Artist – James Taylor
Album – James Taylor
Year – 1968
Genre – Folk/Acoustic Rock
James Taylor’s Carolina In My Mind is pure, honest songwriting at its finest. It’s a very emotional song, and when you listen, you can feel that same emotion for yourself. It’s a song about love and finding your way, but at its essence, it’s a song about just being homesick for where you come from and for the people you love.
The song’s sweet acoustic melody is a wonderful example of classic folk rock, and no one does it better than old Jimmy Taylor. It’s relatively simplistic, because it has to be. Sometimes the simplest songs bring out the most emotion in us, and what beautiful words he writes. “There ain’t no doubt in no one’s mind that love’s the finest thing around. Whisper something soft and kind. A silver tear appearing now. I’m crying, ain’t I?” I mean, what words. It’s an outpouring of sadness and longing we rarely see in music. To add to this, Taylor’s voice is one of the sweetest and most clear voices of any folk singer. When he sings these lyrics, you just want to put your arm around him and tell him it’s going to be alright.
Everything in this song just works. The melody is simple and catchy, but the song never comes across as false or too sweet. The piano and guitar are perfectly blended to create just the right mood for a song like this. The music itself here is wonderful, but more important is the message we all can take away from this song while listening. We’ve all had times of great loneliness and longing. This song speaks to heart of these feelings, and it provides great comfort to know that these are feelings that we can get through. The song is about hope. It’s about always remembering there are those that love you out there, and to top it off, it’s all wrapped up in a beautifully simple melody and a sweet voice. I’ll say it again. This song is pure honesty, and it’s something we could all use a little bit more of.
One last fun fact: Paul McCartney and George Harrison sing background vocals on this song! Just another reason to give it a spin.