Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Favorite Apology Song

When cooking dinner, I can't escape the critical five minutes. It is the five minutes when everything for the meal has to be attended to at the same time. The veggies need to be drained and seasoned, the chicken has to be taken off the heat,the table needs to be set, drinks need to be poured, the kids have questions, the microwave is beeping every 30 seconds and I can't even remember what I put in there. Ahhhhh!

Most of the time I get through successfully, with the help of music. But, not this time. In one of my countless dashes from the sink to the stove, I took out my youngest who was dancing happily to Usher's "More" in his usually half hip hop half ninja style dance. Letting the chicken go, microwave beep, and veggies cool I went in for the hug, injury assessment and apology. At that moment, John Lennon begins to sing "Woman." My little guy squirmed and skipped away before I could "hardly express my mixed emotions at my thoughtlessness."

A mindful apology with compassion, empathy and gratitude trumps the quick "I am sorry" to end the fight and tension so you can finish watching the game. It also trumps the over thought apology with the play by play. How Lennon lays it out, his words could be used to cover any offense with any person. The word "woman" could easily be changed to fit anyone (as long as it can easily be said in two syllables, there is a song meter to consider). In an interview with Rolling Stone, he says his motivation was to recognize the role of woman as well as personally address his love of Yoko. However big or small, it is personal and beautiful.

Someone once told me a sincere apology can't be delivered with the word "but" because it negates the sincerity. If I can't say I'm sorry without the word but I know I still have to work through my feelings. It has done wonders for me but it isn't easy. Not a fan of conflict or tension, I would rush apologies and try to brush things under the rug. Now, I understand bad has to be confronted and to screw up is part of the experience.

Other apology songs which come to my mind don't capture the emotional depth and sincerity the way "Woman" does. Brenda Lee's song is cute, and was a go to song for me for years mostly because I could mimic her sound to the point of a chuckle. Hoobastank has a good line and hook, but the essence seems to be the apology is coming so late in the game he is going to be a better person to someone else. Willie Nelson's "You Were Always On My Mind" is sweet and full of gratitude but he isn't fully committed to an apology. Maybe? Really, Willie? You can find a top 10 list of apology songs at However, "Woman" does not make the list.

What is your favorite apology song?


Bill said...

I like Feist's apology song quite a bit (from The Reminder album...)

Dawn Malone said...

I will remember that for future disagreements :)