“Now the trees are bare
There’s sadness in the air
And I’m as blue as I can be”
– Hal David
How ironic that even as I was waxing rhapsodic about songwriters in my previous post, the greatest lyricist of them all passed away yesterday. I hadn’t mentioned him in that post because it would have been like name checking Picasso in a discussion of painters.
Hal David was co-writer of two of the songs I mentioned yesterday, “99 Miles From L.A.” and “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before”, both written with Albert Hammond. He also contributed, over the course of his long and marvelous career, to the writing of more than 700 songs.
Among these, to name just a few of my favorites, are “24 Hours from Tulsa”, “Alfie”, “Anyone Who Had a Heart”, “Blue on Blue”, “Close to You”, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose”, “I Say a Little Prayer”, “Make It Easy on Yourself”, “Message to Michael”, “One Less Bell to Answer”, “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”, “The Look of Love”, “There’s Always Something There to Remind Me”, “This Guy’s in Love With You”, “Walk on By”, “What the World Needs Now is Love”, “Wishin’ and Hopin'” and “You’ll Never Get to Heaven (If you Break My Heart)”.
We are fortunate to have lived in a century that contained a talent of such magnitude.