Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Saddest Song Ever Written

    When Gene Eugene of Adam Again divorced Riki Michele, he wrote what he called "one of the saddest songs ever written."  He used an analogy between his marriage and an odd event in Cleveland, Ohio:

"And i could be happy and you could be miserable;
I'll pull a metaphor out of the air: 
The Cuyahoga River on fire." 

    In addition to the haunting melody, River on Fire captures how stunning the breakdown of our lives can be.  The analogy works on several levels.  First, there are times we look at events around us and think, "This can't be happening.  I must be dreaming."  It's what we feel at accidents; at funerals; at court hearings.  Second, it captures how distorted the world is on this side of heaven.  Rivers should not be on fire.  Marriages should not have to fail.  Children should not have do die.  The economy could not have taken my job...
    I confess: I like melancholy songs. The remind that this world is not my home.  There is a place where rivers and fire will know their proper places, and the Gene Eugene's of the world are finally  at peace. 

1 comment:

  1. "What can you say? The impossible happens."

    I listened first before reading your post. I didn't get it. Now I get it, and I can relate. I had never heard of the Cuyahoga River on fire, which it turns out has happened many times. Perfect metaphor.

    This reminds me of the movie "Bye Bye Love". If you haven't seen it, you should. It does a very good job of showing what divorce is like.

    Lousy topic. Great post.

    (On a separate note, is this guy Michael Stipe's brother? REM could get back together with him singing. Holy flashback Batman!)