June 4, 2012

Stay in the shade

Jose Gonzalez. The man is just an incredible musician.

I’ve been hooked onto him for some time now, and though he disappears from my playlist every now and then , every time he comes back, I’ve got his songs on repeat for weeks on end.

This is the song that on repeat for me now. The lyrics go like this:

Stay in the shade
Until you reach the grave
Hide from yourself
And see how you fade
You’ll see how you fade

Love moves on
Life goes on
And when you don’t
You’ll stand all alone

You’ll see how you fade
You’ll see how you fade
You’ll see how you fade

Move on, or you’ll see how you fade
Move on or you’ll see how you fade 

At first glance, the lyrics seem rather plain and straightforward. But then you get closer and you realize what a genius he is.

The lyrics talk about those times when we just want to hide from this world; “stay in the shade”, and not deal with life. We know that doing so is exactly what will be least useful, but its also what is easiest to do. So we do it. We might do it after a humiliating break-up, or the passing away of a loved one, or after publicly failing at something. But we retreat into the comfort of the four walls of our rooms, and put on “I am a rock” by S&G.

Jose Gonzalez comes in like a gentle guiding angel telling us “go ahead, stay in that shade of yours, but you’ll see how you fade”. He doesn’t say “we’ll” see how you fade, but “you’ll” because in the end, its our battle against ourselves. No one else to whom we’re meant to prove something.

Then there’s my favourite part; “Love moves on/ Life goes on/And when you don’t/You’ll stand all alone”. It’s spot on. Love, and lovers, move on. What was the end of the world in the past, turns out to be just another thing that your very complicated life involved. Better vistas awaited us in the future, but we just didn’t know it then.

At that moment, however, we are unable to just move on. And so, Jose Gonzalez tells us “And when you don’t, you’ll stand all alone”. Again, the subtlety of this song is incredible. He doesn’t say "if you don’t, you’ll stand all alone”. He says when you don’t. We are going to stand still, we will  suffer. And we will stand alone, wallowing in our misery, woe is me, angered and frustrated with a world that seems to have been designed to go against us.

But he ends the song with the same, gentle, inoffensive voice telling us “move on, or you’ll see how you fade”. He repeats these lines over and over again, knowing that only time will heal our wounds and allow us to move on.

I love the song.