11/18/08

Sad &#@^% Song

The song "Forgive Me" by Missy Higgins has been driving me to tears lately. I listened to it in the kitchen while cooking the other day and just broke down. Had to go wipe the snot off my face before returning to the stove. Then I had a repeat breakdown in the parking lot at Target.

Higgins' soulful voice is part of it, just like how I mist up whenever Natalie from The Dixie Chicks sings super sad ones. The timbre of some female voices just kills me, as does Natalie Portman crying.

The production on this song is beautifully simple. She sounds like she's in the next room and we're eavesdropping on this raw confession. No slick effects or smoothed over shine. Here are the words and a listening link:

Oh, my son, look at what I've done.
But I am learning still, learning still--
Know that I am learning still.
And oh, my wife, you are my life.
And I am burning still, burning still--
Know that I am burning for you still.

And all, all, all of my light is for you,
And home, home's anywhere you are too.
So take this one fallen man on his knees,
Saying please, forgive me. Forgive me.

Oh, my God, how you make it hard
Not to pick the apple, pick the apple--
And Lord, I long to give it back.
And I was on shaky land,
Lost and unsure, I opened my hand.
And she held it like sinking sand.
When I was younger, I believed infidelity would be punishable by ball-twisting and a quick, permanent sayonara. But after twelve years with the same man, looking over all we've been through and accomplished together, I know it wouldn't be that simple anymore. (Don't fret, folks, we're fine.)

So for me, I suppose this song is a horror story. Forget monster movies and torture porn. Don't need them. This is a worst case scenario with regard to my marriage. What would I say or think or feel if confronted with such a gut-wrenching, life-altering admission from Keven? The declarations of love are among the most striking and beautiful I've ever heard sung, but they're smack in the middle of a confession of unfaithfulness. The contrast is utterly painful, and the bone-deep regret makes my heart hurt.

It used to be that my worst case scenario song was "One Promise Too Late" by Reba McEntire. What would it be like to marry one man, out of impatience and loneliness, only to find Mr. Right afterward? That terrified me as a teenager, afraid I'd make a mistake. So it looks like I've moved on--with one more reason why I write stories with happy endings.

Where were you when I could've loved you?
Where were you when I gave my heart away?
All my life, I've been waiting for you.
You came along one promise too late.
"One Promise Too Late" by Reba McEntire

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