Wednesday, June 24, 2009

And now the time has come ...

And my love, I must go... 
And though I lose a friend, in the end you will know... 

One day you'll find that I have gone 
But tomorrow may rain, 
so I'll follow the sun 

That's my favorite Beatles song. It's pretty esoteric for a Beatles song, since it is only one one Album, Beatles for Sale. It's called "I'll Follow the Sun," and is often confused with "Here Comes the Sun," which s a much happier song. 

This one, with basically one long repeated verse, is apparently about someone who leaves his love after feeling unappreciated. He goes, but one day she'll realize the error in her ways and regret her choices. 

I don't love it for it's "I told you so" message. Initially, that did appeal to me. Love, work, or whatever relationship left me feeling unappreciated - this was a good anthem. Like a pleasant lyrical way of saying "You'll miss me - and you don't even know how much!" But, over time, that angle on the song felt a bit contrived. Really, if you want to thumb your finger at someone through pop music, Christina Aguilera provides a fair few excellent alternatives, with a great deal more oomph.

Instead, I've grown to love it for all the other elements of the simple story. I love that the singer recognizes that he loses something in parting ways. It is rare that there is no sense of loss, even for the person leaving the situation. I love that he is moving towards the sun, implying that there is hope for him in future. It's about positive forward motion, rather than anger and bitterness at the past. And I love that it does, at the end, articulate that fundamental desire to be missed. 

It's very hard to be missed. People are hesitant to admit missing someone who willingly left them. But we all want to be missed when we're gone. Even if they don't want us back, to the job or the relationship or the party, it is nice to know that our leaving removed something from the environment, however small.

Whenever I hear someone say something like "They'll miss me" or "I wonder if they miss me," this song pops into my head, and I just want to tell them to follow the sun.

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