The Band - Whispering Pines
from the album The Band (Capitol, 1969)
This gem, written by the late great Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson, is one of my all time favourite The Band songs. One of my favourites from any band actually. It's a beautiful melody and Richard Manuel's vocal delivery is nothing short of haunting. I can feel the goosebumps on my arms just thinking of it. It is a quite sad song, full of longing. The song's protagonist are feeling the presence of his loved one who probably has passed away.
"Foghorn through the night, calling out to sea
Protect my only light, 'cause she once belonged to me
Let the waves rush in, let the seagulls cry
For if I live again, these hopes will never die
I can feel you standing there
But I don't see you anywhere"
Great words and the music fits them perfectly. This was a band that really had tapped in to something really great at this time. The whole album are filled with haunting songs like this one. I would have loved to be a fly at the wall when this and the other songs on this album was written and recorded. Truly classic stuff, the intensity is almost too much to take. I love this album, and I love this song. Richard Manuel may very well have been the most soulful singer that ever lived.
"Try looking through a haze
At an empty house, in the cold cold sun
I will wait until it all goes round
With you in sight, the lost are found"