“Harmony” – Americana

I don’t think I have words sufficient to express the perfection of this song. I am at a loss. It’s strange how this happens to me. When it’s time for me to write about a song I love beyond measure, the words just disappear. Maybe it’s because it touches something ineffable and eternal within me. Maybe I feel that it is too taboo – like repeating the words a lover whispers in your ear in a moment of passion. It’s in poor taste to reveal such things.

But writing is what I’m here for so let’s have a go at it. One thing that stands out to me on this song that I don’t think I’ve mentioned on any song thus far is that you can clearly hear an acoustic guitar in the background. I love it when you can hear acoustic guitars on sf59 tracks. It’s a different texture. It melds well with JM’s voice. Playing an acoustic takes a different kind of style and attitude than an electric. This reminds me of that video of a short acoustic set that Prince did in concert. You can find the video on Youtube. Now almost every mind-bending thing you’ve ever heard Prince do was on an electric guitar. Then you see him sitting on a stool, playing his acoustic guitar alone and he’s still blowing your mind with no electricity required other than that Prince energy that emanates from him alone. It reveals more of the mastery that is there. I wouldn’t describe JM’s acoustic playing here as mastery but it is a hint of greater things to come.

The melody line the lead guitar is just enchanting. It is like driving down a road you know well; a road that reminds you of home. You know when the curves are going to hit on that road like you know the curves of your own body and you instinctively lean into them. The layered background vocals (in French, no less!) take the place of what would have been layered guitars in older sf59 songs. The effect is humanizing and makes you feel the longing in the lyrics.

The lyrics tell the story of the consequences of change and growth. At some point in your life, you may feel the call to find your own beliefs and step away from what everyone has told you to believe. This could be political, religious or just about anything really. If you answer that call and follow where it leads, you may end up leaving people behind.

Time moves
You knew it would
You’d leave them all
After their plainer thoughts
You lose some
I knew you would
You’d leave them all
After their plainer thoughts

That is the risk of growth. Not everyone is going to grow with you. Some people are meant to be in your life for a period of time. It is a difficult reality. Some would avoid it altogether by refusing to grow at all but that creates a different type of difficult reality in that you are basically dead inside. There’s no getting around this problem no matter how you choose.

Those who cannot follow you in your growth may feel left behind and forgotten. Time and distance makes it easier to forget each other. This is a persistent theme in sf59 songs and we will be seeing this again in the future. The singer feels this loss and longs for reconnection.

Time away, I wish you’d call on me
Time away, I wish you’d call on

Call on me
(Donne-moi le coup)
[French for “give me a hand” or “help me out” ]

This longing for people or times in the past is something of a fool’s game because you can never get the past back or pull it into the present moment. But that doesn’t stop me from falling for it. I can find some sort of peace with it by thinking that a relationship had its time and its purpose. Because of that, because I was changed by the relationship and the person, it is forever one of the threads which form the image in the tapestry of who I am. That person is always with me because that person became a part of who I am. I am here now even if that person is not. I can still feel the harmony now.

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