I resisted your music when I was fifteen, or maybe a little more, because I attributed it to being old. Back then, to be old was to be boring. Strangely, I’m grateful for this foolish youth induced naivety. I knew your songs and words would be there waiting to be explored when I would eventually become older (just as I assumed you would always be around). When I would inevitably need it most.
I came to your music when I was twenty-four, still very young but with experiences behind me that forced me to try to understand and fully embrace the unpredictability of the everyday. I realised that to get older isn’t a pre-destined progression to banality, but the opposite. This was when I became curious about your perspective through poetry. You wrote about love; having it, longing for it, working on it, enjoying it, fearing it, leaving it, losing it. The natural and emotional articulation of feeling in ‘Suzanne’, ‘True Love Leaves No Traces’, and ‘So Long, Marianne’ gave me an appreciation for one of the more enriching elements of humanity. I related to you, but more importantly I learned from your position as a flâneur and participant.
I’m learning from you, still.
You criticised politics and contemplated religion, and always you remained conscious of your responsibility to others and yourself through your music. You didn’t resist life, writing, working, ageing, risking, or dying. Listening to you, you were prepared and prophetic which comforted and prepared your audiences across all lands to embrace everything wholeheartedly.
There are a few lines in ‘Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye’, that captures the unconditional feeling I get from listening to your music, especially while walking around in solitude. These lines are so reassuring and I’m eternally grateful to have them now.
“I’m not looking for another as I wander in my time,
Walk me to the corner, our steps will always rhyme.
You know my love goes with you as your love stays with me.”