When I wrote the lyric “When Will I Ever Come Around,” a friend had asked, “How did you get to New England in a song about Syracuse in Sicily.” When I heard the melody back in 1983 I didn’t know anything about Syracuse. The melody struck me as longing and nostalgic. I thought of an idea I’d been tossing around in my mind that included Cape Cod and its wind-blown beaches. When I posted the lyric on August 31, 2016 as part of my summer of romantic fluff, I searched again for the music. The many You-tube posts triggered this alternative lyric. You can find one haunting version of the song at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP918Q272AA.
I still prefer my first lyric even though it’s not set in Syracuse. But, I hope this one satisfies my friend.
(To the melody of “Syracuse” by Henri Salvador)
When Syracuse was where you loved me.
The moonlight shimmered on the sand.
The stars were lucky charms above me.
My heart was putty in your hand.
The sunrise augured joy for me here
Still it reminds me of your smile
Days felt like heaven just to be here
With you in Syracuse a while.
Its streets once paved with dreams and magic.
Soft breezes whispering love’s song.
While I revisit now seem tragic.
With you not here, the mood’s all wrong.
Old Syracuse is drab and lonely.
As by myself I wander ‘round.
The haunts we knew are places only.
And not the Syracuse we’d found.
Gone is the Syracuse we’d found.
Lyric 2016 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
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