Long Liv Love

Dear imaginary Olivia,
Happy birthday
the first you will not know
just like
you do not know me
yet we met in 1972
in my bedroom
as the radio chart was counted down
and your hit was moving up.
To be honest
it was the smile
and the hairstyle
as much as the song
and of course
the image
of the girl next door
from Cambridge 
via down under.
I only bought five of your discs
three singles and two albums
but I threw one long player away
because the songs were shite
as I think you might agree
from the rumours that I heard
and when the track the public liked best
was defeated by Waterloo.
The other album I still play
even though I pretend
to be a prog
or, more rustically, 
The songs are middle of the
country road
but that’s a cool place to be
if you are the company.

My favourite is the one
penned by you.
A lament for a time and place
a space you implore
to not forget you.
I was never deluded
that you were anything
that I did not make you be.
All that you ever were
was fancy
and that fantasy
was always pure
hard to believe
I know
but true
for at that time
it seemed more
the girl next door
never unlatched it.
Despite the distance
my picture of you
got me through many 
a summer night
and spring, and fall, and winter too
until that film came along
in which I felt
neither persona
was the one I wanted
no matter how cosily 
or tightly
it was stitched.
We parted company
even though we’d never
been together
but I always kept an eye
on the one I had once hoped
to hold a candle to
and I was glad
when things went well
in your career
and pained
when fate
turned the cards
and stacked them
as fate is wont to do.
Then there was new admiration
for all the next doors
that you opened
for those who felt
there were no handles
left to reach for.
The dignity you showed
when we all knew 
what you
and those
you wanted to get physical
had to get through.
Sail into tomorrow

you once sang
long before the future came calling

If I knew the trials I must face
Would I carry on at all?
Sail into tomorrow
Livin’ day to day
That’s all I can afford to do
And all I’ll ever play
Is a song to sing to thank you
For making me alive
And a prayer to bring us comfort
Lord help us to survive.
I did not date
the girl next door
but the one that I wanted
from across the road
(and nine doors down).
She understood entirely
my fascination for you
today is her birthday too.
So happy birthday to the duo
who both became for me
the imaginary companion
the boy I thought I was
needed you to be.


Sail into Tommorow lyrics by John Farrar. It was the B side of Take Me Home Country Roads.

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