In the Black
Guitar: Kyle Harrington / Piano: Paul Pew / Violin: Adam Stewart
You’re in the black – in the black – in the black — ain’t it lovely baby
Not coming back, in the black – ain’t you free
No more debts – no more threats – you’re in the black, baby
Left it all behind – must feel fine – must feel fine
But we —- wish we could see you
We thought you might find time to write us now and then
You’re free — now and you’re lonely
I love you, but please do not ask me to pretend
Come home if you want a friend
I’m right on task – since you asked – I’m doing great, really I am
I don’t blink, I don’t think, I just press on, press on
I’m doing fine – I’m not inclined to crack anytime soon baby
Left us all behind but we’re still fine – swear we’re fine
But we cry for no reason
Late at night when we run out of thoughtless things to do
You’re free now and you’re lonely
Please come home so we can cry with you
I hear that you cry too
We cannot bring you back when home’s not home
We can’t make you pay debts you will not own
We cannot reason with the unforeseen
We can’t compromise when there’s no in-between
This review is dedicated to my very very good friend Rachel. She and her family are moving thousands of miles away, and I'm going to miss them. Miss her. A LOT.
The song isn't perfect for this situation. I can't in good conscience appeal for them to "come home," this move is too good for them. But then, parts of it are still wildly appropriate, like "ain't you free / No more debts."
The phrase "in the black" is from Firefly, for Got to Fly is a wonderfully nerdy album inspired both by Firefly and Battlestar Galactica. The song and the phrase work on their own, apart from Firefly, all the normal senses of the words are kept in mind, but there's added meaning. Being in the black ("out here, in the 'Verse") has to do with freedom, adventure... and, well, yes. Freedom.
Rachel and her family are going on a new adventure, though it hardly feels like it right now, even for them. Again, I do not appeal for them to come home. Nor do I think I'm going to have to say, "We thought you might find time to write us now and then." But the sad notes are all exactly right. For that matter, so is "We can't compromise when there's no in-between."
This song has been a favorite of mine, an obsessive favorite, longer and more consistently than any other Marian Call song, I think. Which is saying something. The line that really gets me every time, the line that forced me to go back and memorize the chorus until I could sing it every time the mood or the thought struck me, is "But we cry for no reason / Late at night when we run out of thoughtless things to do." Along the same lines, I also love the entire verse right before it.
I'm not sure why I love it so blindingly compulsively much -- the concept is hardly new, in itself. Perhaps I've never seen it expressed in song form before? Certainly not expressed so well. Though many people can relate to the grief in a friend moving away, or in moving away themselves, the song works for, well, all griefs, all losses, as far as I'm concerned. I think of all the times I've been depressed, with or without a reason, and staved it off for a bit with a novel or the Internet or some game on my cell phone. But it always comes back stronger, afterward. Sometimes it can't be staved off at all. Those are some of the moments when I love singing this song. I also sing it when I'm happy, in memory and in gratitude for the music and words.
Rachel and Tim, I hope it helps you, too.
Those of you who pray, please pray for them. Pray also for me and for my family. We have other drama of our own going on over the weekend, about which I will have to remain vague. (I should pick a code name for it...) It's related to the vague stuff in the March Madness post, and it means I could be quite lonely this weekend.
Lack of extreme depression is to be desired (even more than usual), for two reasons. One, it's better for my health and thus for my baby's health to not be sucked into that blackness right now. Two, I need to get some unpacking and cleaning done over the weekend, which will be basically impossible if I'm stuck in a depression pit. So pray especially on Friday for me, as that's when it all begins, both Rachel's family moving and my family drama stuff. Thank you.