Some names have a unique perspective when it comes to defining their persona as artist. When a singer or songwriter takes on a stage name, that becomes them. It details their style, elegance, persona, decorum, and what they have to contribute to the artistry of music. Sometimes stage names can be a contradiction or irony to the very persona of a person’s musical or performance presentation. Even if we are not born with particular names, there is a special element surrounding the special climbing of presenting artistry to the world, while allowing it to be heard.
So now that we have the name factor involved, we can also get right into the material. What does the content of a musician’s music 🎶🎶🎶 say about them? Some artists specialize in different themes. There’s feminine empowerment. There are also those songs highlighting the challenges of manhood. The list goes on and on. Themes of love, heartbreak, marriage, nationhood, cultural pride, and singledom have dominated the traditional themes of music. Then there are also those themes of love, which dig a little deeper. They are those themes that command to be loved. Forget about those love songs of wanting to be loved, or compromising with love. In their vocal repertoire, if a union is true, them its sealed. Ain’t no going back on it! Certain songs assert love, and have no problem letting a lover know that if such love is felt, you will take it.
There are certain singers, who have that energy and vocal style to affirm love, in a way where there is no other choice. In a terse amount of words, there will be love. Its absence is not even on the agenda. These very same singers also have the power to highlight the realness of love; especially, to fellow women. They are the kind who shatter illusions of romanticism and shallow depictions of love in high maintenance films, which fail to convey the truth of how a woman is supposed to acquire love. Enough of that. When they sing, those illusions are slowly, and sometimes fiercely, removed from our minds. Such singers are remembered because they made sure to speak the truth about love; and there was no shame in it. And that’s the Heavenly truth! What is interesting is how the expressing of that love was dramatic. Dramatic beats, melodies, verses, and rhythms, which made listeners feel the intensity in a basic conversation about love.
Such singers were there. They are here. And one of those straight, love talkin’ Dames was none other than the late British icon. . .
If dust was sprinkled upon her name, it certainly wasn’t in an unkempt way. Just consider it that magic dust, which went to the root of any problem, and told it like it was. Her voice was a mixture of magic dust and the rich texture of sandpaper. A British dame, who could sing Pop and other genres of Black American musical forms. You could hear reminants of that Soulful sound from those peculiar, Blackened gardens. There was something about her timber, where you embraced the message within those songs about love. Those songs about how real love should be. And if you wanted to understand the real deal about love, you had better listen up, and be prepared to have your reality (or conceptions about love) turned upside down. Now, that’s some real talk for ya’!
Songs like “Anyone Who Had A Heart,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?,” “Stay Awhile,” “I Only Want To Be With You,” “The Look Of Love,” “Wishin’ and Hopin’,” and others were examples of that tell it to be raw type of love. Expressing one’s needs and how love’s supposed to be. That’s the realness of that love. Forget about being mum, quiet, hesitant, or timid about love. If you want it, and want it authentically, you better be vocal about it.
In the song “Wishin’ and Hopin,'” Dusty Springfield makes it very clear. A woman won’t get anything thinking and framing about love. You have to be willing to put in that work. Getting in touch with one’s femininity is required. How to treat a man. Letting him know that you want to share this journey of love with him. What’s so great about this song is that Dusty Springfield awakens women out of dream land. Those women sitting around imagining to have the perfect man. Lost in romanticism in what love is supposed to be, as opposed to going out there and creating the romance of one’s dreams. Praying about marriage and getting the perfect husband won’t make that wish a reality. No Baby. Springfield makes it clear that you have to put in the work, in order to achieve the perfect relationship of your heart’s desire. That straight talkin,’ tellin’ it like it is, is part of the genre of Soul. Truth-telling is part of the genre of Soul. Assertive. Unapologetically clear in your expectations in a relationship. One of the very dynamics and feminist attributes of this song is that Dusty Springfield pulls women away from being passive wall flowers, in the hopes of getting love, to being active and cultivating in one’s femininity. Now, that’s the true essence of a woman.
