Song of the Day: ‘The Only Song’ by Albert Perrone
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by an artist or song with a
West Virginia connection
“The Only Song” is by Albert Perrone, a charter citizen of WestVirginaVille and a musical mate and life-brother of mine. Sung in his wonderfully expressive voice, it is a a song, nonetheless, of almost pure loss, pain and even anger, all of which – if you know him – are not states that last very long with Al Perrone. I asked him about the genesis of the song and – since every work of art serves a purpose, even if only a private one to its creator – the role the song served.
In a phone call, Al points out there is one somewhat hopeful line in the song: “‘I gather all my courage and move on.’ It’s not utterly hopeless. It’s just hard,” he says. P.S. By sheer serendipity – since he just posted this song – this must be ‘Albert Perrone Month’ at WestVirginiaVille. Don’t miss the recently posted video of his remarkable public artwork, ‘Art Can’t Hurt You.’ ~ Douglas Imbrogno
Albert Perrone: Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow, Ani DiFranco, and Del Shannon, all wrote songs about lost love without reprieve. My brother once told me, “I’m done writing love songs.” There is a crucial difference between actually letting go of painful reactions to memories and sweeping them under the rug to “forget.”
Honestly, the overriding background feeling in my life is sadness. When I am quiet, and just listening, the sound of the air in the room, a breathtaking view of the mountains, the white noise of a TV, all seem bedded in a nest of sadness. For me, it is inescapable.
Perhaps it is the accumulation of perceived failure, or life’s traumas. To cope, I like to think of it as a blessing, because this ties me to everyone and everything in compassion. I do the meditation of expansion and spread my awareness to sense the earth, all of its cycles; birth, death, creation and destruction. In this way, sadness disappears into the eternal events of existence; transformed into joyous awe, and I am appreciative and whole again.
I have trained relentlessly to acquire this skill.
But at some point all of us get stuck. We single out one perception and allow it to consume all of our attention, sometimes briefly, or a lifetime. “The Only Song” is not rational, nor was it written to any particular person. It is a journey to an island, a vacation nightmare where love knocks the brake pads off of you.
I go there ’cause it feels so damn good when I leave. I go there so when you tell me how badly you feel, I know where you are, and we are profoundly joined.