Archive for Thursday, July 9, 2009

Song lyrics express feelings shared by many

July 9, 2009

One of my favorite pastimes is listening to music — particularly to works by my favorite singer-songwriters. I enjoy listening to them sing their own songs, and I enjoy listening to renditions by other performers. Music always calms my soul and gives me peace and even joy. I listened to it a great deal as a youngster, and even took piano lessons.

However, after many years of being told I’m tone deaf and having people wince when I attempted to sing, I reconciled myself to my failure as a performer and settled into my role as an appreciative audience.

Songwriters, poets and authors often express situations and feelings shared by other people. They put into words what others keep bottled up. I recently listened to a John Denver concert on KCPT and felt warmed by his expression of love for the environment and for home. I particularly empathized with the song he wrote and has performed many times, “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” I’m sure that most people know this song, at least those of my generation, since it was a mega hit in the 1960s. The lyrics tell the thoughts of a person set to leave the side of somebody he or she loves, but has made angry. The song says, “I’m leaving on a jet plane; don’t know when I’ll be back again.” The singer asks that the loved one give him a kiss and a hug and tell him that he is loved, because he doesn’t know when he’ll return.

This song is particularly poignant for Denver since he died far too young in a plane accident.

As I listened to the song, I thought of the sudden loss recently of the Air France jet disappearing with a large number of passengers. I believe that all who heard the news must have paused and shuddered.

There’s something about that kind of accident that makes us think of the World Trade Towers horror. And, it makes some of us nervous about plane travel. There’s just something unnatural about humans sitting in a solid conveyance, suspended in the air, miles above Earth. I’m no stranger to traveling on planes, but it’s never my first choice. I’m always a little uneasy, especially during taking off and landing.

The truth of the matter is that none of us really know the time or place of our deaths. The only thing we know for certain is that all of us will eventually pass through that dark door separating us from life as we know it and the eternity beyond. That’s why I have begun telling those I care about that I do care about them and that I love them. It may seem a little corny to my older grandchildren, but I would rather they think their grandmother a little touched by blarney than to think I don’t love them.

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