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Archive for March 16th, 2013

Sometimes things just pop into your head…
 

A few days ago, I was listening to oldies on YouTube and I stumbled across a couple of old songs I really liked growing up.  Actually, they’re more words put to music, than singing-songs, but I guess they still count as “songs”.  Anyway, the first that popped into my head (and led to the second) was “Who Will Answer?” as sung by Ed Ames.
 

One of the verses goes:
 

From the canyons
of the mind,
We wander on
and stumble blindly
Through the
often-tangled
maze
Of starless
nights
and sunless
days,
While asking for
some kind of clue
Or road to lead us
to the truth,
But who will answer?
 

Interestingly enough, although the song has been “adopted” by many religious folks claiming it is about God or Christ or whomever, the song itself never actually answers the question posed: “Who Will Answer?”  Personally, I believe we must each answer the question for ourselves, in our own way, with our own faith (or lack thereof).
 

The second song is “The Last Farewell“, which I remember not as a song, but for the chorus:

For you are beautiful,
and I have loved you dearly
More dearly than
the spoken word
can tell.
 

To me, this has always been a very romantic way of telling someone you love them.  It is particularly true if you (as I do) believe that real beauty is from the inside, is strongly enhanced by your love for the other person, and that the emotion can be so deep that words do fail.
 

The song was written and performed by Roger Whittaker.  To be honest (as mentioned above), I have no recollection of the song – only the verse/chorus.  It is only on rehearing that I’ve found it’s not so much a love song as it is a going-off-to-war song.  And, in it’s own way, it’s an anti-war love song…
 

Does faith sustain us when we are shaken by life’s seeming randomness?  Do the fears of war (injury and death) stir us even deeper in our appreciation for those we love and might lose?
 

I hope you’ll click over to the lyrics on my Poems page to check these (and all the others) out.  As always, once you’ve read the lyrics, go check out the actual recordings on you favorite music site.  And don’t forget, please support your local artists by going to their performances and seeing them live. 
 

 

 

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I walked in the woodland meadows,
Where sweet the thrushes sing,
And found on a bed of mosses,
A bird with a broken wing;
I healed its wing, and each morning
It sang its old sweet strain,
But the bird with the broken pinion,
Never soared as high again.
 

I found a young life broken
By sin’s seductive art,
And, touched with a Christlike pity,
I took him to my heart;
He lived with a nobler purpose,
And struggled not in vain,
But the life that sin had stricken,
Never soared as high again.
 

But the bird with the broken pinion
Kept another from the snare,
The life that sin had stricken,
Raised another from despair;
Each loss has its own compensation,
There’s healing for each pain,
But the bird with the broken pinion
Never soared as high again.
 

—  Written by Hezekiah Butterworth
 

[I first read this poem as a teen.  At the time, it only struck me that the bird was a symbol of lost hope, never to be regained.
 

But the bird with the broken pinion
Never soared as high again.
 

On reflection though, it seems the bird is a symbol of God’s acting in “mysterious” ways to save both the bird and the man.
 

Imagine the first verse is the man’s view of finding the bird, then the second, the bird’s view of finding the man.  Finally, the third verse is a third party explanation of the preceding verses relating the bird is saved from death and the man from a life of “despair”.  Both have sacrificed, and both are scarred by the sacrifice, but the bird’s “truer” physical sacrifice remains for life. 
 

I’m sure there are a million interpretations of this poem, but this is mine for now…  Only the two lines cited above were in my journal.  The rest of the poem was rediscovered (by me) when I researched the lines for this post.  —  KMAB]
 

 

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