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John Kerry invites James Taylor to Paris to sing ‘You’ve Got a Friend’

I've seen fire, and I've seen rain, but I've never seen James Taylor being used as an awkward apology tool.


Kevin Collier


Published Jan 16, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 6:16 pm CDT

You know how when one of your friends gets hurt, and everybody greets her at the hospital, but you’re way late, so you have to bring James Taylor to her bedside to compensate?

That’s essentially the chain of events that led Secretary of State John Kerry to Paris, France, on Friday, towing Taylor, arguably the U.S.’s greatest living export of earnest, sweet-voiced odes to friendship.

Kerry was there to make amends on behalf of President Obama‘s administration, which apologized Monday for not sending a high-profile delegate to Paris to join other world leaders in the wake of the reportedly Al Qaeda-fueled attack on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

So he brought Taylor, a national treasure who clearly has a much more highly tuned sense of embarrassment than Kerry. Throughout the performance of the Carole King son “You’ve Got a Friend,” Kerry stands and beams like a proud father. When Taylor finishes and tries to leave the stage, Kerry beckons him back on. You can just see Taylor watching impatiently for when the moment’s gone long enough that he can get out of there. Je suis James.

Bryan Ledgard/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Jan 16, 2015, 12:45 pm CST