This was written by Lovin’ Spoonful founder John Sebastian for the 1966 film You’re a Big Boy Now. It appeared on the group’s 1967 soundtrack album of the same name.
How much better it would be without the intrusive orchestra.
This is a comment on YouTube below the track:
When my husband left for Vietnam in 1970, we played this song the night before he left – it became our song while he was gone. When he came home, he was so damaged – he’d lost 60 pounds and was emotionally crippled – I barely recognized him when he walked off the plane. He left himself over there. And he never recovered. We were so young, full of hope. Every time I hear this song, I feel the same feelings I felt for him the night he left and while he was away. It’s eerie how it applied, too, after he returned home…Our lives are really mostly memories. Have a peaceful night.
Sebastian performed his composition when he made an impromptu appearance at the 1969 Woodstock festival (he was there as a spectator but they needed an acoustic act after rain because the electrics were wet). It is so much better than the over-produced album track. Sebastian said afterwards that he was slightly under the influence of acid because he was not expecting to perform.
Joe Cocker recorded it for his 1969 album Joe Cocker! It would be good apart from the ghastly backing vocals which ruin it. What were they thinking?