When The Leading Man Appears


And Mizpah, for he said, “The Lord watch between you and me, when we are out of one another’s sight. ~ Genesis 31:49

Hey, if we can solve any problem
Then why do we lose so many tears
Oh, and so you go again
When the leading man appears
Always the same thing
Can’t you see, we’ve got everything goin’ on and on and on

Why do these cycles of life continue? Must we be doomed to repeat the mistakes of our past? Maybe, as the boys from 38 Special sang; we just need to “hold on loosely, but don’t let go”.

Every time you go away you take a piece of me with you
Every time you go away you take a piece of me with you

Yes, partings can be hard, whether those be with family, friends or lovers, and they can literally feel like a piece of our heart has been ripped away. But, the good news is that we can sustain, we can get by, we can recover. Sometimes it just takes a little help from someone else.

Go on and go free, yeah
Maybe you’re too close to see
I can feel your body move
It doesn’t mean that much to me
I can’t go on sayin’ the same thing
Just can’t you see, we’ve got everything do you even know we know

And, sometimes we just need to let go. It may seem like the hardest thing to do at the time, but as the days go by, we gain fresh perspective. But still…we can’t help but feel that nagging doubt in the back of our mind. This all seemed so right for such a long time, didn’t it? And, you wonder, do they feel this way too? This uncertainty? Parting certainly is, as Willie S. reminds us, “such sweet sorrow”.

I can’t go on sayin’ the same thing
‘Cause baby, can’tcha see, we’ve got everything goin’ on and on and on

Every time you go away you take a piece of me with you
Every time you go away you take a piece of me with you

This song always seemed to perfectly capture the “sweet sorrow” of the empty achiness we feel when these situations in life occur. It was originally written and released by Daryl Hall and John Oates on their 1980 album, Voices. They never released it as a single, however, so it never gained much notice until Paul Young covered it in 1985.

The Hall & Oates version was a slower, more gospel-like sounding arrangement and both Daryl and John were amazed by the difference created by Paul and his producer, Laurie Lathem. According to an interview with Daryl Hall in 2014, he counts this as his favorite cover of one of his (and John’s) songs.  Paul’s version went all the way to #1 on the Billboard Hot Singles chart and became a gold record in 1985.

Paul went on to have several other “blue-eyed soul” type hits with “Love Of The Common People”, the Marvin Gaye classic “Wherever I Lay My Hat” and “Everything Must Change”, along with several others.  This song, however, was always my favorite and the one I think he will always be most easily recognized by and remembered for.

So, if you had a “sweet sorrow” parting with a loved one after the holidays and are feeling a bit down, take heart in the comfort provided by our Lord, and reach back in time to listen to the soulful sound of Paul giving his best.

Check out the video here:

And check out the original from Hall & Oates here:



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