My journey began with sharing about my life, and I especially enjoy sharing recent music. Developing and “growing” a song in my garden can take me months (sometimes years). So with eagerness, below is a preliminary recording of “I’ve Always Cared #2” where my vocal is unfinished. Just yesterday I recorded acoustic guitar and George added electric guitar into the arrangement. Soon, I plan to add some harmony.
Below are pieces of older recordings that are part of my journey. I have improved greatly as a singer from when I started back in 2010. And long ago as a young girl, I sang in higher keys with abandon. I appreciate how free-spirited I was with my voice, but in general I don’t find those recordings easy to listen to. It’s kind of embarrassing, but I do love how they add to my story.
Click the blue link below to hear my song in progress.
I’ve Always Cared Home Recording 4-2-17
I’ve Always Cared #2 Arrangement 2015
Link to hear a snippet of the “medieval” first arrangement of this song from 2010:
I’ve Always Cared #1 Arrangement 2012
Link to the first part of this story:
I’VE ALWAYS CARED
Original Song by Judy Unger, Copyright 2015
Has it really been that long?
For years we were strangers
But I knew all along
I’ve always cared and I always will
Never felt that way until
I passed through my life without you
I’ve always felt and I’ll always feel
Now I know it is for real
And this time, and this time
I want to be with you, with you
We’re back together
I wonder what lies ahead
The past is behind us
There’s so much left unsaid
I dreamed of you and the life we once shared
You weren’t gone, ’cause I still cared
Now I want to be with you, with you
I loved you still, though we were apart
No one else could know, the way you touched my heart
Now I want to be with you, with you . . . with you
I composed my song “I’ve Always Cared” when I was 19 years old. I was able to easily remember it because I had a cassette recording from 1980.
I never considered “I’ve Always Cared” to be one of my best songs, but I did like the catchy chorus. This song was one of a few faster songs of mine, which involved strumming instead of my usual fingerpicking. It was similar to “Meant to Me” and “Saying Goodbye;” those were two of my other songs I wrote around that time.
George arranged “I’ve Always Cared” back in 2010 and the arrangement had an interesting medieval sound. Unfortunately, I couldn’t along with it very well. Some of that might have had to do with how difficult it was for me to relate to this song back then.
Now that five years have gone by, I decided to let George arrange “I’ve Always Cared” again and together we’d improve upon it. George envisioned it as a slower piano ballad. He composed new chords for a bridge and I revised the lyrics and wrote new ones for the bridge.
There certainly is a story surrounding what prompted me to write this song, which I will share farther along in this post. But today in 2015, my song tells me a completely different story than how I wrote it originally and is nothing that I ever expected it to be.
I crafted my revised lyrics to express feelings for my new take on this song. And the new lyrics can still work for the older story, too.
Who am I singing to? Well, here’s a hint – I’m not singing to a person!
The reunion after many years was with my music!
Perhaps that could be a sad revelation since I’ve gotten divorced. But it was honestly the easiest way for me to relate to my song. And many times, I see music as another metaphor for God in my life.
I prefer not to dwell upon thoughts that lead to sadness. Yes, I could be envious of people with loving partners. I could be very discouraged about my failed marriage. I felt alone for a long time and might have remained in that place if I hadn’t had the courage to change my life.
I smile and know that whatever the future holds; I will always have beautiful music to bring me joy.
And another irony was that even though it appeared that I didn’t care about my music for 30 years, it certainly cared about me.
When I was discouraged about life, it returned to rescue my soul.
It has been fun to revisit my older songs. With remakes, they come to life again.
My last song arrangement was for an old love song named “It Might Have Been. ” That song expressed how “love was something new” and shortly after I wrote it, I became engaged to be married.
But before “It Might Have Been” I wrote several songs alluding to my confusion about enduring love.
Even though I dated a lot, I was quite naïve and innocent. My dating was about looking for “the one” and I certainly didn’t imagine there were other options besides getting married.
When I was 19, I was torn between two men.
For a few months I managed to see both of them. But when they both wanted to see me for New Year’s Eve, I was stuck and realized I needed to make a choice.
I had an on and off again relationship with both of them. And I was the one who initiated the break ups because I usually felt pressured to “go steady” and I liked to feel free to date whomever seemed interesting to me.
The “other guy” was one of my first boyfriends from high school. Sam and I dated on and off for over four years, starting from the time I was 15 1/2. My parents reluctantly allowed me to date him, even though originally I was brought up with the statement of, “No dating until you’re 16!” But Sam was such a smart and nice guy, my parents caved in.
