Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ignore the Endless Hours

I like sad songs better than happy songs. Not that the sad ones are more pleasant; or pleasant at all, for that matter. But I remember the sad ones, and take their lessons to heart. Even when I was a kid, I'd be drawn to sad songs I wasn't old enough to fully appreciate. As time passed I built up a modest library in my head of sad lyrics, and they functioned as little cautionary tales about Romance. Sad songs forewarned me of missteps in life and love.

Speaking of sad songs, I read something striking today in church. Our parish provides Bibles in the pews, so it's easy to read from one before Mass starts.

From Ecclesiastes:
Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of countenance the heart is made glad.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning;
But the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools.

Written about 300 BC, this passage reminded me of the following lyrics, recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1969:
Pretend there is no silence, alone in your apartment
Don't notice things that once were hers

Ignore the endless hours

Don't chase the dream that your hearts were after
Children's laughter

Somehow believe in living, forget about the giving

Just tell your life it must go on

Run from yourself until you can't be found
But don't remember, refuse to remember

Forget to remember love

The "rebuke of the wise" is still sung 2300 years later.

*Speaking of cautionary tales, the image is of Mickey Rourke in
The Wrestler.