… I’m never coming down

New love will get you there. Then there are those phases in life when, living from moment to whimsical moment, you’re especially open to its embrace. Euphoria, without it the sporting life would hold meager reward. Without it there would be no vice.

But intense and transcendent joy can come to us in many ways, and for those in touch with their innermost selves it can come coupled with tremendous contentment. Many faiths are dedicated to such pursuit, some through prayer or meditation … some through spinning, as practiced by those Sufi mystics known as Dervishes.

When a Dervish is in a traditional whirl it’s to search for the source of all perfection, by symbolically imitating the planets orbiting the sun. With the left foot planted firmly on the ground and the right foot providing the momentum the “whirling Dervish” revolves round the heart, from right to left, his eyes affixed on his left hand, which is turned toward the earth, his right hand open to the sky. All the while his arms remain fully stretched and ready to embrace all of humanity with love.

Born in Pittsburgh in 1946, Syreeta Wright seems to have taken to the marvels of spinning naturally, with dreams of becoming a ballerina. After her father’s death in the Korean War, she and her sisters moved with their mother to Detroit where, as a talented dancer with no money for formal training, she chose to sing and, much as singer Martha Reeves had done, landed a secretarial position at Motown Records.

Soon she was stepping in as a background vocalist for Martha and the Vandellas, and for the Supremes, for whom she became a “demo” singer, recording potential Supremes songs on behalf of the label. By the time Berry Gordy had signed her as an artist in her own right, she had begun to date label mate, Stevie Wonder, who sought her collaboration as a songwriter. Reaching Number 14 on the Billboard charts, their first effort “It’s a Shame” was performed by … The Spinners.

Also co-writing and singing background on such hits as she “Signed Sealed, Delivered” and “If You Really Love Me,” she married Wonder in 1969. Divorced a few years later (Wonder’s album “Talking Book” largely features autobiographical detail about the rise and fall of their marriage), the two remained friends and would continue to collaborate for decades.

In addition to releasing a number of studio albums, Syreeta went on to work with Billy Preston and Smokey Robinson, and would eventually join the national touring cast of “Jesus Christ Superstar” in the role of Mary Magdalene, before succumbing to breast cancer in 2004.

Written by a woman who clearly knew how to spin, this is the second track from the 1974 album, “Stevie Wonder Presents: Syreeta”

Spinnin’ and Spinnin’

Spinnin’ and Spinnin’ and Spinnin’ around

Painting the town, I’m never coming down

Spinnin’ and Spinnin’ and Spinnin’ around

I’m out on the town, I’m never coming down

God Almighty I wanna’ live

A man will shower me with expensive gifts

And of course there’s his love

I don’t want to be, I don’t want to be

Just another feather in a cap you see

So if you offer me, know that I want to be

Just Spinnin’ and Spinnin’ and Spinnin’ around

Painting the town, I’m never coming down

Spinnin’ and Spinnin’ and Spinnin’ around

Out on the town, I’m never coming down

 Not that I want everything

Just a few of those little precious things

That there’re smiles in my eyes

I don’t want to be, I don’t want to be

Just another toy that is put away

So I’m glad I am free, know that I’m on the wild

And I’ll be Spinnin’ and Spinnin’ and Spinnin’ around

Give me one or two compliments

Tell me that my love is heaven sent

And that living is free

Free enough to go everywhere

Just to drop a dime and we’re in the air

Yes of course there is love

Wonder how much I’ll see…

And I’ll go Spinnin’ and Spinnin’ and Spinnin’ around

Painting the town, I’m never coming down

Spinnin’ and Spinnin’ and Spinnin’ around

Out on the town, I’m never coming down….

One thought on “… I’m never coming down

  1. Sufis and Motown and Detroit. How do you know these things?

    Am off to a mountaintop for dedication of a trail but wanted to give you a thumb up. N/q

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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