Friday, July 14, 2006

Sky Blue and Black

On the way to work today, I was running through the Jackson Browne playlist on my Creative Zen, when it suddenly struck me that "Sky Blue and Black" is, quite possibly, the most beautiful, striking and heart-wrenching love song ever written in the history of rock. Ever.

Now, I know I've blogged about the virtuosity of Browne's music before, but I just have to say something about "Sky Blue and Black" again. Written as an acknowledgement of the end of a troubled relationship, "Sky Blue and Black" just reaches into you and seizes your heart, providing a combinatory sense of regret, acceptance and liberation all at once.

With elliptical yet evocative lyrical images ("I hear the sound of the world where we played, and the far too simple beauty of the promises we made", "And the heavens were rolling, like a wheel on a track, and our sky was unfolding, and it'll never fold back"), and simple, heartfelt sentiments ("Where the touch of the lover ends, and the soul of the friend begins, there's a need to be separate and a need to be one, and a struggle neither wins", "I'd have fought the world for you, if I thought that you wanted me to, or put aside what was true or untrue, if I'd known that's what you needed"), this song speaks more directly and effectively to the heart than a million other so-called love songs could.

If you can keep your composure while hearing it all the way through, then you have a heart of stone.

Completely shattering in its emotional reach.

I need to go hear it again.


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