Songs to Get Through a Pandemic, #1, Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town

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As we come up on the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to share some of the music that has helped me through the year. I’m going to post a quick bit about one song each day in March. So here goes …

Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam is a favorite and this performance is a reminder that music can be communal — just hearing 40,000 fans singing along in Chicago in, I think, 2017. And the song, about a chance encounter that stirs up memories and feelings is so spot-on during this time when tragedy plays out in the most mundane and banal ways. It’s been not a thunderclap of loss or even a hundred deaths by a thousand cuts. Instead it is loss and disconnection played out over seemingly unending groundhog days.

You can find yourself asking, What happens when the only rituals of modern life are performed at home or on screen? Answer: We can get so tangled in the jumble that we strangle ourselves in frustration.

And against that backdrop, this song, about the recognition, compromises and realities of loss … it seems like as good a place to start as any. Tomorrow, #2.

Having trouble with the lyrics, here you go:

I seem to recognize your face

Haunting familiar, yet I can’t seem to place it

Cannot find the candle of thought to light your name

Lifetimes are catching up with me

All these changes taking place

I wish I’d seen the place

But no one’s ever taken me

Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away

Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away

I swear I recognize your breath

Memories, like fingerprints, are slowly raising

Me you wouldn’t recall for I’m not my former

It’s hard when you’re stuck upon the shelf

I changed by not changing at all

Small town predicts my fate

Perhaps that’s what no one wants to see

I just want to scream, “Hello

My god, its been so long, never dreamed you’d return

But now here you are and here I am”

Hearts and thoughts they fade away

Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away

Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away

Hearts and thoughts they fade away

Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away

Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away

Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away

Hearts and thoughts they fade…

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