Mysteries (1)

“… i’ll be there anytime…”

It’s the tail-end of a really full day that followed a night somewhat empty of sleep. By the time I did all the important stuff I had set out to do today, and after a top-up of some time in nature, I walked in the door awash in fresh snowflakes and thought I might skip the Friday installment of My Song of the Day for Today. Tired out, I didn’t feel like I had anything to say, just wanted to sit, relax and receive. It’s been a busy week. My sweety also spent much it being of service. It’s a gift to us when we can do things for our people, especially in this extended time of saddening isolation.

So, I sat and opened Apple Music on the computer to play some random music to help warm up the space for Sweety and me. I heard and immediately surrendered to the songbird-like chorus of the main vocalist and backup singers in “Mysteries (1),” by English singer-songwriter Beth Gibbons in collaboration with Rustin Man (aka English musician Paul Douglas Webb). The song must have already started the last time I was listening and resumed as I reopened the app this evening, as the mixture of quasi-industrial and other sounds of the intro had already given way to those mesmerizing, calming heavenly voices.

So, I was immediately drawn to it, and in the background, Sweety said in a her deep, knowing way, “I think you just found a song for today.” I said, “Yeah, or… it found me.”

And she was correct. It is a blessing to be with such a wise woman. I must digress here for a second, though, before I continue… those mystical sounds at the start and end of the track immediately took me to the intro to Buffy Sainte-Marie’s stunningly beautiful “I’m Going Home.” As I mention in a post on it, I’ve always found that part of the song to have an especially ethereal quality. I feel the same thing present in “Mysteries (1)” as the sounds of the universe, the world, the heart, the mind, life, fill my ears.

“God knows how I adore life
When the wind turns on the shores lies another day
I cannot ask for more

When the time bell blows my heart
And I have scored a better day
Well nobody made this war of mine

And the moments that I enjoy
A place of love and mystery
I’ll be there anytime

Oh mysteries of love
Where war is no more
I’ll be there anytime

When the time bell blows my heart
And I have scored a better day
Well nobody made this war of mine

And the moments that I enjoy
A place of love and mystery
I’ll be there anytime

Mysteries of love
Where war is no more
I’ll be there anytime”

“Mysteries (1),” by Beth Gibbons.
Unofficial lyrics courtesy of Genius.com.

We all leave this earthly plane at some point; sometimes far too early, and yet, isn’t any death too early? It is for the bereaved. My deepest hope is that when I’m not physically here to lend a hand, my lovelies will be comforted in knowing how I felt: “God knows how i adore life / when the wind turns on the shores lies another day / i cannot ask for more.”

And I hope when they recall that, the sentiment will embody itself in a presence that assures them, “I’ll be there anytime.”

There’s so much in this song… each line has volumes of meaning that I’d have to spend a few days unpacking. Just one more thought on it, before I go and sit in front of the cozy fire I hope is still burning in the wood stove: “When the time bell blows my heart / and i have scored a better day / well nobody made this war of mine…” This line resonates for me thinking of those times in life where I have struggled, often due to my own weaknesses… that nobody made that war of mine… that I myself held suffering within my soul (as they would know from witnessing and supporting me in it). Some of those struggles were inherited or otherwise beyond my choosing, but that doesn’t mean I can’t reconcile with them, with my own resilience and the support of others when I falter.

While the song seems to focus (at least in my interpretation) on mortality, by contrast, it also speaks so poetically to the wondrous, remarkable, wildly wonderful thing that is life.

From a quick consult with Wikipedia, I only know that Gibbons is the lyricist and lead singer of the English band Portishead. And Webb is an English musician who was the bassist for the innovative and earth-changing band Talk Talk (please check out this post for a song by them).

Today’s selection comes from the album Out of Season, a 2002 release by Beth Gibbons and Rustin Man. The song with the title omitting the “(1),” also appears as a solo work by Gibbons.

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 for the song from Beth Gibbons’ YouTube channel:

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