Monday, 25 June 2012
THE HOLLIES - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother... AKA HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE!
I can never describe the way that this song makes me feel... the combination of powerful lyrics and equally powerful music that emphasizes these lyrics to the max is almost overwhelming. If you want a description of life... the journey we take and the way we should approach it, this is it.
What is particularly interesting about this song is that it was written by Bobby Scott and a man he met only 3 times who was dying of cancer of the lymph nodes, clearly a strong and determined man- Bob Russell.
If we woke up with this song in our heads every morning we would quickly re-adjust our attitude towards others because it gives us the strength to do so. 'His welfare is my concern, no burden is he'... whether applied to a family member, work colleague, disaster stricken person... whoever... does not matter as it is love for one another that counts. Of course our burdens are heavy and weigh us down but the Bobby's are telling us to apply a different mental attitude and help people by seeing them within the context of 'life,' 'leading us to who knows who, who knows when' by which token we do not know what burdens we may place on others, especially when we are blinded by our situations in life.
Maybe it is the combination of the writers that have made this song so poignant, Bobby coming from the perspective of a lifetime to look forward to and Bob making the most of his time whilst facing his imminent departure. I think of this song as the human version of the 'Footsteps' poem, showing us how we can be a real support to others and carry them in difficult times.
There are so, so many great songs in this world... songs of hope, joy, self belief, love... maybe this is the greatest of all because it literally covers everything & in many ways is our manual to life.