Saturday, 24 October 2009

Everybody's Talkin'

Harry Nilsson: Everybody's Talkin'

This is a hauntingly beautiful song from the film 'Midnight Cowboy', best film of 1969. Its a film about a male prostitute in New York City starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight (Angelina Jolie's father).

I probably first heard this song in the mid 1970s over my uncle's all-tubes Grundig radiogramme. The string section arrangement, the guitar and bango arpeggios, the simplicity of Fred Neil’s lyrics, and Harry imitating a harmonica with his 'whoaan, whoaan' vocalism, everything is ethereal. Many years later I would see the movie in a hotel room.

Although this is the most memorable song from the film, the film's actual title song is ‘Midnight Cowboy Theme’, a beautiful instrumental written by songwriter John Barry, and in which a lonely harmonica plays the main part. In the 1994 movie ‘Forrest Gump’, when Lt. Dan says, "I'm walking here!" to the taxi that almost hits him, this song is heard playing in the background. It reminds one of a similar scene in ‘Midnight Cowboy’.

So, what’s my favourite line from this song? 'Going where the weather suits my clothes'.

Some quotes from the movie:

"Lotta rich women back there, Ralph, begging for it, paying for it, too...and the men - they're mostly tutti fruttis."

Completely misinformed, he has the illusion that he can score big by hustling sex-starved, rich women for his sexual prowess and the services of a real man: "So I'm gonna cash in on some of that, right?...Hell, what do I got to stay around here for? I got places to go, right?"

********************************

Everybody's talkin' at me
I don't hear a word they're sayin'
Only the echoes of my mind.

People stop and starin'
I can't see their faces
Only the shadows of their eyes
I'm goin' where the sun keeps shinin'
Through the pourin' rain.
Goin' where the weather suits my clothes
Bankin' off of the northeast winds
Sailin' on summer breeze
And skippin' over the ocean like a stone...
Whoan, Whoan, Whoan, Whoan, Whoan, Whoan, Whoan, Whoan
Whoaaaaaaan

I'm goin' where the sun keeps shining
Through the pourin’ rain
Goin' where the weather suits my clothes
Bankin' off of the North East winds
Sailin' on a summer breeze
And skippin' over the ocean like a stone...

Everybody's talking at me
I don't hear a word they're sayin'
Only the echoes of my mind

I won't let you leave my love behind
No I won't let you leave

Whoan, Whoaaaaaaan
I won't let you leave my love behind

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