When we move to the song, “Anyone Who Had A Heart,” a whole other later towards the magnitude of love is displayed. The song was originally recorded by famed, legendary singer and songwriter, Dionne Warwick. Yes! A former maiden, and now mother of Black America’s gardens. Like others Negro artists of that peculiar sound, they brought they introduced their Soulful tune to the UK. Another piece on the way, to illuminate the chandelier-like texture in Dionne Warwick’s performance of the song. Clearly, like other British women singers, Dusty Springfield was introduced to its magic. There is great passion in the level of vulnerability, which is displayed in the song. The very title alone, places humanity’s reason for living as a relevant conversation. We live for the very essence of love. Cause’ honey life ain’t worth living, if we can’t experience love. Forget about money, social status, or other material symbols of relevance. Do you have love? That’s the key question being left on the table. And if you are in tuned with your humanity, you would understand why a person would want love. “Anyone who had a heart. . .”. Those very words alone enchant the listener in wanting to know, who is this “anyone.” Who among the listeners would dare to understand why the singer of the song would put love first? The very entrance of this song is a Soulful whisper. Its part of this enchantment, where love is silently blown into the atmosphere. And then, there are the initial lyrics into the song.
Anyone whoever loved, could look at me And know that I love you
Anyone whoever dreamed, could look at me And know I dream of you
Knowing I love you, so Anyone who had a heart would take me in his arms and love me too
You couldn’t really have a heart and hurt me Like you hurt me and be so untrue What am I to do
Everytime you go away, I always say This time its goodbye, dear Loving you the way I do I take you back, without you I’d die dear Knowing I love you
Do you feel a level of tenderness within these lyrics? Hearing Dusty Springfield perform it articulates the British interpretation, in a musical journey for this Black American genre, known as Soul. There are numerous details for this component. When Dusty Springfield performs this genre of music, she is moving into an artistic euphoria with these gardens. She is also connecting to the feminine Beings of these gardens, and spreading their whispers across British landscapes. In many ways, its a fantastical wonder and experience of intertwining one’s image, presence, and Being into another culture. For those British Dames, that’s exactly what she did. She helped to move that interest of Soulful, feminine Blackness into the homes of White British dames, gaining interest into this peculiar sound. Embracing it in order to experience a new awakening of life, livelihood, and love.
Let’s not forget about “You Don’t Own Me.” Its one of those legendary hits, of women re-claiming their humanity. Originally sang and recorded by Lesly Gore, If you think you are going to objectify the realm of womanhood and femininity, think again. Think again, real hard. Listening to the song, one hears the theme of it being a new dawn and a good day! Women’s liberation and independence, at its best. The fascinating thing about Dusty Springfield is that she sings the song with such fierceness and Soul. As a woman, you can’t help, but want to venture into that new world of freedom. Her request is very simple. Just let a girl be herself. The era of the trophy girlfriend or trophy wife is over, through this song.
And don’t tell me what to do Don’t tell me what to say And please, when I go out with you Don’t put me on display
I’m young and I love to be young I’m free and I love to be free To live my life the way I want To say and do whatever I please
Again, the lyrics make it that more nourishing and real. Women are human. We are not decorated objects to be placed on someone’s arm, with no thought process, intellect, or emotion, behind it. This song makes it very clear, that women are gifted creatures, whose stories and voices deserve to be told. And, we will tell those stories according to how we experience them. We are going to tell them, our way! That’s what illuminates the virtues of this song. It feels good for women to re-claim that power and energy. Furthermore, its for that energy of self-love, which requires for developed women, to attract what they want. Yes! The new feminine has arrived.
Dusty Springfield! For certain legends, all it requires is saying their very names. Nuf’ said. Because when a name has performed its way into power, you don’t have to say very much. All a person has to do it speak their very names. Let the Universe do the rest. Her voice brought hints of sand paper richness, mixed with the traces of white wine. Listening to her style, a person can hear just how she is able to alter the style of her voice, into different textures within one style. Taking popular songs and adding a different color to them. She was truly unique in her own style and aura. That’s one of the phenomenal auras of Dusty Springfield. She knows how to move notes into different colors, in her own Earthly way. Her uniquely, Earthly, British way, with a Soulful twist, of that Negro talk. Dusty could sing it, and sing it, well. In fact, that’s what she came to do; for whatever reason.
Forever, she will be known as one of those British Dames, who broke through US airways. Making it clear that she could speak those women themes; finding that Soulful essence of moving through the dichotomy of life. But, moving in a woman’s way! An authentic woman-one who commands the stage and plants her own gardens. She designs the flowers, the plants, and the kind of vegetation to be grown in the garden. Its her paradise, and she will sing it, how she pleases; while highlighting the Negro gardens, it has come from.