martes, 7 de julio de 2009

Leapy Lee - If I Ever Get To Saginaw Again

Leapy Lee - If I Ever Get To Saginaw Again (Bob Russell / Jack Keller) LP "Little Arrows" Decca DL 75076 - 1968

Una gran canción sale, prácticamente, de cualquier sitio. A veces, de lugares más que insospechados. Graham Pulleyblank (Eastbourne, Reino Unido, 1939) cambió su nombre a Lee Graham y cuando se lió a grabar discos en 1965 elegió Leapy Lee como nombre de guerra. En 1968 tuvo un éxito mundial con una insidiosa cancioncilla llamada "Little Arrows", que aqui en España grabó Karina con igual éxito.

Para aprovechar el momento se publicó un primer LP, "Little Arrows", en el que, entre discretas originales y versiones varias, se puede encontrar esta mayúscula canción, que no me ha dejado en los últimos días. "If I Ever Get To Saginaw Again" fué escrita por Bob Russell y Jack Keller, ambos reconocidos profesionales en el pop americano de los 60. Ya querrían muchos escribir canciones como esta a los 54 años, como Bob. La canción había sido grabada también por The Monkees, pero no fué editada en su dia hasta que apareció en el disco "Missing Links Vol. 2" muchos años después. Hay que decir que la versión de Leapy Lee es abiertamente superior. Tal vez ayuden a ello la naturalidad de Leapy y la impecable producción y arreglo del ex-Manfred Mann, Mike Vickers.

Leapy Lee nunca consiguió repetir el éxito de "Little Arrows" y tras unos cuantos discos más, una estancia en la cárcel y una emigración a Arabia Saudí, se instaló en Mallorca y abrió un bar en Santa Ponsa. Todavía sigue allí, cantando a veces por los garitos de la zona y haciendo alguna columna para algún periódico local en inglés.

Aqui está la letra de la canción, que trata un tema totalmente inusual para una supuestamente inofensiva canción pop, y que la hace incluso mejor todavía:

"If I ever get to Saginaw again,
A locale that's somewhat off the beaten track.

Get to see the girl I never saw again,
Who must know why I have never ventured back.

Oh, we were young,
And so alive

And now I wonder if she'd cling to me,
Be my very own as she did then,
If I ever get to Saginaw again.

If I ever get to Saginaw again,
It won't be in spring with meadows turning green.

It won't be to tangle with the law again.
It won't be with someone only seventeen,

Who gave her love,
And made me hers.

And when you find the one you're dreaming of
Who strucks to ask, how old is love?, not when
You may never get to Saginaw again.

If I ever get to Saginaw again
I will get to see the son who bears my name.

And perhaps I'll quietly withdraw again
When I see the little man that he became.

But now I yearn
To watch him grow.

A father's love is maybe all it takes
To try to beat the great mistakes of men
If I ever get to Saginaw again"

(Bob Russell / Jack Keller)


A great song appears, in fact, anywhere. Sometimes, in more than unsuspected places. Graham Pulleyblank (Eastbourne, UK, 1939) changed his name to Lee Graham and, when he got involved in making records in 1965, he chose Leapy Lee as his new nick name. In 1968 he had a world hit with an insidious little song called "Little Arrows".

To cope with the moment a first LP, "Little Arrows", was released. On it, among discreet originals a various covers, you may find this tremendous song, which has not left me in the last few days. "If I Ever Get To Saginaw Again" was written by Bob Russell and Jack Keller, both of them respected songwriters in the american 60s pop. Many musicians would give an arm and a leg to be able to write such a song at 54, like Bob. This tune had also been recorded by The Monkees, but it wasn't released at the time until it finally appeared many years later in "Missing Links Vol. 2". We should note that Leapy Lee's version is far better. It may help Leapy's natural way of singing it and also the faultless production and arrangement of ex-Manfred Mann, Mike Vickers.

Leapy Lee could never repeat the great success of "Little Arrows" and after a few more records, a season in prison and a migration to Saudi Arabia, he settled in Majorca in Spain, and he opened a bar in Santa Ponsa. He's still there, sometimes singing around the local pubs and writing some column for some local british newspaper.

You can find above the lyrics to the song, which is dealing with an absolutely unusual topic for a supposedly harmless pop song. Which makes it even better.


3 comentarios:

andrea dijo...

Thank you very much Sebastian,really great song!

frumious bandersnatch dijo...

Beautiful song, splendid arrangement.
I can't stop listening to this !

thanks a lot, Sebastian, once again !!!

wilthomer dijo...

Leapy Lee does a great Ray Davie's number (which I believe The Kinks back him on) called "King Of The Whole World" which is worth seeking out.