After writing yesterday’s post it came to me in a couple of ways that life is simply a series of ups and downs or as I said yesterday highs and lows and adding today other clichés of ‘Hill and Vale’ or ‘Ebb and Flow’.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing or just what it is was the question I was pondering as I awoke this AM.

A favorite song of mine in high school was ‘Ebb Tide’ sung by Frank Sinatra and later the Righteous Brothers.  Frank Sinatra was THE singer in my house.  To this day my dad still listens to his music.  The story behind ‘Ebb Tide’ is almost as good as the song itself.

The music came out early in 1953 as an instrumental only performed by a British orchestra under the leadership of Frank Chacksfield.  It was so pretty the story goes that many singers wanted to record it and no lyrics existed.  The publisher of the music, Jack Robbins, got in touch with the lyricist, Carl Sigman.  Sigman wrote the words to ‘It’s all in the Game’ and ‘Pennsylvania 6-5000’ and many other 50’s hits.

From the research I did I found that when a lyricist gets music and has to write words he listens to the music with the freedom to write what he hears in his mind or sees when he hears the music.  No preconditions.  There was a problem for Carl Sigman, his son says, in that this music came with a title.  The title ‘Ebb Tide’ was used to show how the music reaches crescendos and calms down again and again.   Sigman could not envision words that would create the image of a tide coming in and out.  He spent four difficult days trying to come up with words before he set the music aside and decided to go to a movie.  The story continues that he searched the papers for a move to see and came upon an ad for “From Here to Eternity” that showed the famous scene in which Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr are locked in an embrace on the beach as the tide washes over them.  He never made it to the theater as this gave him the inspiration he needed and the words were born.

An aside here – when we were in Hawaii a bus tour took us by the beach on which this scene was filmed.  It is a point of interest from the guide.  As we age and this movie gets older I wonder how much longer it will be pointed out on the tour.  Back to ‘Ebb Tide’.

On the site I found – http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=15275 – Carl Sigman is quoted as saying the following in an interview.

“If listened in the right frame of mind, the melody rises and falls in a way which uncannily resembles an orgasm, with one of the most stirring climaxes I’ve ever heard followed by a beautifully relaxed, restful and contented ending. At the same time, this rising and falling is a perfect symbolization of the movements of the tide. Now the connection begins to come into focus: two lovers meet on a beach, their expectations rise together as the tide is rising, they love, and they are at peace together as the tide ebbs. And the beach and tides (helped by their association with the moon) are as romantic as any setting could hope to be. The whole wedding of the tune to the lyric (or, I should say, of lyric to the tune) is the most natural, the best and the easiest (once the idea was there) I’ve ever written.”

Here are the words to one of my favorite songs.  It is a great song to dance to as the music simply carries you across the floor in sweeping moves.


First the tide rushes in
Plants a kiss on the shore
Then rolls out to sea
And the sea is very still once more
So I rush to your side
Like the oncoming tide
With one burning thought
Will your arms open wide
At last we’re face to face
And as we kiss through an embrace
I can tell, I can feel
You are love, your are real
Really mine in the rain
In the dark, in the sun
Like the tide at its ebb
I’m at peace in the web of your arms

This really is not so far from where I began and with the intent in which I wanted to write today.  Life is a series of Ebb Tides.  If we go with the flow we can experience some rich sweet joys.  When the sea – life – is not so still the crashing waves can toss and throw us around all the while beating us up some.  Yet the sea does still again and again after a storm.  Peace comes back to us in whatever way we need at the time.   All we need to know is how to navigate the storms.

Highs, lows, hills, vale, ebb and flow all words to describe daily living.  In the end we can choose how we react.  Today I choose calm and peace and joy and love as I go…..


P.S.  FROM THE SAME WEBSITE: http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=15275

Once the lyrics were written, many artists covered this song, providing a bonanza to the song publisher who commissioned the words. Vic Damone was first into the Top 10 later in 1953, followed by an R&B hit by Roy Hamilton the following year. Sinatra’s 1956 version appeared on his classic Nelson Riddle-arranged album Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely. The Platters added it to their string of Mercury hits in 1960 and, in 1965 Phil Spector produced a monumental version by The Righteous Brothers, which peaked at #5. Others to record the song include Matt Monro, Lenny Welch, Rosemary Clooney, Glen Campbell,Tom Jones, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Neil Diamond, and even a Techno version by Erasure.

“Ebb Tide” is frequently cited by musicians and singers as one of their favorite songs of all time. In Bob Dylan’s autobiography Chronicles, he describes how “I used to play the phenomenal ‘Ebb Tide’ by Frank Sinatra a lot and it had never failed to fill me with awe. The lyrics were so mystifying and stupendous. When Frank sang that song, I could hear everything in his voice – death, God and the universe, everything.”

P.S. 2 – listen to Frank at:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-_YxeqM0Xs

By ktsquared Posted in Trivia

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