I was only 24 hours from Tulsa
Only one day away from your arms
She took me to the cafe
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(thanks, Avezaat/Wikimedia Commons)
A hit song penned by quality creators and made famous by a quality performer. Gene Pitney was multi-talented. Not content to be a great singer and musician, Pitney [his real name] was a skilled songwriter and a recording engineer. In his early performing days, he would play several instruments and sing various melody lines. He was one of those rare talents who could write, sing, play and record. He died in 2006, four years after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Love, romance and raw emotion are constant themes in millions of songs, and especially so with rock and roll. In this song, a man is traveling to a city to be with his girl. He's only a day away. He stops on his journey, meets someone else and so, presumably, falls out of love with his girl as he falls into love with the stranger he has just met. And all the while he keeps on telling us he's close to the original girl, being only 24 hours from Tulsa.
Some have described the song as American Gothic. It certainly has powerful themes of love, lust and betrayal. Pitney certainly made the song his own. People argue that the singer can't be the hero, because he's cheating on his girl. Nor can he be the victim who surely must be the woman in Tulsa. But music and romance can create strange reactions.
Tulsa is a large city in Oklahoma, USA, and was for many years known as the "oil capital of the world." In the early 1900s, before the Middle East countries and, locally, before the Texan oil strikes sprang forth, Tulsa and the surrounding land was dotted with oil rigs. Not so much today, and the nickname is used more for nostalgic reasons than for fact.
Tulsa and its surroundings are a mixture of culture, trade, and natural beauty tinged with the sometimes devastating power of Mother Nature. Tulsa is located within an area referred to as Tornado Alley. Every year some part or other of the midwest cops a battering from one of the many tornadoes which roar into town.
If you are an art, music or dance lover, then Tulsa has much to offer. Professional ballet and opera, plus many art galleries, are all alive and well in the second largest city in Oklahoma. The city is also renowned for its art deco architecture and is often described as one of the most livable cities in the United States. There is plenty of welcoming accommodation in Tulsa and you certainly don't need to drive for 24 hours to find it.
~ Cenarth Fox
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