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Music is interwoven throughout my life in ways that I never fully understand.  At times, I feel there’s a soundtrack that’s been playing in the background; sometimes coming to the forefront and highlighting the scene and at other times fading away into ambient noise hidden beneath the actors.

This song was released in 1975 and my memories of it are a myriad of the visions created by the lyrics and The memories of a six year old boy listening to his sisters clock radio from the next room as he struggled to stay awake for the next song.  It’s a song that has always created great emotion regardless of age and actual life experience.

Today, I went to a funeral for a friend’s father and felt a rush of emotion for my father’s passing ten years ago.  I felt the loss of a beautiful soul who had become excited to hear about my successes and was pure love when I told of my losses.  I felt the sadness that so many stories I wanted to hear would never be told.  I felt for myself and I felt for my friend because I knew he was entering into a phase that I understood everyday, ten years after my dad left this world.

And then, tonight when life slowed down enough and I went to the back yard to work while avoiding my thoughts, this tune popped into my head.  Maybe it was because I felt ready for the flood and, as a child this song had never failed to bring out the pent up emotions or maybe it was some latent memory.  I haven’t heard this tune in decades there it was, clear as a bell.

These lyrics never failed to rip me up. Hold on.

 Here’s one from the story collection…

He’s just the blind man in the bleachers
To the local home town fans
And he sits beneath the speakers
Way back in the stands
And he listens to the play by play
He’s just waiting for one name
He wants to hear his son get in the game

But the boys not just a hero
He’s strictly second team
Tho he runs each night for touchdowns
In his fathers sweetest dreams
He’s gonna be a star some day
Tho you might never tell
But the blind man in the bleachers knows he will

And the last game of the season is a Friday night at home
And no one knows the reason but the blind man didn’t come
And his boy looks kinda nervous
Sometimes turns around and stares
Just as tho he sees the old man sittin there

The local boys are tryin but they slowly lose their will
Another players down and now
He’s carried from the field
At halftime in the locker room
The kid goes off alone
And no one sees him talkin on the phone

The games already started
When he gets back to the team
And half the crowd can hear his coach yell
Where the hell you been?
Just gettin ready for the second half, 
Is all hell say
Cause now you’re gonna let me in to play.

Without another word, he turns and runs into the game
And through the silence on the field
Loudspeakers call his name
It’ll make the local papers
How the team came from behind
When they saw him playin his heart to win

And when the game was over
The coach asked him to tell
What was it he was thinkin of
That made him play so well
You knew my dad was blind, he said
Tonight he passed away
It’s the first time that my fathers seen me play

The Last Game of the Season (A Blind Man in the Bleachers) – David Geddes (Sterling Whipple)

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