Will You Love Me Tomorrow?


Roberta Flack

Today is Thursday, June 6, 2013.

Continuing with musical my trip down memory lane, I give you a song that was written by Carole King and her then-husband, Gerry Goffin,  back in 1960, when she was only 18 years old.  (She married him at the age of 17.  He was 20.)  The song was first recorded by The Shirelles.  It has since been covered by many artists, and has been ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest songs of all time.

Although I do like the version King recorded, I really love this slowed-down version sung by Roberta Flack, released in 1972, with her understated piano accompaniment backed by strings.  I never really identified with the song until the 1980s, when I was newly divorced and feeling a bit raw, hoping that “true love” would come into my life to fill the void.  (And no, that hasn’t happened, romantically speaking.)

I chose a picture of Flack when she was young because this is truly a song that comes from a young woman’s heart.  She has just fallen in love, but she is not sure whether her lover really means what he says.  She is scared that if she gives herself wholly to the man, he may break her heart.

Here is a link to the song on YouTube.

*** *** ***

Will You Love Me Tomorrow
Written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin.  Recorded by Roberta Flack.

Tonight, you’re mine completely.
You give your love so sweetly.
Tonight, the light of love is in your eyes.
Will you still love me tomorrow?

Is this a lasting treasure
Or just a moment’s pleasure?
Can I believe the magic of your sighs?
Will you still love me tomorrow?

Tonight with words unspoken
You said that I’m the only one.
But will my heart be broken
When the night meets the morning sun?

I`d like to know that your love
Is love I can be sure of.
So tell me now,
And I won`t ask again…
Will you still love me tomorrow?
Tomorrow, tomorrow…
Will you still love me…?
Will you sill love me…?
Will you still love me… tomorrow?

Carole King’s original lyrics said, “I’d like to know that your love/Is love I can be sure of” but Flack sang, “I’d like to know if your love/Is love I can be sure of.”   Maybe it’s just that Flack had been around the block a few times by the time she recorded it, and had experienced more than one heartbreak.  Her version (using “if”) seems just a little less hopeful.   (Flack was born in 1937, so she was 35 when her version came out.)   Also, Flack’s version asks the question again and again at the end, with ever so slight an emphasis on “love” the first time, emphasis on “still” the second time, and “me” the last time.

It’s true that this song seems to fit a young woman’s perspective more than a man’s, but I don’t think men are that much different from women, when it comes to falling in love.  There’s that point in a new relationship when you know you have started to care very deeply for the other person, and you are hoping against hope that your beloved feels the same way.

“Is this the real thing?” we ask, always hoping that the answer will be a resounding “yes.”  🙂


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