As Long As I Have You by Garnet Mimms has cast a spell on me to the extent I’m telling myself to ‘stop bloody singing that’ before it gets too funky, if you know what I mean.
In fact, since my first ‘soul night’ (a mix of funk and soul headlined by radio DJ and actor, Craig Charles) at Thekla, Bristol, on Good Friday, the fire in my heart for this sort of music has been re-lit; what was a quaint little camp fire has swelled in to a veracious inferno. I’ve been in a good mood ALL week, which never happens. I’m a mooody mooody mooody man (a gold star for those who got that reference).
I recently heard As Long As I Have You for the first time on the Northern Soul compilation, Express Your Soul. I don’t think it was love at first listen but after the first or second time, a part of the song chimed in my head, as if it was saying ‘Remember me?!’. So, as usual, I listened to the voice in my head, and let it fill my ears again.
The bass strumming intro lets you know this song has attitude; there are dark shadows in Mimms’ voice, and it works so well with unflinching lyrics, such as:
But let me tell you, girl
You ain’t seen nothing yet
There’s nothing in this world
That I can’t get
As long as I have you
GIVE me mountains to crumble
And I’ll turn them to sand
LET me put this world
In the palm of your hand
Could you have more belief in your powers? But without this woman, he’s just an ordinary Joe…
I love the imagery in the verse starting ‘Give me mountains to crumble…’. He could dismantle giant mounds just with his human fingers and palms if he could have her. Incredible.
For me, being a huge admirer of Marvin Gaye and Chuck Jackson, it’s a bold thing to say but Mimms’ voice is possibly as moving as theirs. So moving he could probably move mountains with its power before, as he promised, crumbling them and turning them in to sand.
Brass instrumentals only add to the lift produced by Mimms’ rousing harmonies, heard at the beginning of nearly every verse and the aforementioned guitar strumming is simple but helps the song motor like a locomotive to the point my heart is beating out of my chest.