Friday mornings of late I’ve been sharing songs I love to sing and telling stories about their place in my life. I love to sing! But as every song ends, so does this series, today.
2005 might well have been the hardest year of my life. My wife was divorcing me, I got to see my sons only occasionally, I had white-knuckled grip on addiction recovery, and I lived in a one-room apartment in a bad neighborhood while still paying the mortgage on a house I’d never live in again.
I even lost my dog. I’d say I was living in a country song, except that I didn’t own a truck.
It’s easy to make light of it now because I’ve recovered and my life is on a good path. In every way, those days made me a much better man, and I’m grateful for that. But it really was an awful, crushing time. I sought every lifeline and clung desperately to each one.
One lifeline came from out of nowhere, thanks to Paul McCartney. I’ve written before of another time his music kept me from going over the edge, and a song he released that year did it again. The CD it is from, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, could well be that committed optimist’s most introspective and brooding work. And I was absolutely in an introspective and brooding place then, so it worked for me. But then there was the song “Too Much Rain,” which stood in counterpoint:
Laugh when your eyes are burning
Smile when your heart is filled with pain
Sigh as you brush away your sorrow
Make a vow, that it’s not gonna happen again
It’s not right, in one life
Too much rain
I’m not an optimist. But once again McCartney’s optimism reminded me that there’s a path out of every dark time. And so I looked for reasons to laugh, smile, and sigh, even though my life was a painful mess. It wasn’t easy. But soon I found myself on that path toward happier days.
Click Play to hear Paul McCartney sing “Too Much Rain.”