Do you know the number one song from 1972? I do, and I’ll never forget it.
It was New Year’s Eve 1972 and I was listening to a radio program, Opus 72, the top 100 hundred songs of the year counted down. I was home alone. I know, it sounds pitiful, but I was happy – I was 14 and home for the holidays from living away at Military School. We lived in a new home on the water in Murrells Inlet, SC and I was enjoying the time alone with my run of the house. I had set up my stepfather’s reel-to-reel tape recorder to record hours of the countdown.
As the hours ran on, I enjoyed song after song, many of which I was hearing for the first time (living in a Military School where the current events were not so assessable had its draw backs). Time rolled on and one by one the songs played. Then the number one song was announced, at midnight – Roberta Flack’s version of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” I had never heard the song before and was overwhelmed by the romance and beauty of it. There, alone on New Year’s Eve, I felt a real message of love and dedication between two people. That song touched a real longing and desire within me and at 14 I knew I wanted to love like that.
I was such a sappy romantic.
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and stars were the gifts you gave
To the dark and the empty skies, my love,
To the dark and the empty skies.
The first time ever I kissed your mouth
And felt your heart beat close to mine
Like the trembling heart of a captive bird
That was there at my command, my love
That was there at my command.
And the first time ever I lay with you
I felt your heart so close to mine
And I knew our joy would fill the earth
And last till the end of time my love
It would last till the end of time my love
The first time ever I saw your face, your face,
your face, your face ...