Another helpless love song in the form of a stone-cold 1967 classic marked by superlative, heartfelt lead vocals by Levi Stubbs fronting the Motown band, and written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland. From the album Reach Out, among many other outstanding elements of this song, aside from that stomping rhythm and bassline, the backing vocals by the other three Tops – Abdul "Duke" Fakir, Renaldo "Obie" Benson, and Lawrence Payton, and The angelic sound of the Andantes: Jackie Hicks, Marlene Barrow, and Louvain Demps, as well as the orchestration by The Funk Brothers (how much more does a song need?), is that wonderful false ending with that dramatic pause after the cry of her name. And this love song of despair is also full of nuance in its tragic romance. “I need you to live,” but also in observing the insecurity and unspoken politics of others’ views – “when I speak of you I see envy in other men's eyes / And I'm well aware of what's on their minds / They pretend to be my friend, when all the time/ They long to persuade you from my side.”
Bernadette, people are searching for
The kind of love that we possess
Some go on searching their whole life through
And never find the love I've found in you
And when I speak of you I see envy in other men's eyes
And I'm well aware of what's on their minds
They pretend to be my friend, when all the time
They long to persuade you from my side
They'd give the world and all they own
For just one moment we have known
Bernadette, they want you because
Of the pride that it gives
But Bernadette, I want you because
I need you to live
But while I live only to hold you
Some other men, they long to control you
But how can they control you, Bernadette?
When they can not control themselves, Bernadette?
From wanting you, needing you
But darling, you belong to me
I'll tell the world, you belong to me
I'll tell the world, you're the soul of me
I'll tell the world, you're a part of me
In your arms I find the kind of peace of mind
The world is searching for
But you, you give me the joy this heart of mine
Has always been longing for
In you I have what other men long for
All men need someone to worship and adore
That's why I treasure you and place you high above
For the only joy in life is to be loved
So whatever you do, Bernadette
Keep on loving me
Bernadette, keep on needing me
You're the soul of me
More than a dream, you're a plan to me
And Bernadette, you mean more to me
Than a woman was ever meant to be.
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