Meet on the Ledge

As another anniversary of the loss of a family member comes around again today, my thoughts turn to memories of her.  It’s a ridiculously sad thing to lose someone at a young age.  The passing years dull it a little bit but not enough, really.  It stays with you like a raw wound that never quite heals.

On that cheery note…

One of the things that I’ve always done is associate songs with people, places, times, and events.  Maybe a particular song was a big hit and on the radio at the same time that I was reading a certain book and every time I hear the song going forward, I think of that book.  For instance, whenever I hear Another Tricky Day, I think about The Stand because I read it during the summer of 1981, when that great Who song was all over the radio.  And whenever I hear Ahead by a Century, it immediately take me back to my first apartment after college, on Elmwood Avenue, and to The Fionovar Trilogy, which I was lucky enough to discover at a used book store down the block from us.

I associate many songs with my sister, most of which are happy memories from earlier years, before her illness.  This being a sad date, here are a few not so happy ones but which I hold very dear.

The Band put out a wonderful comeback album in 1993, sans Robby Robertson,  called Jericho.  It featured a cover of Springsteen’s Atlantic City.  It’s a rare instance of a cover being exponentially better than the original, in my opinion.   It features Levon’s wonderful, Arkansas drawl and his amazing mandolin licks.  My sister lived in Atlantic City at the end of her life.  We traveled there many times during her illness.  I hate that effin city and will never go back there.  But this song, man.  I’ve heard it a thousand times and never get tired of it.  Now that I’ve started playing the mandolin, it makes me extremely happy to play this song with my friends.  And for me, it’s always in her memory.

Next up is Life’s a Long Song, from Jethro Tull’s seminal double album, Living in the Past.  My sister had this album and I still have her copy of it in my collection.  I’m a lifelong Tull fanatic and it’s her fault(which is kinda funny because in my experience, chicks hate Tull).  I’ve seen Tull many times but the one that sticks out in my mind the most is from 4-2-94 at Shea’s, only four days before she left us.  It’s also the only time I ever saw the boys perform this song.

Okay, one more and then we’ll put this shit to rest for another year.  Meet on the Ledge by Fairport Convention is a fantastic song of theirs from 1968.  Written by a 17 year old Richard Thompson(17!!! c’mon, I could barely get myself to class on time at 17), it’s become something of a funeral song over the years and according to Wikipedia, RT actually had to sing it at his own mom’s funeral, per her request.  I’m a devout non-believer and I think the whole idea of god and the afterlife is downright silly.  But I’ll tell ya, I understand why people cling to these ideas.  How comforting it must be for people when they lose loved ones to think they’ll see them again in the afterlife.  For heathens like me though, cool songs like this one will have to suffice.

We used to say
That come the day
We’d all be making songs
Or finding better words
These ideas never lasted long

The way is up
Along the road
The air is growing thin
Too many friends who tried
Were blown off this mountain with the wind

Meet on the ledge
We’re gonna meet on the ledge
When my time is up I’m gonna see all my friends
Meet on the ledge
We’re gonna meet on the ledge
If you really mean it, it all comes round again

Yet now I see
I’m all alone
But that’s the only way to be
You’ll have your chance again
Then you can do the work for me

Meet on the ledge
We’re gonna meet on the ledge
When my time is up I’m gonna see all my friends
Meet on the ledge
We’re gonna meet on the ledge
If you really mean it, it all comes round again

Meet on the ledge
We’re gonna meet on the ledge
When my time is up I’m gonna see all my friends
Meet on the ledge
We’re gonna meet on the ledge
If you really mean it, it all comes round again

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One thought on “Meet on the Ledge

  1. I can not believe that she’s gone twenty two years.every year around this time she makes an appearance to tell me that everything is alright,i know you probably think I”M weird.but It happens.
    I miss her so much ,not a day goes by ,she’s always in my mind..not fair too young to die.
    Mothers are not suppose to out live their children.

    Like

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