Weekend in New England (reposted from my other blog)December 14, 2009
Probably the saddest song I’ve ever heard is Barry Manilow’s “Weekend in New England”. I was listening to Pandora earlier when the song played. It’s not just the lyrics that make it sad. The melody of the song itself is already a tear-jerker. I don’t know exactly what it is that makes me sad too. I actually don’t identify with the song because the story does not apply to me at all. However, merely listening to it makes me want to stop and think only of sad thoughts .
The lyrics are not nearly as heartbroken as “Somewhere Down the Road”. This song holds so much uncertainty, but for the other song, goodye was really inevitable. Still, this song is really the saddest. There’s a line in the song that says, “last night I wave goodbye, now it seems years”. I think it just shows that whenever we are separated from the person we love, the time we spend being apart feels so long.
So many of us have been through this. Situations may be different, but we have all experienced the pain of being away from the ones we love. Yes, it feels like eternity. Sometimes, we fight with those we love, and we need some time apart. Sometimes, we need to be away from them for a bigger reason than a mere fight. Whatever the reason is, time always feels so slow. The waiting feels like eternity. Waiting seems to be the most painful part when you’re away.
Another line from the song that I like goes like this: “time in New England took me away to long, rocky beaches and you by the bay.” I also think this line is true, and this happens to almost all of us. When we try so much to be away from people, to think or move on, we get swept away by the new places that we go to. The new things and new faces we come across take our mind off the things that we are running away from. But after all the thrill, underneath all the chaos, we always go back to that one person who can comfort us and make us happy.
When we take a time off, we try so hard to forget. We try to forget the hurts, the people, the responsibilities. In doing so, we fail to notice that what always brings us back are the things that we run away from. When we lose ourselves too much in the effort of moving on, the things that keep us on the ground are always those things that we don’t expect to do so. Then, when we realize what we really need, we always come running back. Sometimes, we return to things that have already become unfamiliar, things that have slowly evolved into something else during our absence. Sometimes, we go back and find out that there’s already nothing there, that nothing’s waiting for us anymore.
This is what makes the song such a sad one. It’s the uncertainty of things. We can never tell what happens tomorrow, or even a couple of minutes from now. We can’t ever foretell what’s in store for us, and I believe that’s the scariest and saddest part of this life.
To balance it, the song is not totally just a waste of tears. If we understand the lyrics, we will find that even if the song cries out loud with sadness, it is also a hopeful song. The song is hopeful because even if the singer is not sure when he will be reunited with his love, he knows that they will still be together in the future, but he’s just not sure when that time is.
As for us real people, this is what makes us move one with our lives. It is the hope that someday, everything will happen in its own time. If we are far from the person we love right now, we all have this hope that someday soon, we will be with that person again. Yes, love leaves, and sometimes love stays out of our reach. But there is always one thing that makes us keep believeing in it. It is the hope that love will never be forever out of grasp, and this is why love songs are always a hit.