I was listening to Marian McPartland play "Alfie" this morning, in the background as I was working, and as I listened to her take apart and re-assemble Hal David's beautiful melody, as great jazz soloists do, I remembered bits and pieces of Burt Bachrach's lyrics.
Since everything is just a few Google clicks away, the complete lyrics were easy to find, and I've been struck by how relevant they are, some fifty years later. But then, all great lyrics are like that, aren't they?
What's it all about Alfie
Is it just for the moment we live
What's it all about
When you sort it out, Alfie
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind?
And if, if only fools are kind, Alfie
Then I guess it is wise to be cruel
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie
What will you lend on an old golden rule?
As sure as I believe there's a heaven above
Alfie, I know there's something much more
Something even non-believers can believe in
I believe in love, Alfie
Without true love we just exist, Alfie
Until you find the love you've missed
You're nothing, Alfie
When you walk let your heart lead the way
And you'll find love any day Alfie, oh Alfie
What's it all about Alfie?