Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. “Tears of a Clown”
Another fab track. The group that later became the Miracles was formed in 1955 by five teenage friends from Detroit Michigan under the name the Five Chimes. Three of the founding members, Smokey Robinson, Pete Moore and Ronald White had been singing together since they each were around the age of eleven. It must be because they know each others voices so well that you get those amazing close harmonies.
The lyrics are great as well. The song was written by Smokey with the music coming from Stevie Wonder. After “Tears of a Clown” became a number one hit for Tamla Motown they toured extensively but Smokey wanted the home life in Detroit and he retired from the band to take up a management role in Motown Records.
Listening to the track it made me think how much I cry these days. When you are getting older you expect that your body will start to slow down and things will not work as well. Whilst you expect your bones to creak and your internal organs to rebel against the years of mistreatment, I was not expecting that my mental health would also begin to suffer. I have always been a bit of a softie and I never went in for that macho posturing that some Northern men think is a sign of manliness but I never thought I would start to cry at adverts or weep listening to a song.
They stream down my face like a waterfall in flood
Brought to the surface by the most trivial of thoughts
I can ball during an advert for a building society
They can spring up at a story about a trapped chicken
Flow unbridled after a failed penalty in extra time
Watch me whimper like a baby at a picture of a distressed dog
My nasal passages snivel and snot in sympathy
I watch “Call the Midwife” through a misty veil of tears
Never stand next to me at a wedding or a funeral
©Jeff Price April 2018