The Bee Gees were an -- perhaps the -- iconic band of the disco era, recording the soundtrack for "Saturday Night Fever," which included arguably the greatest dance song ever in "You Should Be Dancing." I admit it. I like their stuff ... but it's a lot broader and deeper than many know.
I remember my old man singing "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" when the song was on the radio in the early 70's. Maybe you have heard some of the Bee Gees' older stuff, too, such as the "New York Mining Disaster" or "I Gotta Get a Message to You." Suffice it to say, it's slightly different than, oh, "Jive Talking."
The truth is that the Bee Gees -- born on the Isle of Man to British parents but raised in Australia -- were adaptable chaps who completely remade their music style several times, and they managed to remain relevant and popular through four decades.
Still, many folks understandably know them almost exclusively for the disco hits of the 70's. Like most of us, the Bee Gees are known by the public at large for one thing, and by a few who really know them for something different, deeper, and perhaps even better.
What about us out here on the internet? What about people in a political movement? Truth is, we are scarcely known at all by those who watch from afar. There are scalawags on the left and right, though the ideas be pure or profane. Life is complicated. One thing I like about the Bee Gees is that if you listen to them all the way from "I Started a Joke" to "Still Waters" their music reflects an ambiguity, indeed, the mystery that is life on this fallen earth.
In some ways, that's why it's so intriguing to me that they are really known for disco music -- the anti-matter of music.
So, this weekend, I bring you two Brothers Gibbs' tunes that are some of their best ... and also tunes that you likely have yet to hear. If you have heard both before reading this post, well, let me know in the comments. And ... I want to party with you.
Our first tune, well, is somewhat amazing because my granddad liked it. I remember him coming over to the house once and saying, "I just heard this beautiful song ... by the Bee Gees." When I came to, I heard him say that it was playing on his favorite station -- yes, the country station.
And it's a pretty good country tune folks ... to my knowledge, the only one recorded by the Brothers Gibb:
Video (only one I could find, thus the French and Karaoke mixture ... my apologies, what can I say? ... is HERE. As you can hear, it's a mighty-fine country tune (with a mention of trains and all) by these chaps.
Ah, and then there's the next song, which right ahead of "Fanny" (no, I am not stoking the posterior fires here again, folks) is my all-time favorite Bee Gees song. Most know little of "Songbird", but it means a lot to me. It's about a broken person who dreams of getting well and taking off again some day ... and apparently does ... with no guaranteed results.
So many times, we get caught up in seeing the endgame. For sure, life is about results on many levels. But I believe that life is really found in the daily struggle to do the next right thing, to do what we were born to do, to spread our once-broken wings and try again ... especially after a deep disappointment.
So, until we visit again next week, I leave you with a song that reflects this, and more, the Brothers Gibbs' unknown magnum opus --- "Songbird":