Sample Sunday: Hello, It’s Me

toddrundgren

Song: Hello, It’s Me
Artist: Todd Rundgren
Album: Something/Anything
Released: 1972
Writer: Todd Rundgren
Sampled By: The Isley Brothers, Live it Up, 1974

“Hello, it’s me. I’ve thought about us for a long, long time”. Todd Rundgren phrased this line perfectly. If there’s one thing I love about musicians, it is their innate ability to expose the minds and feelings of their listeners. It is the reason we all have a favorite musician; they are the one person who is able to musically create the inner workings of our souls. Love and music are two things that transcend all race, gender and economic lines. They are two things in life that reach us all on a human level, outside of the social constructs within which we live. Which adds to another reason why I love samples; they are written and covered by artists so different in background and privilege, but whose commonality is founded on art and love.

It is a valiant effort to love someone. There are so many risks involved with being responsible for someone else’s heart, as they are yours. Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote, “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”, and how true that is. How many times have you fondly reminisced about loves that did not last? No matter how bitter the end, you hold on to certain memories of the sweet. Even after the relationship has ended and the feelings have settled, there is a remaining connection to that person. An old friend, who for a while knew all of you and you knew their bones, too. That once shared intimacy is the silver lining to many a sad love story. No matter how short or brutal it becomes, love usually begins with a very beautiful spark. It is that first spark that moves people to take another risk, which is to love again.

I really love this song. I was fairly young when I first heard the Isley Brothers’ version and it always struck me as a bittersweet and melancholic song. A feeling that occurs during a breakup when you come to the realization that it’s just not going to work.

I’ve thought about us for a long, long time/Maybe I think too much, but something’s wrong/There’s something here that doesn’t last too long

There does not need to be a particular reason why things end, there does not need to be some horrific event that tears two people apart. Sometimes time is all that is needed to see that you’re not meant to be together. The intense flame of love, that first spark, gets a little lower. You may still love that person, but not in the same manner that made the relationship worthwhile. And the only hope to salvage the relationship is to release each other.

It’s important to me/That you know you are free/Cause I never want to make you change for me

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