My emotions will be running high the next few days as I head back to Powell County for the visitation and funeral of my friend Norman, who died early Sunday morning following a battle with cancer. As usual in times like this, I’ll turn to my favorite counselors to help guide me through. I’ll be relying on names like Springsteen and Tweedy, Lennon/McCartney and Earle.
A new band, though, will definitely get more than a few listens as I make the drive back to my hometown. The Gaslight Anthem has quickly become my favorite young group, and their most recent album, American Slang, has pretty much stayed on repeat in my car’s CD player.
The band’s previous record, though, will likely be the one I play most often the next few says, particularly the title track, “The ’59 Sound.” It tells of a man dealing with the unexpected loss of a friend and how he hopes she got to listen to her favorite song one last time before she crossed over into the afterlife.
I find this thought beautiful and comforting. When my time comes, I’d love to hear the opening piano notes from Springsteen’s “Thunder Road” before I lose consciousness. I hope others get to experience something similar.
So, today, as many of us are grieving (I had two other friends lose family members to cancer over the past few days), I ask that you play your favorite song and just reflect on your life and that of your loved ones. I hope they, too, heard their favorite song, one last time.