Amy Mantis


Sky Blue And Black

I can't play piano that well.  But Jackson Browne's acoustic "Sky Blue And Black" really makes me want to change that because this rendition of that song is so gorgeous.  So is the one on the record, but the stripped-down version really shines.  The way you can hear the breath in his voice and in the piano, you don't get that on the record.

Let's look at the lyrics of this beauty:

In the calling out to one another
Of the lovers up and down the strand
In the sound of the waves and the cries
Of the seagulls circling the sand
In the fragments of the songs
Carried down the wind from some radio
In the murmuring of the city in the distance
Ominous and low

Whatever I have to say about these lyrics is unnecessary.

I hear the sound of the world where we played
And the far too simple beauty
Of the promises we made

"The far too simple beauty fo the promises we made." Stop right there.  How?  How does he do it?

If you ever need holding
Call my name, I'll be there
If you ever need holding
And no holding back, I'll see you through
Sky blue and black

When I first listened to this song I didn't quite get the sky blue and black part.  I thought he just wanted it for the rhyme, but Jackson Browne is above that.  I know what sky blue and black means to me now.

Where the touch of the lover ends
And the soul of the friend begins
There's a need to be separate and a need to be one
And a struggle neither wins
Where you gave me the world I was in
And a place I could make a stand
I could never see how you doubted me
When I'd let go of your hand

We human beings are mysterious creatures.  We want everything and nothing at the same time.  We want love, but we want space.  We want to trust someone but we don't trust ourselves enough to do it most of the time.

Yeah, and I was much younger then
And I must have thought that I would know
If things were going to end

I'm still much younger, and I still think I know if things are gonna end.  But I don't.  Not always.

And the heavens were rolling
Like a wheel on a track
And our sky was unfolding
And it'll never fold back
Sky blue and black

Now for the heartache.  Or more heartache.

And I'd have fought the world for you
If I thought that you wanted me to
Or put aside what was true or untrue
If I'd known that's what you needed
What you needed me to do

Ugh.  THIS.  This is the part that gets me.  He'd have done anything - anything!  But he didn't know what to do.  So now we're here:

But the moment has passed by me now
To have put away my pride
And just come through for you somehow

This part leaves me a little bit confused.  I don't know if he's saying he can't help her anymore or if he's going to regardless.  I think he's saying it's over, but he'll always be there because...

If you ever need holding
Call my name, I'll be there
If you ever need holding
And no holding back, I'll see you through

You're the color of the sky
Reflected in each store-front window pane
You're the whispering and the sighing
Of my tires in the rain
You're the hidden cost and the thing that's lost
In everything I do
Yeah and I'll never stop looking for you
In the sunlight and the shadows
And the faces on the avenue
That's the way love is
That's the way love is
That's the way love is
Sky blue and black

My heart is done.  "That's the way love is."  That sums it up.  Five little words.