Thought for Thursday: With A Little Help From My Friends

“If you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” Muhammad Ali

“A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.” Leo Buscaglia

Importance of Friends: Although one cannot deny the disorder’s existence, we do not live totally through the lens of Parkinson’s. Although we rely on our intuition to make decisions, sometimes the collective reasoning of a group of people may make better-informed conclusions. Although singularly we do things each day, the importance of friends can enlighten one’s world. Although we spend much time with family, the impact of friends can add harmony to one’s life.

“One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.” Seneca the Younger

Friends Forget and Forgive: We all have moments of clarity that a friend fueled. We all have moments of wonder that a friend likely initiated. We all have had moments of stupidity that a friend forgave. So friends, forgive, move on, and ensure you are still present and accounted for. Friends accept you and your Parkinson’s, and their concern for you is complete.

“Friends share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand.” Henri Nouwen

Joe Cocker and “With A Little Help From My Friends.” Of course, The Beatles wrote and played this song, which was included in their album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” But it always seemed to me that Joe Cocker gave “With a Little Help From My Friends” its heart and soul.

The New York Times quotes Paul McCartney as saying about “With A Little Help From My Friends”: In a statement, Paul McCartney recalled hearing Mr. Cocker’s record of the song. “It was just mind-blowing, totally turned the song into a soul anthem,” he said, “and I was forever grateful for him for having done that.”

There are going to be a lot of interpretations of the true meaning of the lyrics. But, to me, “With a Little Help From My Friends” is about the power of friends to help you get by and through life.

“The best mirror is an old friend.” George Herbert

Which Version of the Song to Include Along With the Lyrics: The two versions from Joe Cocker that I prefer the most are (a) the version from Woodstock (1969) and (2) the version from the album Mad Dog & Englishmen (1970), which included a massive group of musicians and singers, notably Leon Russell, Chris Stainton, Jim Price, Bobby Keys, Jim Gordon, Jim Keltner, Carl Radle, Don Preston, Jim Horn, with back up vocalists that included Rita Coolidge, Nicole Barclay, and Claudia Lennear. In the end, I always fall back to the Mad Dog & Englishmen version, which is included below. And after that are the lyrics used by Joe Cocker to sing the song.

Lyrics to “With A Little Help From My Friends” Sung by Joe Cocker and written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
What would you do if I sang out of tune?
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears, then I’ll sing you a song
I will try not to sing out of key, yeah

Oh, baby I get by
(By with a little help from my friends)
All I need is my buddies
(Try with a little help from my friends)
I said, I’m gonna get high
(High with a little help from my friends)
Oh, yeah

What do I do when my love is away?
(Does it worry you to be alone?)
No, no
How do I feel at the end of the day?
(Are you sad ’cause you’re on your own?)
I tell don’t get sad no more

Gonna get by with my friends
(Try high with a little help from my friends)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m gonna try
(Try with a little help from my friends)
Keep on gettin’ high, oh, Lord

I need someone to love
(Could it be anybody?)
All I need is someone
Knows just where I’m goin’, yeah
Somebody who knows just what I’ll show them, baby

Said, I’m gonna make it with my friends, yeah, yeah
(Try with a little help with my friends)
Oh, oh, I’m gonna keep on tryin’, yeah
(High with a little help from my friends)
I’m gonna keep on tryin’ now, babe

I’m certain it happens all the time, yeah
(What do you see when you turn off the light?)
I can’t tell you, but it sure feels like mine

Don’t you know I’m gonna make it with my friends?
(Try with a little help with my friends)
I promised myself I’ll get by
(High with a little help from my friends)
Said, I’m gonna try it with them too hard

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah
(Could it be anybody?)
Oh, there’s gotta be somebody
Going to be right, I know it
Somebody carefree, now
Oh, yeah, yeah

Said, I’m gonna get by with my friends
(Try with a little help with my friends)
Oh, yes, I’m gonna keep tryin’, now
(High with a little help from my friends)
Keep on tryin’ with my friends
(By with a little help from my friends)

Oh, you’ll never gonna stop me anymore
(Try with a little help with my friends)
I’m gonna keep on tryin’, yeah
(High with a little help from my friends)
I’m gettin’ high, I wanna make time, Lord, no
Gonna get by with my friends, yeah
Oh, I’m gonna get on by
Yes, I’m gonna get on by
Wanna take ’em all along
I wanna take ’em all along with me, yeah, yeah

“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart” Eleanor Roosevelt

Remember Your Friends: It is easy to ignore your friends. It is easy to forget the happiness and reasoning friends provided over the years. Take a minute, reflect on your friends, and feel the joy rise from within you. Contact some of your dearest friends, and remind them you still care about them and what they have meant to you over the years. And smile, and remember.

“Times change, people change, thoughts about good and evil change, about true and false. But what always remains fast and steady is the affection that your friends feel for you, those who always have your best interest at heart.” Margot Frank

Cover Photo Image by Steven Weirather from Pixabay

Seesaw Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

2 Replies to “Thought for Thursday: With A Little Help From My Friends”

  1. Thank you Frank, for giving this to all of us, for the positive outlook. I know it helps me a lot, and I would bet thousands of others! 😁

    Like

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