When the song comes back to me again

I’m not sure how it happened. But somehow, somewhere I became reacquainted with an old Garth Brooks’ song. Sometimes when I connect with a song I play it. A lot. I wouldn’t say in an obsessive way. Just a lot, a lot. That’s what happened with this song. It spoke to me and so I had to listen over and over. I think everyone should know about this song so I’m going to share my thoughts here. Because that’s how I roll. It’s a good song though so I’m sure you won’t mind reading my take on “When You Come Back to Me Again” (Yates & Brooks, 2000).

There’s a ship out on the ocean at the mercy of the sea
It’s been tossed about, lost and broken wandering aimlessly
And God somehow you know that ship is me.

Is this an over-generalization to say we have all felt like this at some point? If you haven’t, that’s great, I’m happy for you. In my opinion though, most of us – if not everyone of us – will have our rugs pulled out from under us at some point. We will feel a little lost. And that’s okay. I think those lost moments help us become better people in the long run. That is assuming, of course, we find our footing and don’t stay lost. Which leads to the very next part of the song.

‘Cause there’s a light house, in a harbor shining faithfully,
Pouring its light out across the water, for this sinking soul to see
That someone out there still believes in me.

The movie (Frequency) this song was featured in had to do with time and altering history. A son helps his dad rectify his past and in doing so the son’s present and future changes. Not something that can really happen. So, I wanted to find out what they lyrics actually referenced. “The song is a ballad, penned, in part about Brooks’ mother’s death. He told Billboard magazine that the song is about lighthouses in his life. Brooks said, “that lighthouse is my mother, that lighthouse is also those people you played live to, that lighthouse is also the music because the music is like the air or the water, it simply is.” (Wikipedia).

I started thinking of all the lighthouses in my life. It’s the phrase, “someone still believes in me” that gets me. Please, let there be someone – at least one – that still believes in me. It is empowering to know someone has confidence in us. Despite our mistakes and flaws someone still loves us. The thing is though, even though we may identify as the lost ship at the beginning of the song, we can also identify as the lighthouse. Each of us can be – and should be – a lighthouse to the ships still out on the sea.

On a prayer, in a song, I hear your voice, and it keeps me hanging on.

Oh, raining down, against the wind, I’m reaching out,
‘Til we reach the circle’s end, when you come back to me again.

If you have ever been that ship out at sea and found a lighthouse then you will understand the phrase “on a prayer, in a song” because that is how it feels to finally see the light from someone’s lighthouse. “God does notice us, and He watches over us. But it is usually through another person that He meets our needs” (Spencer W. Kimball).

There’s a moment, that we all come to, in our own time, in our space
For all that we’ve done, we can undo if our heart’s in the right place.

This was the part I was unsure of. It fits nicely with the movie because it had a happy ending. But what about real life? The only thing I could come up with is redemption. If we live long enough and use our time wisely we can try to make up for past mistakes. Man, I sure hope I can undo some past choices or at least the consequences of those choices.

On a prayer, in a song, I hear your voice, and it keeps me hanging on
Oh, raining down, against the wind, I’m reaching out,
‘Til we reach the circle’s end, when you come back to me again

And again I see my yesterdays in front of me, unfolding like a mystery,
You’re changing all that is and used to be.

Again, if we are lucky enough we get to grow older and, in theory, wiser. We learn what is important and what isn’t. It’s a nice thought to think we will not leave this world in the same state we arrived. We can leave better.

“You’re changing all that is and used to be.” There is only One who can do that. There is One who is the source of all light and hope.

On a prayer, in a song, I hear your voice, and it keeps me hanging on
Oh, raining down, against the wind, I’m reaching out,
‘Til we reach the circle’s end, when you come back to me again.

And this is when I realized, this song is all about hope. “On a prayer, in a song, I hear your voice, and it keeps me hanging on.” That is the description of hope. It is hope that keeps us hanging on. It is hope that draws us out of the sea. That all powerful hope when we have absolutely nothing else. Really, a lighthouse is anything that keeps us holding on, that gives us hope. It can be as simple as a beautiful sunset or as deep as a family connection. It can be a good joke that gets us laughing or someone who calls or sends an encouraging text. It comes to us through prayer or an answer to prayer. It comes from a song we connect with.

That’s when the song comes full circle. The ship at sea is rescued when hope returns to that lost soul.

When you come back to me again.

Troyal Garth Brooks, Jenny L. Yates, 2000

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s