The Way of Love
|"The Way Of Love"|
|Single by Cher|
|from the album Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves|
|B-side||"Don't Put It On Me"|
|Writer(s)||Jacques Dieval, Al Stillman|
|Cher singles chronology|
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
"The Way of Love" is a song written by Jacques (aka Jack) Dieval, with lyrics by Al Stillman.
Originally written by Jack Diéval with French lyrics by Michel Rivgauche the song was introduced as 'J'ai le mal de toi'. It was written for the singer Frédérica in 1960, who took part that year in the national elimination rounds of France for the Eurovision Song Contest. This song was not selected and was evidently not recorded by Frédérica. Subsequently the song was performed on Belgium's BRT radio station by vocalist Lily Castel, singing it in the "Musik Ohne Grenzen" competition; Castel was backed by Fernand Terby's orchestra with Jacques Dieval providing piano accompaniment. The first evident recording of "J'ai le mal de toi" was made in 1964 by Colette Deréal.
In June 1965 the English rendering entitled "The Way of Love" was issued in the UK as a single by Kathy Kirby; lyricist Al Stillman had previously provided the lyrics for Kirby's English language hit version of "Malagueña" entitled "You're the One". Recorded by Kirby with her regular collaborators: musical director Ivor Raymonde and producer Peter Sullivan, "The Way of Love" failed to reach the UK Top 50 but became a regional hit in the United States reaching #88 nationally.
In 1966 a new French version, also by lyricist Michel Rivgauche, was recorded by Dalida as "Parlez-Moi De Lui" ("Tell me about him"). This rendition slightly alters the original melody. This adaption was covered by Françoise Hardy in 1969.
Produced by Snuff Garrett and released in February 1972 as the second single from "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves", perhaps the most well-known version of "The Way of Love" was recorded by Cher. Her version spent three weeks within the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100, reaching a peak of number 7 and ultimately selling almost one million copies. Billboard ranked it as the No. 62 song for 1972.
Allmusic editor wrote a favorable review: "some great moments, among them a career highlight in the two-and-a-half-minute opening track, "The Way of Love." The Stillman/Dieval tune was originally a British hit for Kathy Kirby, and both Cher and Kirby drove the song right by the censors. The song is either about a woman expressing her love for another woman, or a woman saying au revoir to a gay male she loved—in either case this is not a mother to daughter heart-to-heart: "What will you do/When he sets you free/Just the way that you/Said good-bye to me." and also added this to the end of review "her solo material could soar to heights not possible in a partnership -- "The Way of Love" being one example." Rhapsody highlighted the song and called it "sexually ambiguous."
Another and perhaps more likely interpretation however, than the belief that an easy listening/adult contemporary song back in 1965 contained lesbian or homosexual references, is that the song is sung from the point of view of a woman who is suffering from her own recent jilting, and thus is giving this advice to another girl or woman. She then, lamenting her own situation, turns to direct that last line to the man who left her ("Just the way that you said goodbye to me"), as he was on her mind the whole time she was giving the advice, since the basis of this warning is her own recent loss.
Cher performed the song on the following concert tours:
- Do You Believe? Tour
- The Farewell Tour (sung on the first leg, the second leg, the third leg and the final two shows of the tour)
- Cher at the Colosseum (removed during the third leg, and replaced with "Love Hurts")
A Dutch-language version of the song entitled "Je doet me pijn" - lyrics by Ernst van Altena - was recorded in 1965 by Conny Vandenbos. Another Dutch-language version "Ik verlang naar jou" - lyrics by Will Ferdy - was recorded by Belgian singer Will Ferdy in 1967.
Roslyn Kind recorded an English version with completely different lyrics - also by Al Stillman - entitled "Can I Stop the Rain?" on her 1968 album Give Me You.
Shirley Bassey featured "The Way of Love" on 1972's And I Love You So. That same year Vikki Carr included the song on her The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face album which was produced by Snuff Garrett.
The song "It's Impossible" is sometimes identified as a being an alternate translation of "The Way of Love" but officially the two songs are distinct - although it is claimed that "Somos Novios" is a plagiarism of the original version of the song, "J'ai le mal de toi".
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