Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lost Gem: "Empty Chairs" - Don McLean (1971)

"...And empty clothes that drape and fall on empty chairs."
~ Don McLean ~

When American troubadour Don McLean released his second album..."American Pie" (1971)...with the 8:30 minute cultural megabomb title track...he quickly became the..."cryptic keeper of the flame."

Everyone started coming out of the woodwork espousing their theories on what each line meant.

Then radio started spinning..."Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)" from the same album, and fans discovered he was much more than a one-trick pony.

Soon teachers began using McLean's descriptive songs as introductions to poetry. And, in this instance...as a doorway to the wonders of art.

Add Don McLean's gentle voice to his timeless songs and we have another songwriting treasure to add to our musical collection.
(On a side note...Ed Freeman's production is crisp and clean..no wait...I mean...McLean.)

Lost Gem:--> "Empty Chairs"... is a beautiful exercise in the separation dance. Of experiencing that unfamiliar vacuum.  Coming to terms and yet knowing...absolutely nothing...will ever be quite the same again.

Have you heard this gem?

I feel the trembling tingle of a sleepless night
Creep through my fingers and the moon is bright
Beams of blue come flickering through my windowpane
Like gypsy moths that dance around the candle flame.

And I wonder if you know
That I never understood
That although you said you'd go
Until you did, I never thought you would.

Moonlight used to bathe the contours of your face
While chestnut hair fell all around the pillowcase
And the fragrance of your flowers rest beneath my head
A sympathy bouquet left with the love that's dead.

Never thought the words you said were true
Never thought you said just what you meant
Never knew how much I needed you
Never thought you'd leave, until you went.

Morning comes and morning goes, with no regret
And evening brings the memories I can't forget
Empty rooms that echo as I climb the stairs
And empty clothes that drape and fall on empty chairs.

Don McLean Official Site

Good stuff!
Casey Chambers

1 comment:

whiteray said...

A good one, indeed, and I've spent some time pondering it. But I find myself drawn every time I listen to the album to "Crossroads," the reincarnation metaphor, which tends to reopen wounds it should heal. A good Christmas to you and yours, sir. And here's to another year of exploring our passions for music!