Song of the Day #3,394: ‘So Far Away’ – Carole King

Just two more songs in the 30 Day Music Challenge. Day 29 asks us to get nostalgic and name ‘A Song That You Remember From Your Childhood.’

Aside from the heavy doses of Frank Sinatra provided by my parents, my childhood musical memories mostly center around their old reel-to-reel tape machine (which, in our retro-happy world, is apparently the new vinyl).

Among the albums I recall spinning on that contraption are Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, Billy Joel’s The Stranger and Carly Simon’s No Secrets.

But no album conjures those days more vividly than Carole King’s Tapestry. Released in 1971, a year before I was born, this is indisputably one of the greatest albums ever made and one that feels timeless despite sounding so much like its time.

While I grew to appreciate Tapestry for its masterful songwriting, unfussy production and soothing vocals, it will always mean the most to me as a memory of my childhood.

So far away
Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore
It would be so fine to see your face at my door
Doesn’t help to know you’re just time away

Long ago I reached for you and there you stood
Holding you again could only do me good
Oh, how I wish I could
But you’re so far away

One more song about moving along the highway
Can’t say much of anything that’s new
If I could only work this life out my way
I’d rather spend it being close to you

But you’re so far away
Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore
It would be so fine to see your face at my door
Doesn’t help to know you’re so far away

Traveling around sure gets me down and lonely
Nothing else to do but close my mind
I sure hope the road don’t come to own me
There’s so many dreams I’ve yet to find

But you’re so far away
Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore
It would be so fine to see your face at my door
Doesn’t help to know you’re so far away

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,394: ‘So Far Away’ – Carole King

  1. Rob says:

    “Tapestry” factored into my childhood experience as well, as I had an older sister who played the LP white when we were living in Beaconsfield, Quebec. As I had 4 older siblings, the Beatles work factored heavily in the soundtrack of my childhood. But with that said, I can’t really pick one song because their material was being played ALL the time. There is one song that comes to my mind though. In 1970, my sister Kim, my brother Jamie and I put together a scrapbook for our parents upcoming anniversary. It included photos, poems and stories that we had written. I have very vivid memories of secretly getting together in my sister’s bedroom and working on this project over several months. My sister would turn her transistor radio on and we would listen to CKGM, the top 40 station. The hit song at that time was “Marrakesh Express” from Crosby, Stills and Nash. Whenever I hear this song, I am immediately transported to her bedroom, with the three of us feverishly working on our gift of love.

  2. Dana Gallup says:

    When I was about 10 years old, my dad bought me my first stereo player from Radio Shak. It was a Realistik turntable with an equalizer and speakers (it may have come with a double cassette deck or maybe I added that later). This stereo has become the stuff of family lore as my sister became quite jealous of my “supersonic stereo system” bought by my father (who clearly loved me more according to my sister) while my sister was relegated to an all-in-one phonograph player in a green case with inferior sound.

    Anyway, I recall one of the first albums I got and played repeatedly on my “supersonic stereo” was a collection of 60’s greatest hits with, if I recall correctly, a blue wave on the cover.
    This album had a number of classics, but one that stood out was, I believe, the lead off track “Leader of the Pack” by the Shangri-Las. This song is 60’s cheese at its best…a world away from the harder edged music of the Beatles, Stones, etc. that was muscling these more innocent 50’s sounding tunes off the airwaves.

    Check out the video below, particularly the “bad boy” on the motorcycle. I can’t help but think the songwriter was envisioning a Black or Puerto Rican man dating this innocent blonde White girl, but that video would never have flown at the time.

  3. Peg Clifton says:

    When I was a youngster I listened to the Everly Brothers, Ricky Nelson, Buddy Holly, and of course Elvis. I would have to choose Elvis but what song?? From the early days I would say Teddy Bear released in 1957 would be it 😊

  4. Amy says:

    Like Clay, I, too, have many memories of those reel to reel tapes providing a window into the world of adulthood. What were “clouds in my coffee,” and why did Paul Simon need so many ways to leave his lover? Still, it somehow feels like a cheat to choose one of the songs my parents chose and played as a song that represented my childhood, though I became a young fan of Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Chicago, Bob Dylan, Carly Simon and Carole King because of all of thoses songs.

    Dana and I were debating earlier whether early adolescence counts as childhood. I say it does, so I’m choosing a song to represent the music I actively sought after and listened to. I’m mentally browsing through the album collection in my childhood bedroom, and I see albums by Olivia Newton John, David Soul, John Travolta, the Jackson Five. A whole lot of 45’s that don’t surprise or embarrass me nearly as much (including lots of theme songs, such as the Chariots of Fire theme by Vangelis 🙂 But there are a couple of artists more represented than any other. I am not proud of this confession, but here it is…

    In terms of albums I sought out and requested/purchased, The Osmond Brothers and Donny and Marie definitely were at the top of my list.

  5. Maddie says:

    I was going to pick “Hanging Around” for this one because I have such distinct memories of scream-singing it with my dad with the car top down while he drove me to kindergarten. I think it might be more fun to go with a true childhood classic, though (another one I sing with my dad to this day):

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.