempt a rhyme like “dawdled” and “toddled.” A bit twee, but perfect for the emotion of the song.
The melodic structure of the composition is flexible enough to have a different form in each of the verses. For instance, in the first verse the last two lines end in rhymes. In the second verse the last three lines rhyme. In the final, shortened verse, there is no rhyme for the final line.
Although I chose to present the Cocker version to you, check out the Lovin’ Spoonful original too.
Enjoy… until next week.