Sunday, December 15, 2013

Lyric meanings then and now

At the semester's end recital, a young fellow without quite enough breath support sang "For the Longest Time." I didn't grow up with this one; we already had our eldest when it was released. But it will do as a stand-in for the ones I did hear.

It almost seemed written in a foreign language.

"For the longest" time (never mind that it seems funny coming from a 16-year-old) almost doesn't seem to apply. The time before my wife isn't so much "a long time" ago as a different life entirely.

"But I've come this far and it's more than I hoped for" seems apropos, but I'd have to qualify it with with "so much different than I hoped for." Much of my early hope was short-sighted, with no glimmering of all that a life together would mean. So even "hope" doesn't mean the same thing anymore; it is a less focussed thing.

"Now I know the woman that you are": hardly, you're just beginning to. And you don't know the woman she will grow to be, together with you--not yet. The knowing and growing go together.

"I don't care what consequence it brings" is almost right, but not quite. I do care, but was willing to take the bad with the good, so long as we could avoid the evil. And I'm slowly learning what grace can come with the troubles. So in one understanding (which I have not achieved) I don't have to worry.

"Romance" doesn't seem to mean the same thing: for the singer it is the two together, but after a few years of growing together and links to places and new family and new friends and even new links to old family, it seems to be a bigger concept than at first.

"I intend to hold you for the longest time." Intermittently. It turns out to interfere with fixing the car and cooking and getting the kids ready for school.

"I have been a fool for lesser things." OK, that's still true. I wasn't a fool to marry her, though.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

He just wants to screw her and have warm feelings, and he's looking for phrases that disguise that shallowness and still scan.

He is good at evoking from his listeners more sincerity than he shows here. You, for example, found more good in it than was originally put there.

james said...

True enough, but the phrases and evocation have to reference how people (of that age) really see the world, or the disguise wouldn't work.

I was thinking about that view of sex and marriage, and how I see things now as opposed to 40 years ago when I shared it. Mostly.