Song Lyric Sunday: “The Windmills Of Your Mind”

There are so many great movie songs, particularly from the ’50’s and ’60’s, and since Jim picked the prompt “a song featured prominently in a movie,” I had a hard time picking just one. In the end, I chose “The Windmills Of Your Mind,” from the 1968 movie The Thomas Crown Affair, which starred Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. Michel Legrand wrote the music for the soundtrack and for this song, with English lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman (the French lyrics were written by Eddy Mamay as “Les Moulins de mon coeur.”). It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1969. In 2004, it was AFI’s #57 in their “100 Years…100 Songs” survey. Noel Harrison sang it for that movie (after Andy Williams passed on it), and Sting recorded it when the movie was remade in 1999 (starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo).

For me, the cover by Dusty Springfield is the one that always comes to mind. She was vehemently opposed to covering it, saying she had no feel for the lyrics, but Jerry Wexler, the president of Atlantic records for whom Dusty recorded her 1969 album Dusty In Memphis, insisted. The album sold poorly despite Dusty’s #1 single “Son Of A Preacher Man” being on it, but has since been hailed as her best work, and in 2001 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame. From 1969, Dusty Springfield, “The Windmills of Your Mind.”

The lyrics, courtesy of LyricsFreak:

Round
Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that’s turning
Running rings around the moon

Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes of it’s face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind !

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of it’s own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone,
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half forgotten dream,
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream

Like a clock whose hands are sweeping ….

Keys that jingle in your pocket
Words that jangle in your head
Why did summer go so quickly ?
Was it something that you said ?
Lovers walk along a shore
And leave their footprints in the sand

Is the sound of distant drumming
Just the fingers of your hand ?
Pictures hanging in a hallway
And the fragment of this song
Half remembered names and faces
But to whom do they belong ?

He: when you knew
That it was over
You were suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the color
Of her hair !

She: when you knew
That it was over
In the autumn of goodbyes
For a moment
You could not recall the color
Of his eyes !

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever spinning reel

As the images unwind
Like the circles
That you find
In the windmills of your mind !

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday for July 28, 2019.

22 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: “The Windmills Of Your Mind”

    1. The disc jockeys I grew up listening to used to call playing one of her songs “a date with Dusty.” I think I can appreciate how good a singer she was better now than I could 50 years ago…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I remember the song, but not that she sang it. I never saw the movie, though. πŸ™‚ She does sing really pretty, and I like some of her other songs, too.

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    1. There are a ton of covers, hers being just one. I know Jose Feliciano did it, as did Swing Out Sister. Many of the covers listed in the Wikipedia article, which is linked in the post. I might even use it for Thursday’s Battle of the Bands, you never know…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi John – wonderful … loved the film (it had gliding in it – when I was learning to glide!) … while Dusty is amazing … and this is gorgeous … loving it. Do get to see the original film?! Cheers Hilary

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