Loneliness is an interesting thing. Over the years, I’ve come to understand that one can be alone in many different ways and equally, in many different situations. We usually associate loneliness with not having another individual close by physically, interpreting it therefore as isolation. However, the truth of the matter is that you can be surrounded by familiar faces and still feel alone.
For instance, think of people who are married to the wrong person. They are not alone physically but they are alone mentally. As soon as your values, beliefs and needs drastically differ from the person or persons closest to you, you are alone. You can interact with the individuals with whom you are cohabitating but in your heart of hearts, you are alone, left with a feeling that they don’t understand you any better than you understand them.
As one of my oldest friends said last week, “What’s the purpose of sharing your life with someone who constantly falls short of your expectations in all possible ways?” All I could do was to nod my head. If you don’t see the gravity of this, imagine trusting a person you don’t have rapport with – an impossible task.
Our track of the week, “You Get So Alone Sometimes,” deals with loneliness in a very poetic and descriptive way. To someone who’s experienced loneliness in quite a few of its forms, the imagery is bone-chilling:
When arrows of love get pulled
From our chest
When white mask of tragedy
Ties ribbons round our necks
And then shadows are cast
Over beds that we’ve made
And you start to forget
Why you came to this place
These are lyrics that can be enjoyed even without the music, something I feel is a testament to their quality. You can read them as you would read a poem and be pulled in and effected by their bittersweet beauty. So often, one reads about the hell of loneliness but as these lyrics insinuate, togetherness isn’t always a picnic either, especially if it leaves you pulling “arrows of love” from your chest – we tend to forget this fact quite often.
Musically, “You Get So Alone Sometimes” harks back to the singer-songwriter era of the early seventies featuring passionate vocals and a very tasteful production, driven by acoustic guitars but seasoned with what can only be referred to as the “late-sixties soul treatment,” lush with strings and brilliant electric guitar licks. To a huge fan of vintage pop, there’s nothing but perfection here. I am moved by music on a daily basis but not usually to this extent. “You Get So Alone Sometimes” is simply put, a fantastic offering.
On a personal note, the brilliance of the opening line “You get so alone sometimes, it starts to make sense,” was what turned me on to this track. Not only did it hit very close to home but it also reminded me of the fact that togetherness is almost as difficult to define as loneliness. You see there are people who are never able to give us a true sense of togetherness, regardless of the hours we spend with them and then there are those, who are always with us, despite the miles or the years.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that it’s probably better to be physically alone but mentally connected than physically connected but mentally alone. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a tough choice that isn’t always clear and sadly, sometimes depends on the amount of drinks consumed. In case you’ve ever wondered why most marriages fail, it’s this very reason, or the gravity of this choice. In the best of all worlds, these two aspects coexist in a relationship but in reality, it will almost always come down to choosing one over the other and since quite a few of us make this choice when relatively young, you can only imagine where the emphasis lies.
This week, I will leave you with something President George Washington once said: “It’s better to be alone than in bad company.” And kids, don’t put that wisdom to test, you’ll only find yourself agreeing. Take it from somebody who knows.
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About the curator - Tommi Tikka
Tommi Tikka is a linguist, poet, professional songwriter, recording artist and a music aficionado. He started playing guitar when he was four and writing songs when he was six. Consequently, he doesn't remember a time when he wasn't playing or writing. It's fair to say, music and lyrics are not just something he loves to engage himself in. To him, they are a way of life.
You can check out his current band The Impersonators here:
And the music of his previous group Carmen Gray here: Spotify