Prisoner/The Way He Makes Me Feel (Barbra Streisand) - day 54

Today is Barbra day. Let the stars shine and the land celebrate! In my life, she’s the first diva. Hers is the voice of a generation spanning the sixties, seventies and eighties, with a catalog stretching so far that on a clear day you’d see it forever. From Broadway’s Funny Girl to film’s Star Is Born, this goliath chanteuse sings and you don’t just hear that voice in your ears, you feel that voice inside your whole body.

I’ve written about Babs a few times before, and that’s no surprise. This time I chose a pair of songs that weren’t huge pop radio hits but are ones that resonate with me personally.

Second is The Way He Makes Me Feel, a beautiful ballad from her film Yentl, though I confess not knowing of it from that frame of reference; I learned of it from the release of her 1989 A Collection album, and it took on personal meaning when I met the love of my life (at the time), the one who shall always remain nameless, the one to whom I refer as “the one that got away”, shortly thereafter. At about 2:13 into the song when she breaks into that sway-worthy bridge, I could honestly close my eyes and just die. Some days I wonder if he does the same thing if he happens upon this song. More likely he changes the station.

First, then, is Prisoner, the theme song from a 1978 thriller called The Eyes of Laura Mars. In my opinion, it’s the only good takeaway from the film. Just listen to the sincerity in this woman’s voice. At the time, she had no rival. There were contemporaries, sure, and I’ve written about all of them at one point or another. But Barbra Streisand had no equal at the time this song was recorded. Girls, and of course some little closeted gay boys, belted the shit out of this song into a mirror, hairbrush in hand. I’m still like a prisoner captured by her majestic voice, and this prisoner is guilty of Stockholm Syndrome.