Saturday, May 27, 2006

Farther On

I love music. I really love music. There's so much of it. Yet, when I sift through all of it, if I had to narrow it down to the one song that resonates most for me it's Jackson Browne's "Farther On" off LATE FOR THE SKY (Elektra, 1974). I've often told people that, of all the songs in the world, the one song I wish I wrote is the title track that opens the album. That's still true, but it has always been "Farther On" that makes me think, "That's me." Here are some of the lyrics:

"In my early years I hid my tears
And passed my days alone
Adrift on an ocean of loneliness
My dreams like nets were thrown
To catch the love that I'd heard of
In books and films and songs
Now there's a world of illusion and fantasy
In the place where the real world belongs
Still I look for the beauty in songs
To fill my head and lead me on . . . . "

One of the times I met Jackson Browne, as he was autographing the cover to LATE FOR THE SKY, I told him, "This album got me though adolescence." The way it acomplished that was just giving me this sense, as I lay there in my room with the headphones on, that I was not alone in the world, that someone out there had felt the same things as me. Despite the album's melancholic vibe, it filled me with joy just by offering me a sense of companionship.

As I read those lyrics to "Farther On" today, they serve as a mirror, I come to grips with some of my own disfunction and brokenness. It's really sad that getting lost in books, films, and songs have created illusions and unrealistic expectations within me, but it's true. Music is like therapy for me.

What songs resonates deep within your soul?

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