I really felt so bad breaking up with him that he inspired the first song I ever wrote aptly named, “You’re Not the One.”
I met my future husband in college at a time when I wasn’t seeing Sam. We were together awhile, but then we separated – I felt pressured by him also. After that breakup, I had second thoughts and wrote my song “Saying Goodbye.”
We reunited eight months later, and I wrote a song called “Meant to Me,” which definitely expressed how I had a feeling that something might go wrong. That sure was prophetic.
Not long after I reunited with my future husband, suddenly Sam came back into my life. In the past, I had alternated seeing these two men, but now I was involved with both of them at the same time. It was terribly guilt provoking.
And my confusion extends to “I’ve Always Cared” because I cannot remember which man I wrote it for!
Hypnotherapy has really given me a lot of insight into the “black and white” thinking I grew up with. When I was young, it never occurred to me that there were other possibilities other than those extremes.
I felt I had to choose between those two men rather than consider that perhaps I was too young to get married. So I picked my future husband and he became the one.
At the young age of 21 I married and my black and white thinking led me into a very gray existence.
I was not happily married from the beginning. No one around me knew, lest of all me. I assumed that I had unrealistic expectations for intimacy and felt flawed. I was determined to make the best of it because divorce seemed terrifying. I ended up filling my empty spaces by relentlessly pursuing my career as an illustrator. My parents and children met my emotional needs.
I’ll never understand how it happened, but after thirty years of musical silence – I began to play my guitar again.
I was fifty years old and at a very low point. But then I discovered that music was like magic. My heart began to explode with feelings and it changed my life.
My emotional floodgates opened up and all of the feelings I suppressed for decades began to pour out. I started this blog and excitedly shared how I started taking voice lessons. I found my arranger, George through an ad on Craigslist. One by one, I had George arrange all of the songs I wrote as a young girl.
After two years I was ready to write new songs as an adult woman. I had waited to release them until I had recorded all of my older songs. The experience of writing those new songs turned my life upside down.
My lyrics guided me to end my marriage.
One of the most interesting stories that happened from my blogging was when Sam discovered the story I had written about him with my song story for “You’re Not the One.”
I was shocked when he left a sweet comment on my blog where there was a picture of us from our high school prom.
After thirty years we reconnected. He never even knew I had written a song about our breakup.
Links to those stories:
#136 THE VERY FIRST SONG I EVER WROTE
#137 YOU’RE NOT THE ONE – PART 1
It is not uncommon to hear stories of high school sweethearts falling in love and marrying later in life.
This is not one of those stories.
Sam is happily married with four children. I met his lovely wife at the time we began corresponding. When I decided to divorce my husband, Sam tried very hard to discourage me.
I have seen Sam on only a few occasions – he came to the hospital when my mother broke her hip. When I buried my father and later on my mother, he was at both funerals.
This story gives me a big smile because I never expected I’d know him later in my life. He has truly been such a wonderful friend.
Sam is a doctor and always ready to answer any questions I have and offer medical advice. He does this from the kindness of his heart and has helped several of my friends, too.
So there is additional irony about my song “I’ve Always Cared.” Both of us still care about each other even though he wasn’t “the one” I married!
I’ve been through a lot lately, because the last two weeks the flu bug roared through my household. I can honestly say that Sam and his caring made a huge difference.
Below is my email exchange with Sam. (My words are in brown and his words are in blue)
Hi Sam, I was at Urgent Care a few days ago with my daughter – she had a high fever and came over shaking with chills. They checked her for strep throat, but it was negative.
She’s slowly improving, but now my youngest son is sick. I’m healthy and plan to stay that way! Hope you are, too. I imagine you’re exposed to everything. Have a great day!
If your daughter has influenza, she should have been placed on Tamiflu…Sam
Now I’m really concerned about my son – this afternoon his fever was almost 105, it sure spiked quickly. He was pouring sweat all evening, and I’m hoping the night goes okay.
Your son might have influenza…in spite of receiving the flu shot, which has poor effectiveness this year. Tamiflu might be of some benefit, but I don’t know if your HMO is giving it…hope that he feels better!…Sam
I don’t know if they are giving it. But suddenly I’m not feeling 100%. I’ve noticed my throat is scratchy and my eyes are very annoying. The last time I had a low fever I had trouble handling it. I am praying I’ll be fine tomorrow.
