Thursday, 31 May 2012
Slip Slidin' Away?
When I first heard this song, on its release, I thought it melancholy, even gloomy. It seemed to say to me that life is slipping away from us even when we think we are being purposeful; it seemed a bit hopeless.
It seems to me now to be liberating and enlightened. Maybe the more we try to be purposeful and control everything in our lives, the more it slip slides away from us. And in any case, life itself moves through us until it ends, whatever we do. Understanding this rather better these days helps me to value now, here. I think it's one component of mindfulness. It actually stops me worrying so much about the brevity of life.
When I first heard this song, I enjoyed popular music well enough. I don't think I ever derided music because it is categorised as "easy listening," or "middle of the road." Listen with your ears, not your file index, someone once said to me. But I didn't expect to find anything very profound in it; intensity of youthful feeling, yes; a sound-track for our life and times, sure.
It seems to me now a total masterpiece, full of wisdom and acceptance, rooted in the fabric of our 20th/21st century lives yet not swamped by it, not merely echoing it. It's even better, I think, than "Trains in the Distance." In my mind, it sits with Karine Polwart's "We're All Leaving" as a song of profound acceptance and understanding. And this performance, I hope you'll agree, is absolutely beautiful - flawless. I won't put up the words, they are so clear.
Thank you, gentlemen.