Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012 2:04:47 AM
“Would you know my name, if I saw you in heaven. Will it be the same, if I saw you in heaven.”
Artists often say that the best lyrics come from one’s past experiences. Whether telling a story or sending out a message, composers have the freedom and privilege to express themselves through their songs in a more subtle way. Own experiences are huge inspirations for artists and later on, these meaningful and valuable lyrics encourage, support, and influence the listeners.
The quoted lyrics above are the first two lines of the song, Tears in Heaven by the English singer and songwriter, Eric Clapton. He wrote this song about his four year old son, Conor, that accidentally fell from a window in a 53-story apartment and unfortunately passed away. As the lyrics illustrate, he used music as a healing process to get past this tragedy and he traveled through an emotional journey where the pain was inevitable but he knew that he had to be “strong and carry on” with his life.
Now, here is the role that this song played in my life. One night, after I ate dinner with my family, we were heading back home. Usually my parents and I have different tastes in music so we always disagree about what to play in the car. But my dad turned on a song that I immediately liked and fascinated me. So I asked him, “What’s the name of this song?” My dad smiled and said, “Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton. Do you like it?” I nodded and answered, “Yeah, it’s a very pretty song.” Then he started to explain the meaning behind these lyrics. Afterwards, I asked him to play it again a couple more times. During the car ride home, I was quiet, which was uncommon for me. It was almost as if, with this song, my dad and I connected because we both felt the same way. I thought about the lyrics and imagined how I would feel if something like this were to happen to me.
I turned my head right to left and watched my family with a different, more grateful light. I promised myself to cherish every moment I had with them, recall the good memories, and forget the bad ones. Then, it became apparent to me that even though this is just one song, there are misfortunes like this, that happen everyday. People lose their loved ones and close friends, and sometimes they are too late to turn back and change the ending. They have to live with their regrets for the rest of their lives. They wish they could have done something differently and not have been so oblivious. But sadly, it’s all too late. I truly understood the saying, “You never know what you are missing until you lose it.”
Even today, I enjoy listening to this song whenever I get in the car because it reminds me of what is most important to me in life.