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Episode summary: The Carpenters - brother and sister duo Richard and Karen - were one of the most popular groups of the 1970s. His outstanding compositions and her stunning vocals created several massive hits including We’ve Only Just Begun. Originally written as a TV advert for a bank portraying happy young couples embarking on married life full of hope, they loved it and released it as their third single in 1970. Karen’s wistful voice gave the song a melancholy that has long resonated with fans. After her premature death from heart failure due to anorexia nervosa, the song took on an extra poignancy with lyrics like “so much of life ahead”. Fans tell their stories about the song and how it relates to their own life journeys. For Professor Karen Tongson (named after the singer), We’ve Only Just Begun is about growing up in the Philippines where The Carpenters epitomised the American Dream. When she emigrated to the USA, the song became a metaphor for the immigrant experience. Nomad and writer Jeff Read remembers his…

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