Friday, September 11, 2009

"You're the One," Tracy Chapman; love sees the beloved with a special depth

Have I mentioned Tracy Chapman on this blog yet? She is another singer/songwriter whose music I really love. When I first found out about her and bought my first Chapman album (her 1988 debut album, "Tracy Chapman"), around 1990 or so, I remember putting it into my car stereo (at the time I had a really great car stereo) and just sitting in my car with the music playing, completely immersed in the music--even mesmerized by it. The spirit she conveys in her music, its simplicity and directness and closeness to human experience is amazing.

Here is a video of Tracy Chapman singing, "You're the One."

I would like to observe that the lyrics of this song indicate a deep truth about people in love. Now the approach of the song toward this truth may not be altogether entirely healthy, but it still points the way to something true about real love. What is this truth? When two people love each other, they gain--through their love--a deeper insight into the hidden goodness of the other person. Love, in a special way, shines a clarifying light upon the unique inner truth that is the core identity of the other person. This song, I think, taps into this reality. She may not have been thinking exactly this way, but nonetheless I think this truth about the ability of love to know the beloved in a special way lies behind the song's lyrics. This is also suggested in that the song speaks of others who are critical of the singer's loved one. But in spite of this she proclaims her loyalty. Now, this might be (and sometimes is) because she is deluded. But, it could also be because her love permits her to see things in the beloved that others cannot see.

Listen to the lyrics, and see if you don't agree with me. (And, you gotta love those cool percussion dudes playing beat boxes with their hands.)

This song is so smooth. With all of her songs, I love the way the music just seems to flow out of her, with such a simple directness and authenticity. Great!

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