After dinner I walked into my room and closed the door behind me. It’s a small room, and in the corner sits my keyboard, hunched by a makeshift microphone-stand clothes rack, with just enough room for a cheap chair to sit amongst the scramble of cables. I sit. I reach to pick up a jumble of papers, sheet music I printed off yesterday, and lay the first page on my lap, as I don’t have a music stand.
The air of fading daylight is with me, the winding clock and spinning earth migrates the sun away, allowing the darkness to creep in earlier. The air of the cold is with me, no longer with company of the warm summer, suddenely aware of how easily the revered seasons are taken from us. And also with me, is the solemn air of this strange disease the has left me stranded in limbo, far more aware of the thoughts that dwell inside than I am comfortable with.
I flick on the keyboard and amp, listening to the buzz of the speaker for a moment. It’s suddenely a little less cold.
Fumbling through the first verse, I make it to the chorus, the part I specifically wanted to learn. It begins with a Bm, a sort of crashing sound after a mellow start. Two bars in, my right hand moves down to A, but it’s only a tease, as it moves back to the Bm while my left drops down a note. A heart tearing dissonance, the low end builds emotion, while the proud right stands as it is, creating irresolvable tension. Then swiftly yet gently, it resolves to a C, as if giving up hope, letting it’s last breath go just to find peace, in harmony and spirit.
I run through it again and again.
Just like the chords, the man was born out of the silence. The life he lived was subdued and idyllic, as was his youth. But as it neared the end, a truth of his existence came before him, that harsh honest Bm. Fighting for his life, upon the strength of his past, he tries to hold steadfast as the chords below his feet slip lower. But alas, he can fight no more and hence accepts his fate at the middle C, the note we all came from.
So strange it is that such a sorrowful piece of music can be so beautiful. Even more strange it is that one would willingly listen through this pain. Madness.
I run through it again.
It feels so wrong that musicians may die. Even after death, their songs still belong to them and we are just keeping them warm until they get back. But they won’t come back. They said goodbye to this earth and forgot to take something with them, their memories encapsulated in a melody. I guess nothing in this life really belonged to us in the first place.
I play it one last time.
“For want of the price or tea and a slice
The old man died”