Has this already seemed like a long winter, even though the calendar tells us that nearly two months remain until the first day of spring? Although some areas of the country have escaped the worst ravages of winter, many would welcome relief from heavy snow, icy roads, and freezing temperatures. The current succession of one stinging disappointment after another, as we learn the news of each new day, seems to have mirrored the weather.
Surrender to despair, especially when fatigued to the point of sheer exhaustion, can present a tempting option. Upon sober reflection, we quickly realize that quitting is not in our nature. Although the escape route out of the frightening labyrinth in which we find ourselves may seem hopelessly elusive, we must continue to choose survival — not just for our own benefit, but that of our loved ones, as well as those who share our quest.
We must maintain our vitality since once our ability to strive ends, in many respects, so does life. Like the mammalian sea creatures of the deep, we, too, must occasionally come up for air. Drugs are the choice of some (alcohol is technically a drug as well), although there are oftentimes matters of illegality, potential addiction and unpleasant sequelae to consider.
Music presents us with a less dramatic, but far more benign option. Yes, music can be mood altering. Depending upon the song we are hearing, and its context, we may become angry, sad, energized, relaxed, exalted, nostalgic or pleasantly uplifted.
Rather than presenting extensive social commentary as a background for a song loaded with political implications, this week’s choice offers a rather pleasant, innocent, and hopeful message. Hopefully, it may serve as a partial antidote to the seemingly constant barrage of unpleasant news that seems to await us each day.
The featured song this week never did appear on the Billboard Top 100 when first released in 1969, however, the album on which it was included ranks #14 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. This song was recorded from July 7-August 19, 1969, and the album was released on September 26, 1969.
The title of this week’s song, serving as perhaps the antithesis to Bill Withers’ 1971 song, “Ain’t No Sunshine”, is the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun”, written by George Harrison and featured on the Abbey Road album.