“Love On a Two Way Street” by The Moments (1968)

The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Music, 27 October 2019

Photo by d0n mil0 on Pexels.com

We have reflected last week that prayer is an expression of our faith by citing Dione Warwick’s 1967 hit, “I Say a Little Prayer”.

When there is faith expressed in prayer, there is also love.

And when there are faith, prayer and love, then we have a relationship like family and friends, and community.

Today in our gospel, Jesus tells us the right attitude we must have in maintaining our relationships, not only with him but also with others.

Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. “Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, thank that I am not like the rest of humanity – greedy, dishonest, adulterous – or even like this tax collector.’ But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former.”

Luke 18:9-11, 13-14

From Dione Warwick’s 1967 “I Say a Little Prayer”, we move to the following year when Sylvia Robinson and Bert Keyes composed Love on a Two-Way Street recorded by The Moments as a filler for their 1968 album Not on the Outside, But the Inside, Strong!

It did not fare well in the charts and was released again as a single in 1970 when it spent five weeks at number one on Billboard’s Soul Singles chart. It become one of the greatest R&B song of that year that was later covered by other artists.

In 1981, 14-year-old Staci Lattisaw did a cover of the song that became so popular that others have thought it as her original.

But with all due respect to Staci, I have also always felt her version very cheesy that I prefer the originals singing it because they give more character and soul to the song.

I found love on a two way street and lost it on a lonely highway
Love on a two way street and lost it on a lonely highway

There was no specific experience behind the composition of Love on a Two-Way Street except that it was just a product of a play on words and poetry by Robinson supported by Keyes’ music.

The moment we become convinced of our righteousness that we despise everyone else (cf. Lk.18:9), then we shut ourselves in and leave no space for others even God.

Photo by Alex Powell on Pexels.com

Love as a two-way street based on today’s parable by Jesus requires three attitudes so our relationships would mature and grow deeper: a sense of sinfulness, self-surrender, and self-offering.

No love and faith would ever grow on a lonely highway, with no one else to relate with. That’s when we stop communicating and relating until we break up with others and end up alone and isolated.

That is when we become a “lonely highway” with nobody else but I, me, and myself.

Go back to the two-way street of God and others.

Though crowded with some traffic jams, there is always a space for everyone.

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