I mentioned this song in my last post, and, after seeing the video for the first time, I just knew I had to blog about it. Poignant, to say the least. And thematically more far reaching than one might initially think. Yes, it’s about a young man dying of AIDS and the (unexpected) reconciliation with his father, but it could be about anyone with a discordant familial relationship. (Doesn’t that describe most of us)?
Yesterday you came to lift me up
As light as straw and brittle as a bird
Today I weigh less than a shadow on the wall
Just one more whisper of a voice unheard
That last line, the one I chose as the title for this post, refers to the thousands (millions?) of people afflicted by HIV/AIDS who, at the time (1992) were largely ignored. Part of our past that none of us wants to think about…have we come as far as we think we have?
`Cause I never thought I’d lose
I only thought I’d win
I never dreamed I’d feel
This fire beneath my skin
I can’t believe you love me
I never thought you’d come
I guess I misjudged love
Between a father and his son
I know this song is especially meaningful to Elton because he lost so many friends to AIDS. But I suspect it holds extra significance since he had a strained (nonexistent) relationship with his own father. You know, no matter who you are and how you’ve come to terms with your feelings, it has to hurt in some way not to have a relationship with a parent, a child, a sibling. It just has to.
I know it did for me. Reconciliation with my own father came over several years, not a single point in time. Blessedly (and I know that sounds strange), I was there with him when he passed away. The Last Song in reverse? Perhaps.
Closure can be so uplifting.
The Last Song (The One – 1992)
P.S. As a side note, The Last Song was the first single to benefit EJAF. It was also played as a closing montage for the 1993 film And the Band Played On.