First Cut Is The Deepest

By N Mark Castro

Foreword: To fully appreciate the song, you must play each video to feel the difference.

I would have given you all of my heart 
But there’s someone who’s torn it apart 
And she’s taking almost all that I’ve got 
But if you want, I’ll try to love again

Sometimes you find strange wisdom from the youngest of minds and you realize that …

There’s no age when it comes to awareness. Some find it. Others never do. And it becomes a cycle of their own undoing. And it’s quite often that music plays an integral part in expressing experiences we can’t speak; or that its rhythm follows a unique beat.

And in the spring of 1967, a young American woman named P.P. Arnold tried her luck in London and released an original song that is as haunting as when she first gave life to its voiceless words.

Not only was she an American in a foreign land, she was also black at a time when racial discrimination was at its peak. Her sheer vocal talent, however, elevated her above the rest that Rolling Stones’ vocalist Mick Jagger personally recommended her to be hired, which eventually resulted into this.

And in the winter of that same year, the young man that originally composed the song and hoped to become merely a songwriter, Cat Stevens, released his own version of the song.

Cat Stevens was initially reluctant to release his own version of the song he wrote because he thought that the song he sold for  £30 to P.P. Arnold and her soulful rendition was the definitive version, nearly depriving the world — or at least the men — their own platform of expressing their feelings.

Entered into music hall of records that anyone who sang the song became a hit for them, including Rod Stewart, Keith Hampshire, Linda Ronstadt, and Sheryl Crow, resulting in 7 songwriting awards for Stevens, including two consecutive ASCAP awards for “Songwriter of the Year” in 2005 and 2006, long after he first penned it.

In 1973, a young Linda Ronstadt lent her voice to the same song, echoing the reluctance and fear of a new romance while the heart still  grieves.

A young Rod Stewart’s version came exactly after a decade since P.P. Arnold sang it, and came with this version in 1977.

And almost 30 years later, when he sang it again, people have already identified the song with him.

And then this woman reintroduced this song to a newer generation and the world fell in love with again.

Multi-awarded Singer/Songwriter Sheryl Crow brought her own take on the soulful words, both separated by years yet retaining its magic.

Despite her more advanced years since she first reignited the power of the same song, her version of the song First Cut Is The Deepest continued to show her vocal sway.

What’s refreshing to find is that one of the early singers, Keith Hampshire, who brought this song to North America and received commercial success still has a command of the song, like some powerful sword that can be handled only by a few.

And two years ago, P.P. Arnold performed the same song again.

By some strange twist of fate, the misalignment of the stars, or the conspiracy of the Fates, on the same year of 2011, 44 years since words strewn together became alive, Yusuf Islam (the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens) performed the song he penned.

And perhaps as a celebration of the song The First Cut Is The Deepest, P.P. Arnold’s version is included in the soundtrack of the film Seven Psychopaths the DVD of which I had just bought, with the song played throughout the film.

Real artists share songs that resonate among them. Real songs aren’t songs that are left on the dustbin of recorded sales, but rather alive and continue to become vehicles of expression for people … regardless of race, color, and creed.

Besides, if there’s one thing true about this song, it’s that, indeed, among all the heartaches we’ve experienced in our lives, The First Cut Is The Deepest.

I would have given you all of my heart
But there’s someone who’s torn it apart
And she’s taking almost all that I’ve got
But if you want, I’ll try to love again
Baby I’ll try to love again but I know

The first cut is the deepest, baby I know
The first cut is the deepest
’cause when it comes to being lucky she’s cursed
When it comes to lovin’ me she’s worse
But when it comes to being loved she’s first
That’s how I know

The first cut is the deepest, baby I know
The first cut is the deepest

I still want you by my side
Just to help me dry the tears that I’ve cried
Cause I’m sure gonna give you a try
And if you want, I’ll try to love again
But baby, I’ll try to love again, but I know

The first cut is the deepest, baby I know
The first cut is the deepest

‘Cause when it comes to being lucky she’s cursed
When it comes to lovin’ me she’s worse
But when it comes to being loved she’s first
That’s how I know

The first cut is the deepest, baby I know
The first cut is the deepest

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About asmartrock

N. Mark Castro is the Regional Manager - Southeast Asia of blueVisions Management Pty Ltd and its training arm Institute of Management in Australia. He is also the chief political strategist for PT AsiaLeads, a political and communications policy-making body based in Jakarta, Indonesia and, until recently, the editor in Chief | Asia Pacific of www.liveolive.com, the first and only personal finance management for women in Asia. The views posted here are his own and do not in any way reflect the views of the companies he represent.

Posted on January 26, 2013, in General, Music and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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