What does "Killing Me Softly With His Song" mean?

What does “Killing Me Softly With His Song” mean?

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Chris Barilla - Author

When it comes to influence on jazz, soul and R&B music, few can match what Roberta Flack did. Although she is now retired, Roberta’s legendary music career has given way to five Billboard No. 1s for her singles, making her the first artist to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year two years in a row. , secured the adoration of millions of fans around the world.

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Roberta’s life and career are once again explored in a new episode of PBS’s American Masters. Without a doubt, the documentary discusses her track “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” but what exactly is the meaning behind the long-running hit? Let’s take a look at the interesting origins of what Softly With His Song was trying to convey.

Roberta Flack

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What does “Killing Me Softly with His Song” mean? It was actually written by Lori Lieberman about Don McLean.

While Roberta Flack’s version of the song became ridiculously famous, “Killing Me Softly With His Song” was actually originally written and recorded by Lori Lieberman . According to Wikipedia, in 1971 she went to see a 20-year-old Lori with her friend Don Her McLean’s performance. This is evident from lyrics like “Strumming my pain with his fingers / Singing my life with his words.” So she wrote down her own song notes inspired by it.

Lyrics like “He sang as if he knew me/In my dark despair/And he looked me straight in the eye/As if I wasn’t there” Watching it, you can clearly see how profound Don’s performance was for Lori.

Writer Norman Gimbel and composer Charles Fox, who were managing her career at the time, washed the lyrics from Lori’s notes. Charles composed the melody and “Killing Me Softly With His Song” was created. However, Lori never charted the song after her release, even though she did.

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Roberta Flack

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She may not be the original singer, but Roberta Flack made “Killing Me Softly with His Song” famous.

In 1972, Roberta was on a plane and heard “Killing Me Softly With His Song” played. , made it his mission to make his own version. With the help of her Quincy Jones, Roberta secured the rights to record and perform her performance of songs from Charles.

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That same year, Roberta opened for Marvin Gaye at the Los Angeles Greek Theater. When she was asked to play one more song, Roberta sang “Killing Me Softly With His Song” in her first live performance. Her audience went wild and Marvin duly forced her to record her songs.

By 1973, Roberta’s version of “Killing Me Softly With His Song” was released, reaching the top of the Billboard charts for five consecutive weeks that year.

In 1996, the Fugees released their own version of the song, featuring Lauryn Hill on lead vocals, and became an international hit.


Bakhtawar S Usmani

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