Sometimes a song sticks with us. Even songs from long ago. Usually it’s the words. Maybe the melody. But mostly the words. Perhaps the music is the glue that keeps it attached in our memory. But the words… the words can haunt or comfort and arrive unbidden.
One of my favorite musical artists from long ago and even still is Carole King. Many years ago someone said I looked like her. I’ve learned her music on the piano my mother gave me decades ago. And listened to it first on records and now CDs. Her music expresses the full range of a human being. I like that about her. And she hasn’t had a super-glamorous, pain-free life. Maybe that’s where much of the music comes from… and the words. If you saw the show “Beautiful” you know what I’m referring to.
One of her songs has kept me company lately. It is simple. Profound. And filled with deep meaning for me. There’s so much in her lyrics: “Do the things you believe in in the name of love and know that you aren’t alone… we all have doubts and fears” the song begins. More of the words (my recent companions) are “Birth and death and life make a circle we are all part of. To see the light everlasting, live in the name of love forever.” Of course, for me, I hear the Name of Love. A holy name. A divine love.
This song has stuck with me for a long time. But the poetry cradles me anew with its sturdy rhythm: “Change is for certain, this we all know… each day opening a curtain on a brand new show.” Change, yes, yet the circle continues. And we are all connected in it. King weaves the words like a blanket: “Through your sorrow and grieving don’t forget the name of love… it goes on without any end forever.” This is why her words stick with me. They have the feel of faith for me.
Life. Forever. Don’t forget the name. The Name. Or the Love. We all say something of a goodbye to dear ones. We learn that delicate dance of holding on and of letting go. And sometimes we sing.