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Single Serving 
By psychologist, Dr Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr BLT 
Song: Solitary Man 
Artist: Neil Diamond/remake by Johnny Cash 

Hear Dr BLT's cover of Neil Diamond's /Solitary Man /via this link:

Melinda was mine
til the time
That I found her
Holding jim
Loving him

Then sue came along
Loved me strong
Thats what I thought
Me and sue
But that died tooÖ 

If youíve never been a man with a broken heart, trying to pick up the pieces while resisting the temptation to get involved with somebody knew just to add a balm to the old womb, you wonít know what itís like to be a Solitary Man, at least not until youíve heard Neil Diamond sing the song he wrote, way back in his younger days.  

With his sublime gift of poetry, with his deft skill in pulling beautifully haunting melodies from his mind like her were plucking flowers, Neil Diamond was able to pen one of the greatest American songs of all time in Solitary Man.  

He is every bit as successful now as he ever was back in his glory days.  

Coming to think of it, these are his glory days.  

And like Johnny Cash, who did a re-make of this Diamond classic, just months before he passed away, Diamond has found a re-awakening of his creative spirit, and his creative drive, in the autumn of his life.  Like Johnny Cash did in his later years, Diamond has found plenty of gems left in his treasure trove.   The same man that discovered those gems in Diamondís treasure trove, picked them up and polished them, also did the same for Johnny Cash in his autumn days.  Producer Rick Rubin has applied the art of minimalism to the music of these monumental musical figures.    

This is the September Morn of Diamondís career.  His most recent album, Home Before Dark entered the billboard charts at #1, just like Johnny Cashís final album did (not that Iím predicting this will be Diamondís final CD).  Whenever God decides to take Neil Diamond, and I hope it wonít be for at least a couple more decades, Neilís going to leave us longing for more songs like Solitary Man.  

Donít know that I will
But until I can find me
A girl whoíll stay
And wont play games behind me
Ill be what I am
A solitary man
Solitary man 

With this verse, and with this voice, he was able to pull of sounding determined and vulnerable at the same time.  Itís almost as if heís trying to convince himself, understanding his weakness for women who turn out to be world-class heart-breakers.

Iíve had it to here
Beiní where
Loves a small world
Part-time thing
Paper ring

I know itís been done
Having one
Girl whoíll love me
Right or wrong
Weak or strong 

You get the feeling with these lines that heís fed up and that heís not going to take it anymore, but that he still believes the right girl is out there somewhere.  It was probably the same sentiment he felt before he met Linda, and then before he met Sue. 

Donít know that I will
But until I can find me
The girl whoíll stay
And wonít play games behind me
Ill be what I am
A solitary man
Solitary man 

Donít you get the feeling in this song that heís very close to losing his Solitary Man status?  Donít you get the feeling that without the songs of Neil Diamond, and without the songs of Johnny Cash, (two American music pioneers that Rick Rubin brought back to life in the autumn of their lives), we would all be reduced to solitary men and solitary women in search of the soul-quenching songs that only these deft, if dark, artists were able to deliver?  


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