Saturday, January 29, 2011

Alison Kraus and Union Station - When You Say Nothing At All

For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.
- Judy Garland
The greatest love story I've ever seen is my Mom and Dad.  They fell madly in love young - too young - and it didn't work out.  Mom married someone else, who was a first class jerk; it only lasted a few months (she was wife #1 of 4 for him; it doesn't seem he ever grew up, although fame let him get away with it).  Dad fell deathly ill, and almost died.  This was back in the days before antibiotics, and so hospitals were a place you went to die.  He was in a hospital for months.

But Mom's parents heard about this, and wrote to Dad's parents.  It wasn't just that Grandma liked Dad better than The Jerk, although she did.  See, the parents saw what the young folks couldn't, that this was something special.  56 years later, it still is.

I grew up surrounded by an often silent, but always effortlessly sung love song.  There was never any question in our minds about whether their two hearts were joined.  It was, looking back on it, astonishing, and perhaps unique.

It still is.  He's declined  quite a bit in just the last couple of weeks, as the cancer burns away his body.  The hospice nurse told me that people who have had unhappy lives go quickly; it's the ones that have had happy lives that linger.  He lingers, because he hears that unspoken song.  It's quite something to see.

But his mind is still sharp; he's still here in the way that matters.  And she's with him.  There's not a lot said, but if you listen with your heart instead of your ears, you realize that it's said all the time.

Alison Kraus - perhaps the greatest Country/Bluegrass singer of our generation - needs no introduction here; neither does the band Union Station, which without doubt contains some of the greatest Bluegrass musicians of our generation.  This song was the 1995 CMA Single Of The Year.

If you're lucky, you've seen this happen sometime during your life.  If you're very lucky, it's happened to you.  Mom and Dad are very lucky.



When You Say Nothing At All (Songwriters: Paul Overstreet, Don Schlitz)
It's amazing how you can speak right to my heart
Without saying a word you can light up the dark
Try as I may I could never explain
What I hear when you don't say a thing

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes sayin' you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all

All day long I can hear people talking out loud
But when you hold me near, you drown out the crowd
Old Mr. Webster could never define
What's being said between your heart and mine

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes sayin' you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes sayin' you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all
Love has no desire but to fulfill itself.  To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.  To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.  
- Kahlil Gibran


(Image source) (Image source)

8 comments:

Brigid said...

They are so lucky to have found one another again. It got me thinking to my parents. They fell in love in sixth grade when Mom let fly a milk jug from a prodigious distance and whacked Dad on the head after he teased her all day.

They were inseprable during high school until, just going into college, Dad made a gave error. He was seen in the late night company of the a girl known to be very free with her favors. Mom found out and dumped him, hard. He was at a different college and was broken hearted, not being able to see her, or even apologise, let alone explain.

Months later, Mom had an appendicitis attack, a mild one and had to go to the hospital. her Mom someone how got a message to Dad and he somenow got a car and got there, hundreds of miles away. She was sitting up in bed, OK and he never left her side again except for 4 years during WWII.

He remarried two years after she died young. A wonderful woman who became my stepmom. Part of me, being young and naive, wondered how easily he could have forgotten that great love. But he never did, and the first time I went to her grave with him and watched him totally break down, I knew. We may find lots of love and adventure in our lives, but that sort of thing is rare.

Hat Trick said...

Thanks for sharing this.
My thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

ViolentIndifference said...

"If you're lucky, you've seen this happen sometime during your life. If you're very lucky, it's happened to you."

I sincerely and without reservation will say "It's happened to me."

Midwest Chick said...

And how lucky you are to have this as an integral part of your life.

Our thoughts are with you and your folks.

Paladin said...

I cry, not at the sadness of it, but at the beauty.

My Parents found *it*, and I grew up seeing it every day. I found it 23 years ago today, and I hang on to it and cherish it as if it is the only thing in life that matters.

Which it is.

Thank you for sharing this, Ted.

ViolentIndifference said...

Palidin: A few months over 23 for me. I would say that I found it 23 years ago and every day since.

Happy anniversary. Please have plenty more.

Dragon said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you...

Borepatch said...

Thank you everyone.