16 September 1977 – Ringo releases “Drowning in the Sea of Love,” and Western Civilization reaches its emotional peak.
Here are some of the lyrics from this timeless ballad (have tissues ready):
“I’ve been down one time,
Drowning in the sea of love
I’ve been down one time,
And I’ve been down two times,
But now I’m drowning in the sea of love.”
Ringo, when it comes to the expression of noble sentiments, you, sir, are an All-Starr.
I now offer a remedy for the silliness of the Ringo song, one that I hope will also serve as a suitable apology for my shabby pun.
In truth there is only one “Sea of Love,” and it was written in 1959 by Phil Baptiste. Several artists have performed this love song, and I will briefly describe my three favorite renditions.
Phil Phillips: This is actually songwriter Baptiste performing under his stage name with his backup group, The Twilights. Thanks to Phillips’ great voice, this version is beautifully lilting and hauntingly lovely – an American classic that manages to be more than the sum of its lyrical parts.
Cat Power (the stage name of Charlyn Marshall): Hers is a minimalist version of the song, but it nonetheless manages to be impressively focused, almost painfully personal, and somehow deeply poignant.
Tom Waits: He sounds as if he were singing to someone – who might not even be present – in a bar after a few too many bourbons and cigarettes, but if you want to hear love vocally deconstructed and then filtered through the grit of adult experience, listen to his version of the song.