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As I write this, I hear a soft rain falling. Midnight approaches and I think of your hit recording “Rainy Days and Mondays.” The lyrics said, “…rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” I wonder if you felt that way, as many people do, or if (like me) you treasured the soft sound of rain. You were valued, I think, because you dared to present a soft sound in the midst of a chaotic world. A world represented, for the most part, by chaotic music. Music that had no melody, that screamed its repetitious and banal lyrics to frenzied, hypnotized masses.
Your lyrics were for thinking and feeling: your melodies soft and moving. There will always be a need for people like you. People who offer a soft voice of sanity to help tip the scales toward meaning in an often meaningless world.
Screaming in competition with an incessant, pounding beat, was not your style of expression. Did you perhaps know, intuitively, that though there was a place for hard rock, and it provided cathartsis for some, it could not fill a void? So you gave us songs by which we could get in touch with ourselves and each other, rather than noise that numbed us and kept us apart.
That is no small thing to accomplish in 32 years. You gave us what we needed at a time we most needed. Well done, my friend. Rest in peace.
Charlene Slocum, a member of Writers’ Workshop West, wrote this tribute to Karen Carpenter three weeks after her death in 1983. It originally appeared in the Southeast News.
Published: Febuary 7, 2013 – Volume 11 – Issue 43