Fire and Rain and drops of pain

Have you heard James Taylor’s Fire and Rain?

Of course you have. Everyone has.

The first verse is about the suicide of his friend Suzanne Schnerr.

The second verse is about him kicking his heroin addiction, and the third verse is about the end of his band, “James Taylor and the Flying Machine.” The line isn’t about an airplane crash.

There is much pain and suffering in the song, which makes it easy for people to connect with.

We all have loses and regrets.

Imagine singing night after night about some of the deepest pain you’ve ever experienced.

I wonder how he does it. Did the pains heal to scars and the scars grow so thick that he can share the experiences, without feeling the hurt of them?

Recovery programs are effective because they allow people the space to give voice to their pains and hurts. By recognizing and talking out loud about pain and sadness, we release the power of the hurtful hold they have over us.

Perhaps James Taylor reinforces his recovery and releases his pain every night, on stage in the spotlight.

“Even the saddest things can become, once we have made peace with them, a source of wisdom and strength for the journey that still lies ahead.” – Frederick Buechner

None of us ever gets over pain, we simply get through it, and move forward.

Everyone has seen fire and rain. Everyone carries some sort of pain.

“Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart
until, in our own despair, against our will,
comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.” — Aeschylus

Fire and Rain
by James Taylor

Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone
Suzanne, the plans they made put an end to you
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song
I just can’t remember who to send it to

[Chorus]
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I’d see you again

[Verse 2]
Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus
You’ve got to help me make a stand
You’ve just got to see me through another day
My body’s aching and my time is at hand and I won’t make it any other way

[Chorus]
Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I’d see you again

[Verse 3]
Been walking my mind to an easy time, my back turned towards the sun
Lord knows when the cold wind blows it’ll turn your head around
Well, there’s hours of time on the telephone line to talk about things to come
Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground

[Chorus]
Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you baby, one more time again, now

[Outro]
Thought I’d see you one more time again
There’s just a few things coming my way this time around, now
Thought I’d see you, thought I’d see you, fire and rain, now.

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2 Responses to Fire and Rain and drops of pain

  1. Bob Young says:

    James Taylor’s song “That’s Why I’m Here” provides additional insight into why he does what he does, including an interesting reference to “Fire And Rain”. I thought you might appreciate it.

    THAT’S WHY I’M HERE

    Person to person and man to man, I’m back in touch with my long lost friend.
    Listen to reason and understand and think of me from way back when.
    He said, me and Melissa, well we fell out of love. We ran out of luck seems like lightning struck.
    I’ve been thinking of leaving but I can’t raise a buck,
    James, I’m wondering could I borrow your truck?

    I said that’s why I’m here. Got no other reason,
    that’s why I’m standing before you, that’s why I’m here.

    John’s gone (Belushi), found dead, he dies high, he’s brown bread. Later said to have drowned in his bed.
    After the laughter, the wave of the dread, it hits us like a ton of lead.
    It seems “learn not to burn” means to turn on a dime
    and walk on if you’re walking even if it’s an uphill climb.
    And try to remember that working’s no crime, just don’t let ’em take and waste your time.
    That’s why I’m here.

    This is an IOU, I reckon I owe you one now.
    Listen Wendy and listen Gloria, this’ll be better tomorrow.

    Fortune and fame’s such a curious game. Perfect strangers can call you by name.
    Pay good money to hear Fire And Rain again and again and again.
    Some are like summer coming back every year,
    got your baby got your blanket got your bucket of beer.
    I break into a grin from ear to ear and suddenly it’s perfectly clear.
    That’s why I’m here.

    This is the part about Kitty and Jim, he loved her and she loved him.
    Wake ’em up shake ’em up the middle of the night, got to tell me everything’s alright.
    He said that’s why I’m here. That’s right.

    Like

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