Watching the Glee tribute to Cory Monteith tonight was interesting for me. I don’t watch the show as much as I used to, because it’s gotten a little hard to watch at times, and clearly is not what it used to be. Tonight, though, was a little different, mainly because of what I thought was a pretty well done depiction of people grieving a loss, and that grief–like life–can get ugly at times. Tonight was all about music as part of the grieving process, and that really struck home with me as well.
I realized tonight that I’ve always done that, too. Especially when I was young. And tonight, when Mark Salling’s character Puck sang a very heartfelt rendition of Springsteen’s No Surrender, from Born in the USA, it made me think of when that song served the same purpose for me, though I never sang it outside of my bedroom, or perhaps the shower.
I remember my sister gave me her vinyl copy of Born in the USA back in the early part of my sophomore year in high school. She had liked the record at first, but then got tired of it in pretty short order. Well, I played the hell out of that record–so much so that I ended up buying a cassette, and wearing that out, too. There was this one song, in particular that struck me, and still means a lot to me today–No Surrender. It was all about being young, and about what music can do in a person’s life, when you’ve yet to be touched by the cold hand of reality and you could still change the world with a song.
And it was about dreams–I had plenty of those.
It was awesome.
I remember walking around school after my dad died with that song playing, just looking around at people while I listened, and it gave me a little hope. Kids were doing homework, or talking, or making out with boyfriends or girlfriends. They were eating lunch, or listening to music. Kids would sit around the edge of the Blue Stage all through lunch period, and it was hard to get a seat. I may have felt like my world was in tatters, but life was going on around me, and I knew I would join those other kids eventually.
It just didn’t feel like it at the time.
Still, the song painted a picture I could relate to–especially after what a blessing my friends had been to me after my dad’s heart attack. It was really more about friendship than anything else. It spoke about what the friends you have when you’re young can do for your life. It spoke of the bond between young men when your friends seem closer than your brother, and sometimes are.
For Christmas the next year, my sister gave me a live boxed set of songs from 1975-1985, and the following video is the filmed version of that song.
If you’d to take a look into my head (and heart) during a pretty tough period, this is a good place to start…maybe you need a little hope, too. It does get better, and surrender is not an option.