There But For The Grace Of You Go I

“And as I watch the drops of rain
Weave their weary paths and die
I know that I am like the rain
There but for the grace of you go I”
– Simon & Garfunkel, Kathy’s Song

These lyrics were highlighted for me by a young lady I met when I was 19 and figuring things out.  I’ve never forgotten them, though I haven’t spoke to her in years.  She married a friend of mine.  I don’t recall being invited to their wedding.  So it goes.  The lyrics remain with me, even if the person that brought them to me is a distant memory.  But isn’t that the way with so many moments in our lives?  People punctuate the moment, and then they’re on to other things, or maybe you are.  Life is a series of such moments built on one another.  I have the entire soundtrack of Simon & Garfunkel’s greatest hits permanently engrained in my brain from a constant cycle of flipping the cassette tape back when people bought cassette tapes.  Sure, everyone knows Mrs. Robinson and Bridge Over Troubled Water and The Sounds of Silence.  All classics.  but deep into the night when everyone else was sleeping I carried on with The Boxer, America and Kathy’s Song.  Years later, they remain my highlights in the Simon & Garfunkel catalog.

Kathy’s Song was the one that seized my attention and truthfully hasn’t let go, beginning with the lyrics:

“And a song I was writing is left undone
I don’t know why I spend my time
Writing songs I can’t believe
With words that tear and strain to rhyme”

Damn it Paul, I know how you feel.  We all work on things we can’t believe, that tear us apart inside.  I’m with you now…  and he doubles down with with the next verse:

“And so you see I have come to doubt
All that I once held as true
I stand alone without beliefs
The only truth I know is you”

Followed by “And as I watch the drops of rain” and the rest, ending in perfection with There but for the grace of you go I... And I’ve been trying to write a line as beautiful as that ever since.  I was a teenager when the song was brought to my attention by an old soul in a young body passing through my life.  People come and go in our lives, but sometimes as they pass through they plant a little seed that takes root in our soul.

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