Hold You in My Arms

I am not sure where I first heard American singer-songwriter and musician Ray LaMontagne’s music; it may have been in a film or TV (as his music has been featured in numerous soundtracks). Or perhaps it was on late-night radio, though film/TV seems more like it is correct.

In August 2011, I bought his second album Till the Sun Turns Black (2006), from the iTunes Store. I listened to it quite a lot, back then.

This afternoon while I was sitting in the summer porch, exploring some of the videos YouTube recommended for me, several songs came up from his debut album Trouble (worked on from 1999 until its release in 2004).

Sitting there, I appreciated a new view and perspective. You see, last night, we had our three Winnipeg sons, partners and grand-baby over for dinner as a belated celebration of our youngest lad’s birthday. The evening was COVID-19-friendly as everyone washed hands when they arrived, and we all sat outdoors in the porch, and my sweety and I served the food. I had moved all the furniture so that seven of us could sit and be visible to each other while maintaining two metres of space between people not from the same household “bubble.” (Who’d have thought, six months ago, that this would be a thing.) Yesterday evening was the first time we were all together since February, just before lockdown. It was lovely to be all together, and the evening seemed to go quickly as Sweety and I both remarked today.

Anyway, we haven’t moved the furniture back yet, so I sat looking at a different view than usual and savoured watching the flock of birds flying in and out of a neighbouring yard where a bird feeder hangs on the porch. It is a reminder to me not to take things for granted, and embrace differing viewpoints (okay, I’m working on that part…).

I don’t think I’ve heard “Hold You in My Arms “before, but the lyrics brought back some words I heard this morning from a dear friend in Colorado about “dropping the spear, one thousand times.” His words were about trying to break attachment from society’s constant tendency toward hostility and outright violence, in slow moves toward working together to heal the planet and all its peoples in a time where we’ve seen much division and discord. I think the lyrics also speak about the blessing we have when there is someone who will help ease our fears and sadness. Having someone like that is the greatest gift there is.

“When you came to me with your bad dreams and your fears
It was easy to see that you’d been crying
Seems like everywhere you turn catastrophe it reigns
But who really profits from the dying
I could hold you in my arms
I could hold you forever
I could hold you in my arms
I could hold you forever

When you kissed my lips with my mouth so full of questions
My worried mind that you quiet
Place your hands on my face
Close my eyes and say
Love is a poor man’s food
Don’t prophesize
I could hold you in my arms
I could hold you forever
And I could hold you in my arms
I could hold you forever

So now we see how it is
This fist begets the spear
Weapons of war
Symptoms of madness
Don’t let your eyes refuse to see
Don’t let your ears refuse to hear
Or you ain’t never going to shake this sense of sadness
I could hold you in my arms
I could hold on forever
And I could hold you in my arms
I could hold on forever”

(“Hold You in My Arms,” by Ray LaMontagne)

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 the song from Ray LaMontagne’s YouTube channel:

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