I created my own Pandemic Playlist in the first month of the 2020 lockdown, a list of songs to pull me through, lift me up, sit me down, stay with me for a while. I’ve decided to share them with you. This is song #2.
I love Jackson Browne. I first saw him in concert on the campus of Michigan State University in the late ‘70s. His album, “The Pretender”, is one of my all-time favorites. A few years ago I got to meet him for the first time at a benefit that Carl and Tia had put together. Before I knew it I was standing on the stage next to him singing a Bob Dylan song! A sweet moment I’ll never forget.
Few musicians have taken to singing about sorrow and loss the way Jackson Browne has. Listen to “Fountain of Sorrow” and you’ll see what I mean. Or “Late for the Sky”, the album from which today’s song comes from. Many of us have lost good people in these past two years, friends and family we weren’t ready to say goodbye to. Others have made it through, but suffer with the long term consequences.
“For a Dancer” is a song of hope and sadness. He asks us to “keep a fire for the human race,” but reminds us that “in the end, there is one dance you’ll do alone.” (Click here for the full lyrics). As true as that may be, I share it with you here as my way of extending my hand and, even though we don’t know each other personally, to let you know you’re not alone and that we live on in each other. John Prine lives. Terrence McNally lives. The woman two floors below me lives. We take what they gave us, wrap it all together in our soul, our heart, and use it to make a better world, no matter how small our piece of that world turns out to be. “Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own… Go on and make a joyful sound.”
We aren’t done yet.