My Shadow

(Trigger warning: contains discussion of bullying.)

Sweety and I saw the band Keane play in the Winnipeg theatre affectionately known as “The Walker” on September 16, 2009, and also gave tickets to our already active musician lad, Kieran as an early birthday present. It was an excellent concert; we all loved it.

The band was on a world tour promoting the album, Perfect Symmetry. I’d come to know the group sort of by chance, as I remember. Their song, “Somewhere Only We Know” wasn’t part of the soundtrack for the film The Lake House, starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves, but it appeared in the trailer for the movie (comes in at about 0:54 where I have cued up the video, here). I sought out their CDs and bought others on iTunes, and have seven including an EP and a later, deluxe reissue of Hopes and Fears (on which “Somewhere Only We Know” is the opening track).

I remember that keyboards were their lead instrument, instead of electric guitars, though they made many magnificent sounds with their keys (including some wicked keyboard solos). Guitars later took more of a place in the band’s music and live shows, though the players remain devoted to cranking out great sounds off the keys.

In 2010, Keane released Night Train. I supposed I branched off in another direction, but the band also went on hiatus from 2014-2018; I didn’t follow them after the 2010 album. Will maybe check out their most recent release…

My favourite song from Night Train is “My Shadow.” Before starting walking (and years later, cycling) to get to work, I drove or sometimes took the bus. For a time, I used to play “My Shadow” in the car, quite loudly, every day when I got in the car to drive home from work. It felt like a balm to soothe an ongoing experience of what would perhaps be considered workplace bullying. Thankfully, that particular relationship ended after a time (though it felt too long a time, way back then). Some days, I could feel the start of the piano part coaxing tears from my weary eyes. (Trying to line up the chronology when starting to write this post, I thought that “My Shadow” preceded the Night Train album release and also recalled speculation it might not appear on it. It ended up as a bonus track on the deluxe version; iTunes metadata tells me I bought it way back in October of 2008, before the May 2010 release(s)… so it must have been issued as a single in 2008.)

“Just shine a light on me, shine a light
I’ll shine a light on you, shine a light
‘Cause when your back’s against the wall
That’s when you show no fear at all
And when you’re running out of time
That’s when you hitch your star to mine”

(from “My Shadow,” by Richard Hughes)

I’ve always been grateful to Keane for having made such a beautiful song, and for being fortunate enough to have discovered their music. It meant a lot to me then, and listening to it today, I feel that gratefulness again. They’re a fabulous band. Check them out and buy some of their music! Under the Iron Sea is also a favourite album. It has some really rocking numbers on it, like “Put it Behind You.”

And, I am fortunate to have loving family and friends who have been there for me, and back then, made me know that I was better than the treatment I received.

Bullying is a behaviour most associated with school-aged children. While the resources like these don’t solve it on their own, they can help. And adult bullying and harassment is definitely a problem, as shown here. Whether it happens to young people or adults, it’s a complicated issue and takes some work to solve. If you are experiencing bullying, don’t give up. Please find a trusted person with whom you can discuss it. And seek help from parents, teachers or work superiors. If it’s really bad, it might be criminal harassment and you might need to talk with police. But do something to help yourself, even if it’s just listening to music. Whatever helps you to feel more like the fantastic person you are. ❤️

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy. 

Here’s the official audio for “My Shadow” from the Keane (topic) YouTube channel:

And for those live-performance lovers, there’s this video, from their official channel:

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