"The One I Love" by David Gray
Waiting for an untested pork chop recipe to bake, I was transported in time with Gray's enchanting imagery. This song has always been a favorite for being a simply told haunting love song. For whatever reason, whenever I hear this song I think of a World War II soldier bounding up the shores on the beaches of Normandy in June 1944. I don't think it was a perfect summer's night, but there were the June buds and "bullet's whispering."
My views are simple. Life is about time and those you love. David captures this with a loaded thought of "You're the one I love." In my picture of this story, the solider is struck and dying from the beginning. After fighting and resisting the wound, he is "gonna close my eyes." These final moments he is physically surrounded by the battle but transported by the images of his love.
The chorus I think is special because it takes you from the earthly concerns of the repo man to the afterlife pondering of the heavens and stars.
I can see his pale skin with the words, "Now I'm leaking life faster then I'm leaking blood." And his life ends with the lights of the "bay hotel."
The idea that there wasn't a heaven or hell, only a blissful memory shows how human it is to die. Not up on my Greek mythology, I learned what Elysium was because of this song. (It is a final resting place in the underworld for souls of the heroic and virtuous.) The solider saw him self as human, nothing heroic or evil, just a human. We are the sum of our human experiences and joy is the people we share them with.
The comical part for me is how many of the lyrics I had wrong. I had medics crashing on the shore, and the lights of pride. Once I read the lyrics the message didn't change for me, but the power of it grew. I am in awe at his poetic abilities. It is a much better song with his lyrics.
Thank you, David Gray, for such a moving song.
I wish I had as many beautiful things to say about the pork chops. This recipe will not be a sustainable blissful memory I care to recall in my last moments on this Earth.