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(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear

"(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear," is a song by the American band Blondie. It was released in 1978 as the second single from the band's second album Plastic Letters, reaching #10 in the UK singles chart in May 1978. It was never released as a single in the US.

Song information

It was written by Blondie bass player Gary Valentine for his then-girlfriend, the actress and journalist Lisa Jane Persky, before his departure from the band. Valentine had also written the band's first single, "X Offender".

In a 2012 interview, Valentine jokingly explained that the song concerns a telepathic connection between him and Persky. "That was about these paranormal experiences I was having with my girlfriend at the time. We were in telepathic contact with each other when I was on tour. We would discover we’d be having the same dreams and we always seemed to know what the other was doing, which sometimes proved uncomfortable!" More seriously, in New York Rocker: My Life in the Blank Generation Valentine wrote: "During the Iggy {Pop} tour we discovered we were having the same kind of dreams or found we were thinking of each other at the same time. Although we were thousands of miles apart, we were still in touch. Thinking of this one afternoon, it all came together in a song."

The lyrics include references to kismet, theosophy, R.E.M, levitation and the stratosphere.

The single was issued in both 7" and 12" formats in the UK, with two songs on the B-side, as were previous singles, "Rip Her to Shreds" and "Denis". One of the single's B-side tracks was "Detroit 442", and the other was Jimmy Destri's "Poets Problem", which was not on the original release of Plastic Letters. "Poets Problem" was first issued on CD on the 1993 rarities compilation Blonde and Beyond and later as a bonus track on both the 1994 and 2001 re-releases of Plastic Letters.

Blondie performed the song on the BBC2 television show The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1978.

Cover versions

Tracey Ullman covered the song in her 1983 album You Broke My Heart in 17 Places.

In 1995, Annie Lennox covered it as the B-side of her single "A Whiter Shade of Pale".

10,000 Maniacs covered the song and released it digitally in 2000.

Gary Valentine's version of the song was released on the 2003 compilation of his work in music, titled Tomorrow Belongs to You

Release history

;UK 7" and 12" (CHS 2217)

Side one

# "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear" (Gary Valentine) – 2:43

Side two

# "Poets Problem" (Jimmy Destri) – 2:20 # "Detroit 442" (Jimmy Destri, Chris Stein) – 2:28

Chart peaks