The Man Who Told Everything

One of the greatest honours in life is to be in a place where you feel welcome to speak your truth.

Sometimes that truth is what people want to hear, and sometimes not. Telling a difficult truth can shake things up, which can be hazardous when some are invested in keeping the status quo alive, especially in large organizations but really in any relationship, collective or community. Just the other day, I was thinking about this and, serendipitously while searching for a song to feature today, I landed on “The Man Who Told Everything,” by the Manchester, England band Doves, from their debut album, Lost Souls (2000).

Without speaking our truths, we are not authentic, and being inauthentic can eat away at one’s sense of self and of right and wrong. Today, I was in two meetings where authenticity was welcomed and encouraged. It is a refreshing place to be, after not always feeling free to experience life in that way.

Mind you, the risk in stepping out with a contrary view is not always welcome, and that can be scary when safety and security are priorities, especially if the group’s leaders are not virtuous.

In the song “The Man Who Told Everything,” the central character is preparing to tell a big story to the media. He knows it is the right thing to do as he infers harm has been done in the past.

“The Man Who Told Everything” has a somewhat melancholy tone to it, as though the character is aware that he will lose connections by doing the right thing. The repeated, closed high-hat cymbal drumming seems to mark the time toward the approaching event, and there are distorted sounds here and there like the haunting of self-doubt, right up to the end of the piece. (A one minute, forty-five second track, “Reprise,” revisits the song’s guitar riff and distortion later in the album; truth doesn’t go away.)

There is often a price to pay for taking the moral high ground, and the character knows it. But in moving ahead and embracing his true self, he is seeing blue skies, maybe for the first time. There’s a beauty in that.

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 audio from Doves’ official YouTube channel, where the entire album is presented as a playlist:

Full, unofficial lyrics are available courtesy of AZLyrics.com.

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