Mystical Harrison

george-harrison

What do you sing at a friend’s wake?

It shouldn’t be a sad song – do you really want to add dark clouds when the loss, especially like this one, is already so sad?

My buddy was 48 and a regular tennis player … and he collapsed on the court from a massive heart attack.

He also happened to be a songwriter (actual, professional) and a well-known emcee of open-mic shows in Southern California.  So, last night, his widow organized a final open-mic night at the funeral home … to send him off.

The room was packed — just seeing all those people was a tribute to the many lives he  touched.

And there were acoustic guitars everywhere … a PA system had been set up … and each of us took a turn and played for John one last time. When it was my turn, there were still many people who wanted to play for him.

“Can you give us just one short song?” the emcee asked me.

Just one … I thought I’d have time for two.  What was I going to do?  As the emcee prepped my microphone, I realized there was only one song right for the moment.

“Give Me Love” by George Harrison.  It offers something to the living and the dead:

Give me hope
Help me cope, with this heavy load
Trying to touch and reach you with
heart and soul

It’s all there — yearning, longing, pleading, humility, faith, determination, sincerity, optimism, and love … And a simple chord progression that manages to dodge sounding melodramatic.

I was glad to have those words coming out of my mouth.  They’re reminders to all of us, my beloved friends.  Keep yearning and believing.

Advertisements

4 responses

  1. What a shame. My friends and I often find ourselves saying, “She was so young,” or “he went far too soon,” but we’re usually saying it about someone in their sixties. Forty-eight is too young, and such a sudden, unexpected death is hard to deal with. I think your song choice was perfect. I hadn’t heard the song in a long time, so listened again, and it seemed even more perfect. My best to you.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: