Similarly in the way that rereading a book for a second or third (or tenth or twentieth) time causes you to see or pick-up on things that you didn’t catch previous times, music has that ability as well. Most of the time I’ll hear a song and think that I like the way it sounds and probably catch a line or two that stands out to me but it’s not until I’m actually able to really listen and read the lyrics that I really “get” a song’s message. And usually it takes more than that for me to really understand where the writer is coming from.
A lot of times it has to do with a situation and then I have that “a ha!” moment where it all kind of makes sense. Or a verse that I kind of thought I understood but not really all of a sudden, like magic, hits me. I love that feeling because it’s in those moments that I actually feel connected to the music, the lyricist, the artist, to everything which is my favorite thing about music. The way it can connect people. The stories and emotions it can evoke. I spend a good deal of time researching songs and the stories behind them and the connection between the song and the artist. I love having a back story to go with a song even if it doesn’t necessarily line up with my own interpretation at the time. Interpretations constantly change. Not only in music, books, movies and art but also people as well.
Recently, I heard the live at Abbey Road version of Amos Lee’s “Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight” and immediately put it on repeat. I typically love live versions of songs more than studio versions (unless the artist really sucks) because usually what you’re getting is the raw emotional version of it. As I listened for probably the tenth time in a row to Amos Lee’s soothing sound while I read the lyrics, parts stuck out to me that I had never really noticed before.
“Sometimes we forget who we got,
Who they are
And who they are not.”
A lot of times we get jumbled up in terms of who we actually have. Sometimes the people we think are going to be there for us no matter what are the ones who are nowhere to be found when you’re hurting. It’s hard to keep it straight and pick out the ones who we’ve got and be able to tell who they are and who they’re not. A lot of times it isn’t until you need someone to pick you up that you are able to tell. We frequently forget who the “good ones” are because more than likely they’re the ones quietly standing by waiting for you to fall apart so they can put you back together. The fair weathered friends are the ones who are always around wanting to hangout, chat it up, etc. until you need something more than that. Then they’re gone until you’re “back to normal.” I know a lot of times I’m guilty of forgetting the ones who I’ve got and not giving them the attention and credit they deserve because of the people surrounding me on stage.
Lee in another verse talks about how relationship change and money and fame can make you live over the rainbow. But it’s not the people who are on the stage soaking up your shared fame that are the important ones. It’s the ones who, when you step off the stage, are waiting with flowers and accolades.
The older I get (although I wouldn’t say I feel necessarily older) the more I realize who “my people” are. It’s easier to pick them out from the group because as the more time that passes, the more you experience — good and bad. The people that you thought would be there are not necessarily the ones that are there. I mean, yeah, it hurts, but instead of focusing on the fact that someone wasn’t there for you when you thought they would have been, you should focus on the ones that are there and probably always have been and probably always will be. Those are your people. And it doesn’t matter how many of those you have or how few, if you have at least one… I think you’re more than okay.
“I’m in love with a girl who’s in love with the world
and I can’t help but follow.
Though I know someday she is bound to go away
and stay over the rainbow.
Gotta learn how to let her go.”
That’s probably my favorite verse in the whole song. Goes right along with one of my favorite quotes from Breakfast At Tiffany’s: “You musn’t give your heart to a wild thing. The more you do, the stronger they get, until they’re strong enough to run into the woods or fly into a tree. And then to a higher tree…” Although none of this closing really has anything to do with what the rest of this post was about, I figured I’d throw it in somewhere while I had the chance.