Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Dance

A song with depth will effortlessly slide into a new meaning. Sometimes we won't recognize that depth until the slide happens. It just happened to me with Garth Brooks' 1990s classic "The Dance".

It's said that the downfall of Rock songs is being whiny, and the downfall of Country songs is being maudlin. Certainly that was my first impression, back in the day. A song lamenting a lost love, best described a some pitiful loser with a bad case of "oneitis".

That changed a couple days ago when I heard this on the radio. The lyrics spoke to me of Mom, dealing with her grief at Dad's loss after 55 years of marriage.

A grief so deep that, like Shakespeare wrote of the Bay Of France, it has no bottom. And suddenly the lyrics were fresh and so, so not maudlin.

And now, I'm glad I didn't know
the way it all would end, the way it all would go.
Our lives are better left to chance;
I could have missed the pain,
but I'd have had to miss the dance.

They had a wonderful life, worthy of a grief that knows no bottom. And suddenly a song that used to have me rolling my eyes has me choked up.

Poetry, it is said, is the art of hearing the word behind the words. Well played, Mr. Brooks. So very well played.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Dave H said...

Yeah, a lot of songs (poems, whatever) make a lot more sense once you grow into them.

Anonymous said...

As they like say, three chords and the truth. But truth can be subjective depending on the personal experience of the receiver...