Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Very Strange Coincidence: Take This Tune

This week's selection for Take This Tune is Joan Baez's "Diamonds and Rust", in which she reconnects by phone with an old love (said to have been Bob Dylan). As Jamie notes, there are countless songs about reconnecting with lost loves. It can be through a friend:

Gordon Lightfoot, "Did She Mention My Name"

or by looking at old pictures

Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, "Just Someone I Used to Know"

or sitting by the sea, watching the waves.

Hank Snow, "Rockin' Rollin' Ocean"

The contact need not be direct; it can simply be a touch on a memory.

In my case, a song one would not usually associate with a lost love (although it does bring two lovers together at the end) is one that I will always think of in such a connection. That song is

Marty Robbins, "El Paso"

When I began blogging at Fairweather Lewis in January 2007, the second post I wrote was about this song. During the week I was writing it, word came that the father of my "lost love" had passed away.

I wouldn't exactly say that Lee (his middle name) and I were childhood sweethearts, but we had been friends from first grade on. He quit school at Christmas of our senior year and went into the military, and I had completely lost track of him. He had had a difficult home life, and apparently, at one point, had cut family ties altogether; nearly twenty years after we lost touch, I happened to meet his mother--who told me that at the time she hadn't heard from him in seven years.

So I wrote and rewrote my blog about "El Paso", which had nothing to do with lost love. I polished and fretted, I cried with frustration and finally decided if I didn't post it as was, I would never have the nerve.

Two days after I posted the blog, Lee's father's obituary came out in the local paper. And at last I knew where my lost friend had gotten to--

for there, in black and white, I read "son, Lee, of El Paso, Texas."


I don't know, but it still is one of the strangest things that ever has happened to me.


  1. That one is even stranger than not knowing where my ex was for ten years and picking up my phone at work to hear his voice just after I had mentioned to a coworker that I hadn't heard from him in ten years. :-) Everyone once in a while reality takes a major vacation to fantasy land.

  2. Fairweather, that story is wonderfully chilling. My post is about the military too but in a different way... :)

  3. YIKES!! Jamie, that is strange. Which is why I question "coincidence." Maybe it's more like what Jung called "synchronicity"--but of a rare sort.

  4. Thank you, Mary! I was just over and read yours--it's beautifully expressed. From the song lyrics, that bit "you don't count the dead/when God's on your side" cuts to the bone, especially now, when we're fighting wars for questionable objectives on two fronts. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.