I reached back deep into my childhood record collection this weekend for Otis Redding and found gold.
When I was a kid, I lay on my parents shag rug with my big Koss headphones and listened to soothing music while the family activity surrounded me. I was in a special little world of my own and I had my favorite record. Dock of the Bay was my favorite song on the same titled album, but Otis kicks into this record with “I Love You More Than Words Can Say” and I listened daily. It’s an odd song, like much of Otis’ music - hard to replicate without his power voice and soulful delivery. He just says something deeply emotional and crushes the delivery, daring you to try to cover his songs.
I tried to play and sing this at home later in the day and found that I had something.
I’m not saying I sounded like Otis Redding - no. But something. I’m saying that as the day we celebrate love is coming up on the 14th (and more importantly is Ash Wednesday where we celebrate so much more than sexual attraction), I thought this song is the perfect start to anyone’s idea of Valentine’s Day. The song describes a deep feeling of being so in love that there are no words left to describe the feeling. Words sound stupid and inadequate. I’ve fad this feeling and still do sometimes with my wife, Joy. Most times I can just say it, but sometimes I get really blessed with the overflow of feelings and I think of Otis singing it - I Love You More Than Words Can Say.
I’ve added this song to my “set” or cover songs that I will do. I will not do it justice in the vocal stylings, but I will do it it justice by letting people into the secret world of Otis tracks that are less popular. And I shared it with my sweet wife Joy and she had just heard this song, for the first time, on my radio station from Visible Music College, 100.3FM in Memphis and www.wvzm.org online, that day. Wow, what a beautiful thing.
To Joy and to Jesus ultimately for the gift of Joy: I love you more than words can say. Happy Valentine’s Day.