Friday, April 4, 2014

A Song For You

"My gift is my song and this one’s for you.”

"Your Song." Elton John sang it, but Bernie Taupin wrote the words. I’ve often wondered who it was for. We’ll never know. Taupin said he wrote it when he was 17 and that it’s not about anyone in particular. I think he’s just being discreet.

Perhaps the ultimate act of love is to write a song for someone, something so heart breakingly beautiful that it makes everyone who hears it cry softly, feeling the song’s emotion to the depths of their souls.

A song like “Fix You.”

Chris Martin wrote it for Gwyneth Paltrow when her father died. It’s a song that captures the feelings of loss and grief and helplessness in the face of death like lightning in a bottle.

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home.
And ignite your bones.
And I will try to fix you.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last month, you probably know that Martin and Paltrow have “consciously uncoupled,” or as we in the real world say, have decided to get a divorce.

If my husband had written a song like that for me, I’d stay with him to the end of time and then some. But I’m not Gwyneth Paltrow and my husband is not Chris Martin.

Even though we had the album, I don’t remember hearing it until I saw the 2007 documentary “Young@Heart,” about a choir of senior citizens who sing alternative rock songs like “I Wanna Be Sedated” by the Ramones and “Road to Nowhere” by the Talking Heads. 

It was supposed to be a duet sung by two of the men, but one of them died before the performance, so the remaining one sang it as a solo, sitting on a chair, with the tubes from his oxygen tank in his nose, with the rest of the choir singing background. I guarantee, you won’t be able to get through it dry eyed.

And there is the beauty of this song. Everyone who hears it makes it their own. When I hear it, I don’t think of Gwyneth Paltrow at all, I think of my mother, who passed away last summer. Coldplay performed the song at the memorial service for Steve Jobs, so I’m sure his family think of him when they hear it.

Obviously, no one knows what happens in a marriage. It is the business of the two people in it and no one else. But in exchange for such a beautiful song, wouldn’t you think twice about leaving?

Here is the song performed by Young@Heart Fred Knittle, who died at the age of 83 in 2009.

Judy Nichols is the author of several books available on Amazon/

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