This song has always given me a weird feeling.
I can’t exactly explain it – except to admit that the lyrics used to give me a strange tight discomfort in my chest, even though I’ve always found its melody hauntingly beautiful.
Was it a song about magic?
Or perhaps… a song about death?
When I was young, I did not know.
But I can’t help but recall that my older sister would often sing the lyrics – making sure to mimic the young Steve Winwood’s high pitched plaintive voice and making a mockery of the British way he pronounced can’t (like caunt) – and I would nervously laugh and laugh, and beg her to stop.
Oh, the nervous laughter we shared over that song!
Back then, I didn’t know what it was about…
or what made me so uncomfortable about that song.
And I definitely did not know what it was about this song that invited so much ridicule from my older sister…. and yet…
Some thirty-odd years later, we got to talking about the song recently…and we admitted to one another that we’d always liked that song.
Funny that, eh?
Perhaps we are getting old.
Nowadays, I have begun to speculate what the song is about.
Or rather, I have become certain of what that song means to me.
It is a song about surrender.
Perhaps what had made me uncomfortable about the song was its tone – which now strikes me as a tone of surrender:
“Come down off your throne and leave your body alone. Somebody must change You are the reason I’ve been waiting so long – somebody holds the key Well, I’m near the end and I just ain’t got the time And I’m wasted and I can’t find my way home
Come down on your own and leave your body at home – somebody must change You are the reason I’ve been waiting all these years – somebody holds the key Well, I’m near the end and I just ain’t got the time And I’m wasted and I can’t find my way home…”
-lyrics written and sung by Steve Winwood/Blind Faith
As a matter of fact, while it is still true that it might be a song about fear of death or old age, that plaintive chorus of I can’t find my way home never fails to fill me with this unshakeable sense of loneliness and loss.
Perhaps the song is an extended and powerful metaphor of loss.
Is it about someone who is spiritually seeking?
As it was with the mystic poet Rabindranath Tagore who wrote:
Where roads are made I lose my way.
In the wide water, in the blue sky there is no line of a track.
The pathway is hidden by the birds’ wings, by the star-fires, by the flowers of the wayfaring seasons.
And I ask my heart if its blood carries the wisdom of the unseen way….