Last night, at Chez Henri
, the song He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
was playing. It made me think about how my understanding and appreciation of certain songs has shifted over time.
The Police were one of the first bands I really loved. When I was fourteen, the song Every Breath You Take
was just amazing to me--so romantic, so thrilling, so sexy. King of Pain
, on the other hand, was just okay. I mean, it's got a wonderfully eerie sound and Sting's voice is so poignant and powerful, but there was no resonance. By the time I reached my thirties, I had "stood here before inside the pouring rain, with the world turning circles running round my brain" and King of Pain
had become a great song, while Every Breath You Take
is a song about stalking, which is not romantic, not sexy and is, as a great man once said, "creepy as fuck," albeit still pretty catchy.
When I was introduced to The Indigo Girls, my junior year of college, Closer to Fine
was a heartfelt cry of meaning and truth, while Love's Recovery
seemed pretty, but sort of maudlin. Washing dishes in London more than ten years later, having just heard the news of a friend's divorce, I cried to hear Love's Recovery
--such a beautiful song of the sad, yet hopeful, side of love--while Closer to Fine
still has a lovely lilt, but its sophmoric surety has come to grate a bit.
And I wonder if the time will ever come that I don't really hate He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother