It’s a wet day in a series of wet days here in New York, but spring weather is around the corner. People are teeming with eager energy for the change (I sound like the Obama campaign). The bodegas are selling plants and miracle-gro. I have the day off and have planted a garden on my fire escape. I am drinking a Japanese beer. From the window, I see my neighbors traipse down Graham Ave, and think of our commonality. I am reminded of a song.
Here’s a Melanie Safka tune done by the Tokens, who famously sang the oldies radio staple “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” a song originally a hit in South Africa in 1939, and which has seen many versions over the years. The Tokens also were producers, most notably for The Chiffons. Neil Sedaka was an early member of the group.
This is a song about becoming aware of the folks you walk past everyday.
You ride the same subway as I do/ Every morning/ That’s got to tell you something/ We’ve got so much in common/I go the same direction that you do.
Check out Melanie singing her song in this television performance from the late 1960s.