This song has a gentleness to it that is unique in the early sf59 era. There is some distortion in parts and there is that scorching lead guitar tone but there are moments that are almost quiet by sf59 standards. Probably my favorite part of the song are those measures just before the outro where the guitars are reduced to that almost shapeless guitar with the chorus pedal and a rhythm guitar with the clean tone that softly hits the highlights of the melody.
The lyrics also offer some gentleness that is unique for the songs written in this time. As we have seen in several previous songs, the singer has a preoccupation with the other guy who takes the woman he loves away from him. There was bitterness about this other guy and certainly some bile for the woman who goes to him. It has been a fixation, really, with as many songs that have played out this dynamic thus far. This song is different. Instead of bile, we get this:
I don’t care about the boy
Throw your head up, hit the road
I won’t feel the wedding mourn
If you stay the same
She is leaving and getting married. What would have been the worst case scenario to the singer on Silver has become reality. But things are different here because the singer accepts it. He has let go of his animosity for the other guy. He has stopped trying to keep the girl, to hold her in place where she is his possession. He tells her to throw her head up and go much like a filly will throw her head up and kick her heels before running across a field. He has released her. He is content that she will remain who she is, the person he loved even if he cannot hold on to her anymore.
This is maturity in part. The other part, I think, is forgiveness, although the lyrics do not state that explicitly. When we are hurt by another and we hold on to that hurt and do not forgive, we are chained to the acts that hurt us. As long as we fixate on our expectations for who the person who hurt us should be and how they should act, we remain chained to those unmet expectations and we are stuck in the mess created there.
The way out of this is to find compassion and forgiveness. Through compassion we find a way to see beyond the hurt to the person we love, the person who may have loved us, no matter how flawed that love may have been in practice. Even if what the person did to you was super fucked up, you can see those fucked up actions occurring within the context of all of who that person is, all that person has experienced which may have lead them to make the decisions they did, flawed as they are.
Love has a timeless quality to it. When you can get back to love, you find a way to transcend the temporal reality of pain and rejection. And it is in this that you not only release those who have hurt you, you break the chains that bind you to that hurt. That is why there is gentleness here. The defenses, all the ways that we try to protect ourselves from being hurt, aren’t needed anymore. The singer has found his way back to something that is greater than any pain.