Still The One by Orleans (Asylum, 1976)

What a great upbeat pop record from 1976! It has tinges of country flavor, a little rock, and great harmonies. I’m sure this was played at many weddings that year. It was even used by ABC to promote their 1977 TV season. The song seems to say, ‘you’re the still the one, cause you scratch my itch, you turn my head and make me smile.’ So it’s a love song, even one you could adopt for anniversaries if you wanted to. How sweet!

But then I read the lyrics, giving me a different perspective. Here are the first 2 lines:

We’ve been together since way back when
Sometimes I never want to see you again.

What? Right at the beginning of the song, he’s saying, “We’ve been together so long, I can’t even look at you anymore.” But then he goes to let her know that after all this time, he still chooses her. Should she be flattered? This isn’t exactly Three Times A Lady. But they’re still having fun, and she’s still the one. And Larry is singing so joyfully, we really don’t question it.

Now here’s verse #2:
I looked at your face every day
But I never saw it ’til I went away
When winter came, I just wanted to go
Deep in the desert, I longed for the snow.

What exactly is happening here? Is this just brutal honesty? I don’t expect that in a pop song. Is he saying that when times got rough, he just couldn’t take it and thought about leaving? Or when it was hot, he was looking for the cold?┬áThese lyrics seem to be at complete odds with the rest of the song. I get the feeling that she was really number 5 but moved up to 1 when the others told him to get lost, and she was the only one still around. Maybe they should have just called this song. You’re Still Around.

By the way, this was written by John Hall and his wife Johanna, who would split up not long after this.