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“Aubrey ” is a song written and composed by David Gates, and originally recorded by the pop-rock group Bread, of which Gates was the leader and primary music producer. It appeared on Bread’s 1972 album Guitar Man. The single lasted 11 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 15.David Gates wrote Aubrey after watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring Audrey Hepburn.This song swapped the assumed gender of the name “Aubrey,” nearly extinguishing its use as a male name and popularizing
“Aubrey” as a female name up to the present.Musical structure and lyrics The song features David Gates’ solo voice, with no backup vocals or drumming. It relies on various melodic resources such as orchestral strings, acoustic guitar, celeste, and orchestra bells. In the lyrics, the singer talks about a longing for a girl named Aubrey for whom he had unrequited love (“the hearts that never played in tune”), perhaps a first love, or possibly an infant who died. It is also said to be a song about shyness (“I never knew her, but I loved her just the same”). It is regarded as one of Bread’s most beautiful, yet melancholic, songs. The song was later recorded (1973) by Perry Como and released on his And I Love You So album of interpretations.
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