If you have been exposed to someone with the flu, you should be on Tamiflu. If you take your son to his doctor, make sure that you ask for it, if they think he has the flu. Feel better!…Sam
Wow, Sam. I emailed my doctor and he agreed with you. He said it also could prevent illness if you’ve been exposed to someone with documented influenza. I didn’t realize this existed as a preventative. Don’t want to take up your time, but any side effects to be considered?
Allergic reactions, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and such…But in reality I haven’t had much trouble with it in my patients. Did you get your flu shot this year?…Sam
I did get my shot two months ago.
I just got home from taking my son to the doctor. He prescribed Tamiflu for my son and I gave him the first dose when we left. But on the way home he threw up in my car. I’ll give him the second dose tonight and hope it goes better. I’ll keep you posted on things.
His doctor did a swab of his nasal passage for an influenza test; the result is within 24 hours. His reasoning was that if my son tests positive for the flu, then he’d prescribe Tamiflu for me. Thanks so much for caring.
No…You don’t have the flu, but Tamiflu can help you avoid getting it altogether…as you said, it IS important to get the medication before showing symptoms like high fever…see if you can get him to prescribe it for you!
I would have prescribed Tamiflu for you as well, and then considered stopping it if his nasal culture was negative…but their accuracy is only around 70% or so anyway…hope he feels better!…Sam
Hi Sam, I’m a bit fuzzy and had a slight fever this afternoon. I received a message that my son did indeed test positive for influenza. The doctor said I could start taking one of my son’s Tamiflu capsules until I can fill my prescription.
I’m going to take my first dose now! Sorry to have bothered you so much with all of this – but thank you again for your advice. 🙂
How are you feeling?….Sam
I’m feeling better psychologically since I started taking the Tamiflu. I have never seen my son or daughter this sick in awhile. If I ended up with influenza, who would take care of me? Thanks again, Sam!
Ps. By the way, am I contagious?
I think that you are contagious…you may have the flu…not everyone that has the flu will have a full-blown case. I think that five days should be fine…if you are feeling better once you are done with the Tamiflu, you should be way less contagious…hope that all of you feel better!!!…Sam
For the last two nights, I was sweating a lot and my heart was pounding. But I didn’t get the flu! Now I have what feels like a common cold – I’m sneezing a lot. I can deal with it, except my eyes are terrible. I’ll be done with Tamiflu in two more days and am very grateful. I sure feel glad to have you in my corner!
© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Thanks for the post and the memories…I still do hate that sweater though! I would have broken up with me too!
I didn’t see anything wrong with that sweater. I just wondered why you kept returning into my life when I kept breaking up with you. You did stick it through a long time but clearly, it took me a long time to grow up. I see now that it was best we parted back then so you were able to eventually find the woman you love and follow a path in life that worked well for you. You have a beautiful family and I’m very happy for you. Even though I didn’t find love that lasted, I’m glad at this stage in my life I’ve found peace and things that bring me joy. And I treasure my children – so I have no regrets. Thanks for your message, Sam.
Hi, Jude–I enjoyed this post! What a funny world it is–because Sam read your original post and you two reconnected, and because I had talked with him a few years earlier at our 30 year HS reunion, he knew where you could get in touch with me and we also reconnected after 30 years! And I can again count you as one of my dearest friends. I don’t know if I’ll go to my 40 year reunion next month (the 30 year was pretty boring other than seeing a few familiar faces like Sam), but if I do, I’ll certainly have to thank him in person!
Ah, Carol, thank you also for your sweet message! It amazes me that so many years went by and yet our friendship was there waiting for us to rediscover. All of this was just such a surprise for me when I began to write about my life. I am very lucky that Sam left his first comments and was eager to share information for me to find you. What a blessing!
Yes, you are also one of my dearest friends and I look forward to seeing you again soon. If you go to the reunion, it will be very interesting to hear about it. You can write a blog post for me. 🙂
I really take my hat off to you, Judy, for the way you cope (and have coped) with all of the every things. You amaze and inspire me and I love your music, and your beautiful heart!
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Oh, Julie! I’m blushing! Thank you so much for making my day.
Judy, you have inspired me. I also had lots of problems, but music helped me too!
Thank you for your kind comment, Robert. From reading some of your blog – I am very impressed with what you have had to overcome. In fact, music is a wonderful thing where someone who stutters can sing words freely vs. speak them. I definitely believe music is a gift from God to enrich our lives!
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