Sunday, February 21, 2010
Someday Soon, Judy Collins (1968)
Today's New York Times has a short piece in which Judy Collins, now 70, explains what she does to keep herself in ship-shape physically and psychically for a life on the road. So it seems fitting to tip the stetson today to the song of hers I always loved the best, written by the beloved Canadian singer-songwriter, rodeo rider and rancher Ian Tyson, the near-perfect Someday Soon.
Collins was trained as a classical pianist at a very young age, giving her first public recital at 13. But when she discovered folk music, both of traditional origins and what was coming from the singer-songwriters of the 60s, lyrics and the guitar became all-important to her. She raised her angelic soprano voice in song and hasn't stopped for almost 60 years.
Collins was the paramour of Stephen Stills at one time (Crosby, Stills & Nash's Suite: Judy Blue Eyes is about her), and it was he who introduced her to Someday Soon. Here they are reunited and performing it together on a 1990 TV show Graham Nash had called The Inside Track of which I have absolutely no memory!
Although she has had a tough life, from everything I've read Collins has worked hard to protect and not squander the incredible vigor she has and the creative gifts she's been blessed with. She believes music uplifts and heals - she sang Amazing Grace at her son's wedding, her granddaughter's christening and her son's funeral after he committed suicide. Many people have interpreted that 18th century hymn, but I don't think anyone has done it better than she. Hers was the voice that introduced it to me, and the one I will always hear in my head when I sing it.