A slow, pained plea for forgiveness and understanding from an estranged lover, the tune is one of Russell's best-known compositions. It has been performed and recorded by an array of artists, spanning many musical genres. Elton John has called the song an American classic.
One of the first versions of the song that brought it broader attention was by Andy Williams, whose single peaked at #29 on the adult contemporary chart and #82 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971.
I've been so many places in my life and time I've sung a lot of songs I've made some bad rhyme I've acted out my love in stages With ten thousand people watching But we're alone now and I'm singing this song for you
I know your image of me is what I hope to be I've treated you unkindly but baby can't you see There's no one more important to me Darlin' can't you please see through me Cause we're alone now and I'm singing this song for you
You taught me precious secrets of the truth with holding nothing You came out in front and I was hiding But now I'm so much better and if my words don't come together Listen to the melody cause my love is in there hiding
I love you in a place where there's no space or time I love you for in my life you are a friend of mine And when my life is over Remember when we were together We were alone and I was singing this song for you