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Company

How were you influenced by a song?

Company

Postby myoho » Sat Jun 05, 2010 10:01 pm

I'll remember you too clearly
But I'll survive another day
Conversations to share
When there's no one there
I'll imagine what you'd say

I'll see you in another life now, baby
I'll free you in my dreams
But when I reach across the galaxy
I will miss your company...


* * * * * * * * * * *
How many times have I listened to this song through the years? But when did I hear it...?

January, 2008, probably.

Whiz back... May, 2007.
My (now) sister-in-law embarks on a life journey with her husband, her soulmate. On the list for a transplant,
trouble most of his adult life with his heart,
now at the stage where a few yards' walk means

to stop and rest.

Stairs? Out of the question. Their house is perched atop 15 neat steep steps. Their bedroom atop 13 more.
So the scene opens with a bed downstairs where he looks out on a world he cannot step down into, for how will he get back?

And the day comes when the hospital rings, "Prepare: we have a heart".
Fear and hope in a bio box where the heart is brought to synchronise with its new recipient.
Down, down down into anaesthetic goes John. The journey begins in earnest.

The following day the phone call we dread - "the heart won't beat on its own".

I and my friends are Buddhists, we chant. I ring them all- begging a bit of chanting to go out into the universe on behalf of this man...
and so off we go to hospital...
on the way we stop for petrol- I ask the Indian station attendant if he is a praying man... he is. He will...
our sister is desperate with worry- they have a twelve year old son. How could this be happening?

Achingly slowly, the evening passed. Her brother, my man,
a musician; he has a gig in London, he has to go.
I, alone with our sister, keeping us buoyant; hopeful. Convincingly? Unknown.

A long, long night. I chant to myself all through it. Daylight slowly illuminates the room.
The door opens around 6am, our sister enters, her lips a straight, flat humourless line.
He must have died, I think to myself.

"They've only found another heart."

Shivers. Joy. A lottery win. It's not just blood type. It's tissue type, height, weight. Wow.
The same surgeon who retrieves the first heart goes to harvest the second.

On a sultry, dusty day, unusual for Britain, the sun beats down;
we sit under a tree whose branches I will never forget...
whilst another transplant takes place.
The hours feel as though they will leave still more rings
on this glorious tree as evidence of the day
that passes more slowly than did the night...

and

...at last, we have word: The Heart Beats. On Its Own.

Even the tree is hugged. Gratitude is our middle name.

John, under anaesthetic from Saturday until Thursday,
his ribcage opened twice, survives to tell the tale (eventually):
interesting stories concerning his internal experience, a kind of dark Tolkien-type underworld, which distinctly changes its atmosphere twice.
The awesome complexity and mystery of the universe...
Rejection drugs are fun things. Not.
Dialysis? Ditto.

A difficult year? Not if you love hospital rooms
with (very) bright lights,
hospital food.
Hospital beds.
Hospital sheets.
Hospital magazines.
Hospital people.
Hospital noises.
Hospital everything.
Hospital, hospital hospital hospital.
And lots of needles.
But for his Christmas, the ultimate gift. A few days only... but home!
(!!!)
Two days... boundless joy will be theirs, happy little family with a fragile dad.

Enter, stage left:
A "virus".
and
John Is Gone. Just Like That.

For our sister, hope dangles, bright, shiny and palpable before her happy eyes like
a beautiful satin ribbon tying a lovely colourful balloon
and just as she reaches to catch the ribbon
it comes untied in her hand
and the helium farts out and the balloon spirals upward out of her grasp,
falling limply and unceremoniously to the ground... and lies there like a thing you would rather die than touch...

...months and months of anguish to extremes I pray never again to witness...
would she die from grief? It seemed more than probable.
But she survives. Another day... conversations- to share... when there's no one there...
her eyes are always red.

Back home. I open my Rickie Lee Jones songbook to try to learn another song... Company... yes. A nice one.

I finger the chords. Emotion
I cannot contain erupts like a volcano,
over my lids, down my face, onto my fingers, strings, streams in rivulets down the cedar's grain...
hot tears so hard and fast that I abandon the learning of the song. For now, I say.
But now, two years have passed; still I keep a respectful distance; still feel her pain.
I can listen, but not participate...

And after all this time, for my dear sister, this song says her pain, longing, just as it is.
Where is the justice? Acceptance... someday, maybe. For now, she still wears her wedding rings,
touches them often with the distance of the sea in her eyes,
for she is a sailor, as was John,
and she rides the waves on her little boat and that is her comfort.
He is still the Captain of her heart.

I will never let our lonely sister hear this song.
I hear it for her.
myoho
 
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Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:41 pm


Re: Company

Postby TexacoFan » Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:45 pm

This has been one of my favorites for a LONG time. I've always wanted to play the piano or the guitar just so that I could try to reproduce the soulfulness of this song. For the longest time I felt like Rickie knew my life...eventhough I found her late in her career... This particular song was my comfort after a devasting high school crush. I played it over and over. Every now and then I will pull out this song and revisit the tears of my youth.

I have been a longtime fan. Glad to see there are others that enjoy her music.
TexacoFan
 
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Re: Company

Postby marnie » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:41 pm

Rickie Lee has such an amazing talent, she has written so many incredible songs. The song Company is timeless and so beautiful. i have listened to it frequently over the years. I will never get tired of it.
marnie
 
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Re: Company

Postby jennysways » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:51 am

I know what you mean. I just got done listening to that song. In fact, I kept playing it over and over, I couldn't get enough of it. It's a perfect beautiful song indeed.
jennysways
 
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Re: Company

Postby Kristina Furey » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:17 pm

I heard Company for the first time when I was 17 and it was one of the most beautiful songs I could recall ever hearing. It made me nostalgic, like I knew the song all my life and it was reawakening a memory both beautiful and sad. My first love, a wonderful person who I learned about love with and who helped me set the bar by which all others would have to live up to, is now gone to that other life. I did not lose him to that other world passed ours. I lost him years before to differences that we couldn't manage getting around at the time. We were young, only 18 at the time. After we parted, I always thought of him when I heard Company and when I learned of his death, Company became even more entwined with his memory. It is such a beautiful and timeless song.
Kristina Furey
 
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Re: Company

Postby daringbold » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:57 am

This song for me confirms the comfort of knowing someone intimately and then their presence is nevermore and the longing for the comfort of that persons presence is expressed so sadly in Rickie's voice - it just hit me like a jolt to understand that quality times spent together are the cherished memories to treasure of someone who is dearly loved... and missed - I never related this with departure from life living but as departure from an ended love affair and the reminiscing of sharing moments together - but after reading the reply from the gal who's sisters husband died I could relate immediately to her reply
daringbold
 
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Re: Company

Postby marmotte » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:50 pm

I shed a few tears on that song, it's strange how feelings can be shared throughout the world...
marmotte
 
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