SLS

Song Lyric Sunday – Freda Payne

The prompt from Jim:

Our theme this week is breakup songs suggested by Janis of themomshiediaries.


I, like so many others this week, had no trouble finding a song about breaking up. The subject of love and loss might be near the number one spot that songwriters write about. I will not go through my long list of contenders because I am sure they are among the songs chosen by other bloggers this week.

I am transporting you back to your high school years – at least for me. This song was released in 1970 and I played and sang the heck out of it, not really having much of a clue what it was about.

”Band of Gold” was written by Motown producers Holland–Dozier–Holland (credited under the pseudonym “Edythe Wayne”) and songwriter Ron Dunbar. There is a lot of confusion about this song and its meaning. Even Freda Payne who was offered the song did not want to  record it. She thought it was too young for her. She had interpreted the song as a young naive woman who did not know what to do on her wedding night. Others interpreted the song as a young bride finding herself with a groom who was impotent. Neither is correct.

I found find this information extracted from a Songfacts interview with one of the producers Lamont Dozier:

Songfacts: In the song “Band Of Gold,” what is going on lyrically?

Dozier: The story was, the girl found out this guy was not all there. He had his own feelings about giving his all. He wanted to love this girl, he married the girl, but he couldn’t perform on his wedding night because he had other issues about his sexuality. I’ll put it that way.

It was about this guy that was basically gay, and he couldn’t perform. He loved her, but he couldn’t do what he was supposed to do as a groom, as her new husband. I know it sounds simple but that’s where the idea came from.

Songfacts: Did you guys flesh out that story before condensing it into the lyric?

Dozier: Exactly. We’d talk about a lot of music. What’s happening here? What are these chords saying? Either we would do it that way or we would say, “What is this title about? What’s the story going to be in ‘Band Of Gold’? She’s married, she’s got the ring, but what’s happening in the story now to make it interesting?”

That’s how that came about. We said, “Let’s make the guy gay and he can’t perform. He loves her but he has these other issues.” That’s how we developed it.

The honeymoon ends up with each sleeping in separate rooms and the singer ends up alone with only the symbol of the ring remaining.

The song was an instant success, landing at #3 on the U.S. charts and holding the #1  position in the UK for six weeks – all resulting in Freda Payne’s first gold record.

“Band of Gold”
Lyrics from Songfacts.com

Now that you’re gone
All that’s left is a band of gold
All that’s left of the dreams I hold
Is a band of gold
And the memories of what love could be
If you were still here with me

You took me from the shelter of my mother
I had never known or loved any other
We kissed after taking vows
But that night on our honeymoon
We stayed in separate rooms

I wait in the darkness of my lonely room
Filled with sadness, filled with gloom
Hoping soon
That you’ll walk back through that door
And love me like you tried before

Since you’ve been gone
All that’s left is a band of gold
All that’s left of the dreams I hold
Is a band of gold
And the dream of what love could be
If you were still here with me

Oh

Don’t you know that I wait
In the darkness of my lonely room
Filled with sadness, filled with gloom
Hoping soon
That you’ll walk back through that door
And love me like you tried before

Since you’ve been gone
All that’s left is a band of gold
All that’s left of the dreams I hold
Is a band of gold
And the dream of what love could be
If you were still here with me

Since you’ve been gone
All that’s left is a band of gold
All that’s left of the dreams I hold
Is a band of gold
And the dream of what love could be
If you were still here with me


Song Lyric Sunday is hosted every Sunday by Jim Adams. If you would like to join in the fun, check out his blog for the rules and to take in all the other music posted by other bloggers.