I always knew there was something about this song, and I recently discovered one of those “six degrees” connections (actually, there’s two of them). But before I get to my silly little connections, let’s talk about the song first.
An underrated and under appreciated song, Answer in the Sky is (imho) one of the boys’ more inspirational (one could even say spiritual) songs. You know, I’m not an overtly religious person, but I do consider myself spiritual, and this song always gives me goosebumps. Could be Elton’s rich baritone voice, could be the orchestration, possibly the choir (oh, and Bernie, you had me at “celestial”)…but it always moves me.
And it’s all so much bigger than it seems
And it all overwhelms us now and then
And I’m banking on a chance that we believe
That good can still control the hearts of men
I remember watching Elton perform this live at the NFL Opening Kickoff concert at Gillette Stadium in 2004. Kind of a risky move to sing a new and unfamiliar song to a football crowd, but I liked it. I really loved that he had an orchestra and a youth choir…it definitely added a fullness that you don’t normally get in a venue like that.
And the official video is interesting, too. No Elton to be seen, the video uses a modern dance troupe against the backdrop of a church as illustration. Perhaps too religiously symbolic (given that I don’t think the song is religious at all), I regard the video with the irony that I believe is intended:
And now for those “Six Degrees of Elton John” connections (for which I know you’ve been waiting with baited breath):
- My Answer in the Sky #1: I know this is going to sound silly, but I am not making this up. Really. In college, when I was having trouble debugging a program, I would leave the Computer Center late at night, frustrated, of course, head back to my dorm and go to sleep. Inevitably, I would wake to a vision of the solution (usually written in Pascal) against the backdrop of a blue sky and fluffy white clouds. No lies. And that answer, if it didn’t solve everything, was the breakthrough I needed to finish the project. This happened many, many times. (Can I hear the Twilight Zone music playing in the background)?
- My Answer in the Sky #2: I’ve mentioned this before, but when I’ve been blue or stressed out for a while, I’ll find myself gazing at the sky (usually framed by glistening palm trees here in South Florida) and all of a sudden, things are put in perspective for me.
You don’t need a prayer
And there’s no price to ask why
Sometimes you’ll find an answer in the sky
So, whether you “look into that beautiful blue, that beautiful blue, blue sky”* or if “you stare into the darkness and you see celestial light,” I think Bernie is right. There’s a chance you’ll find your answer in the sky.
Answer in the Sky (Peachtree Road – 2004)
*Name that tune…Hint: I’ve blogged about it previously.