Superstar, by The Carpenters, is such a sad song. When I first heard it I must have been in primary school and I can’t remember exactly, but I must have thought it was a love song of some sort. Later on, I thought it vaguely stalkerish.
The title implies that the person being referred to is some sort of celebrity and the singer is perhaps fantasising about a relationship that doesn’t exist.
In the first stanza, the line between reality and fantasy is blurred:
Long ago and oh so far away
I fell in love with you before the second show
Your guitar, it sounds so sweet and clear
But you’re not really here
It’s just the radio
What sort of life has this person led waiting for her ‘superstar’?
I wiki’d the song and the working title was Groupie. I guess it happens, and not just in terms of being ‘loved’ and left by a celebrity whom you never see again, but by ordinary bastards who make promises that they don’t intend to keep.
Lots of vocalists, including Bette Middler have produced versions of the song, even before The Carpenters had their hit. Richard Carpenter changed a line in the second stanza to better suit the duo’s image. It was originally:
And I can hardly wait
To sleep with you again
To me, Sonic Youth’s version on the If I Were a Carpenter covers album is the saddest, most unhinged sounding. However, it does verge on parody, being so extreme. Karen Carpenter’s performance probably struck the perfect combination of desolation, tenderness and longing.