“The One I Love”

Hubby’s blog has a great feature. He calls it “Songs of the Day”, in which he does a little essay on a song he particularly loves and why.

I don’t think he’s done David Gray’s “The One I Love”. I adore it. I can’t do the music justice, like hubby could, but the lyrics get me right in the pumper every single time I listen to the song.

Scene: The singer/narrator is dying. He’s in the middle of battle, bullets flying everywhere, and he’s hit, leaking life faster than he’s leaking blood. The setting is jarringly beautiful – it’s a perfect summer’s night, not a wind that breathes. Bullets whispering gently amongst the new green leaves.

As he’s dying, he’s thinking of his love. And announcing to anyone, the repo man (presumably coming to claim his soul) and the stars above, that she’s the one he loves.

What’s special about the song is that is starts slowly, a lament from a wounded soldier. But it becomes happier, bouncier and more up-tempo as he approaches death. He becomes happier the closer he gets to death. Why would that be?

The final stanza is the answer. He’s in the afterlife. It’s not a fiery hell, it’s not Elysium. It’s more perfect and mundane than that: it’s the little hotel on the water that the love birds frequented – dinner and dancing. He reaches out his hand, she takes it, and they step out onto the old dance floor. Where he spends eternity with her, twisting and shouting and doing the Turtle Dove.

Not a bad vision of heaven. Yee hee, he croons as the song ends. He’s won the lottery, dancing with her in his arms forever, as ocean waves crash nearby.

But Hubby does it better. One example of many many: