Repost: “Wedding Bell Blues”
Posted by purplemary54 on November 5, 2015
It would’ve been Laura Nyro’s 65th birthday not that long ago; it’s been fifteen years since she died. And I’m still not quite sure how to classify her in the music pantheon.
Laura Nyro did a little bit of everything. She played bluesy, folky, gospel rock. She played, sang, and wrote. Her piano work sounded simple, but I get the feeling there was a lot more going on. Or maybe that was just a result of the mood she created. Nyro, like fellow traveller Carole King, could fill a room with emotion just by singing a single line. You’ve heard her work, even if you’ve never heard of her.
Ever hear Barbra Streisand sing “Stoney End”? That was a Nyro song. Blood, Sweat, & Tears’ classic “And When I Die”? Yep, Laura Nyro wrote that. The 5th Dimension’s “Wedding Bell Blues”? Got it in one.
I’ve always loved this song. I can identify with the yearning for a romantic fairy tale ending (I’m a pretty, pretty princess who loves rainbows and flowers hidden the guise of a foul-mouthed cynic). She sings of her love and loyalty for Bill, who seems to be hesitating about making that final commitment to her: “I haven’t lived one day not loving you only.” There’s a resignation here, too, as if she knows on some level he’s never gonna get there, when she sings “And though devotion rules my heart, I take no bows, but Bill you never wanna take my wedding vows.”
I suppose it was no accident when The 5th Dimension covered this tune. Singer Marilyn McCoo married Billy Davis in 1969. Doing a little research for this post, I was kind of tickled to find out they’re still married today. Which makes this clip from 1969 kind of funny.
This Bill took his vows pretty seriously. Gotta love that.