Song of the Day, January 20: Darling Be Home Soon by the Lovin’ Spoonful
January 20, 2017 2 Comments
Today’s song is a wistful pop gem that inspired dozens of covers. After two impressive years and seven straight Top 10 hits, the Lovin’ Spoonful lost their momentum. Singer and bandleader John Sebastian kept writing great songs, however, and that reputation landed the band the chance to compose the soundtrack to the Francis Ford Coppola film You’re A Big Boy Now. One of those songs became their first to miss the Top 10 but eventually a pop standard.
Darling Be Home Soon is a perfect tribute to the ache of a separated couple. Sebastian’s trademark wit and wordplay make the song distinctive, and his flawless delivery captures the sense of longing. Sung to someone either leaving or already gone, the song wishes for just one more conversation, “the great relief of having you to talk to.” It’s a lovely sentiment, nicely delivered.
After the Spoonful took the song to #15, dozens of other acts covered it. Versions by performers ranging from Joe Cocker to Bobby Darin to Slade to the Association. Cass Elliot — a longtime friend of Sebastian’s — recorded a version for her wonderful album Dream A Little Dream, but opted not to include it. Fortunately, her lovely rendition resurfaced as a bonus track on a CD version of the album. Another personal favorite interpretation comes from Anne Richmond Boston. The former Swimming Pool Q’s vocalist included the song on her lone solo disc, The Big House of Time. Opting for an understated reading, she shows off a very different side of her usually powerful vocals and offers another charming take.
Nothing matches the warmth and charm of the original, however. Enjoy this lovely song today.