A Way Deep Down Cry, Right from the Pit of the Soul

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No introduction could do justice to this performance by Doris Allen, a soul singer who doesn't seem to have been remembered by enough of us. No matter. Here she is. 


Listen to how she tells it like it is right from the first line. 


You took my heart right out of me

And tore it in a million pieces

Your lying tongue warps my mind

With all its pretty speeches

You took everything from me you thought was worth taking

and all you left me

was a shell of a woman


Doris AllenA shell of a woman

living but not alive

a shell of a woman

without a heart, I can't survive


I did all the giving baby

you did all the taking

and all you left me

was a shell of a woman


Hear how she kicks it up several notches at 1:27. And then boots it right up into the stratosphere at 1:52. There you have the desperate, anguished cry of a heart torn to pieces.


Is she really wailing over being spurned by a lover - or is there another deeper heartbreak at the base of this wrenching cry?


Ashley Montagu thinks so. Not referring to her specifically. But in his book Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin, he talks about the long-term effects of early physical disconnection. The majority of us grew up without anywhere near enough tactile affection, not to mention psychological attunement. 


Rock n Roll dancing was the first kind where the partners weren't in physical contact. 


Rock lyrics come back to the themes of love yearned for and love lost, again and again. Often saying "you don't understand" or "you were never there for me" - a blatant or deferred message to the parents.


Montagu: "Love is a word which has come to be meaningful to [rock fans], to signify a great deal more than it does to most adults, and if they will demonstratively act it out, they may yet succeed in remaking the world."


John Lennon exemplifies Montagu's theory perfectly in Mother. If any cry is worthy of sitting in the same class as Doris Allen's, maybe it's the one Lennon gives to conclude this song:


Mother, you left me, but I never left you.

I wanted you, but you didn't want me

John Lennon and his motherso I just gotta tell you



Father, you left me, but I never left you

I needed you, you didn't need me

So I just gotta tell you



Children, don't do what I have done

I couldn't walk, and I tried to run

so I just gotta tell you



Mama don't go

Daddy come home


Lennon was undergoing heavy duty psycho-therapy at the time. 


How many of us have these screams trapped somewhere deep down inside - hidden from conscious awareness, pulling our strings all the more effectively for being invisible?

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