You Needed Me

anne murrayToday is Tuesday, June 11, 2013.

I’ve never been that interested in “country” music, but there are a few songs that I love, and this is one of them, sung by Canadian singer Anne Murray in her rich, low alto voice.  Written by Randy Goodrum, the song came out on Anne Murray’s album, Let’s Keep It That Way, in 1978.  It won the Song of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards, and it reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 list.

When I first heard it, in 1981, I had just gone through a divorce, and a Japanese friend of mine recorded a whole album of Barbara Streisand music for me to listen to on my SONY Walkman.  Since there was a little tape left, he tacked on two songs by Anne Murray.  One was “Tennessee Waltz” and the other was “You Needed Me.”

It wasn’t until I listened to the music once again, much later in life, that I realized that the title of the song was a sort of theme in our friendship.  When we were very young, my Japanese friend was studying at the University of Minnesota, and I was able to help him a number of times.  He was friends with my husband, at first, but it became clear later that my friend and I were much more inclined to academics and philosophy, whereas my husband was more of a people person focused on popular culture.

When my husband and I moved to Japan, this friend lived in Tokyo, a long way from where we lived in Osaka.  (It’s about the same distance as between San Francisco and Los Angeles.)  Still, this friend managed to keep in touch with us, and when the marriage began to fall apart, he invited me to come to Tokyo to stay with him and his wife, who was pregnant with their first child.  He seemed to know that I needed to get away from Osaka to get my head clear enough to think about what I really wanted in life.  I decided to end my marriage, and went back to Osaka to pack for the move.

When I got back to Tokyo, this friend helped me get an apartment and a telephone, and he would take me out to dinner once a week or so, knowing that I didn’t have much money to live on.  In fact, I was almost destitute until my first paycheck came, and I was losing weight fast.  I was so depressed after the divorce that I didn’t feel like eating, anyway, and wouldn’t have eaten much, even if I had been able to afford it.  I remember one time my friend took me out for a dinner of real ham steak (a rarity outside the United States, I’ve found.)  I ate it all, but later vomited it all up, because my stomach had shrunk so much that it couldn’t handle all the food.

In any event, I realized that this man and I came into this lifetime, not to be together as a couple, but simply to assist each other in whatever way necessary. We lost contact some time after I moved back to the United States, and I always regretted not being able to tell him of my realization.  A few months ago, I was able to re-establish contact with him on Facebook.  About that time, one of his sons had given him a new grandchild.

Now he is heading up a company in Tampa, Florida, and since he is here without family or friends, I am going to visit him.  (It dawned on me that it must be kind of hard to find friends among people at one’s company when you are the “CEO.”)  As it turns out, I will have the chance to tell him our “purpose” in life, with respect to each other.  🙂

Here is a link to the song.

You Needed Me  (R. Goodrum)

I cried a tear, you wiped it dry
I was confused, you cleared my mind
I sold my soul, you bought it back for me
And held me up and gave me dignity
Somehow you needed me

You gave me strength to stand alone again
To face the world out on my own again
You put me high upon a pedestal
So high that I could almost see eternity
You needed me, you needed me

And I can’t believe it’s you
I can’t believe it’s true
I needed you and you were there
And I’ll never leave, why should I leave?
I’d be a fool ’cause I finally found someone who really cares

You held my hand when it was cold
When I was lost you took me home
You gave me hope when I was at the end
And turned my lies back into truth again
You even called me “friend”

You gave me strength to stand alone again
To face the world out on my own again
You put me high upon a pedestal
So high that I could almost see eternity
You needed me, you needed me

You needed me, you needed me


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