And I don’t believe in the existence of angels
But looking at you I wonder if that’s true
But if I did I would summon them together
And ask them to watch over you
To each burn a candle for you
To make bright and clear your path
And to walk, like Christ, in grace and love
And guide you into my arms
– Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Into My Arms
Some songs you hear take time to enter your rotation as “favorites”, but others grab you the first time you hear them. Nick Cave’s Into My Arms is the latter kind of song for me. And it’s one of those songs you don’t exactly play at parties, so I have no idea how other people feel about it, but for me it’s on that playlist I play for myself. I know I’m not the only one, you just need to look at the number of views on YouTube for this song in the many performances he’s put out there over the years to see it hits a cord for a lot of people.
I heard an interview with Bono recently where he mentioned that Nick Cave played this song at the memorial service for Michael Hutchence in a darkened room. Bono was so deeply moved by this that the song stays close to his heart to this day. Listen to the song and imagine that moment, and you might never think of it the same way again either. It’s changed how I think of it now, hearing Bono’s story. Elevating it to a new place than before. Maybe my sharing it will change how you think of it too.
This is a love song, first and foremost, but you know it’s more than that. This is a song about questioning it all, these stories that we all tell ourselves. And maybe acknowledging that there’s something special in the universe to have put a kindred spirit in this world and pointed us towards each other at just the right moment. Serendipity? Or something more? To say you know the answer to that only means you’ve embraced one story over another. The only story I trust in the story of today, just you and me and this crazy world we live in for now.
Just another song on my Memento Mori playlist, as I march through this one brief life. You might think that’s a morbid thing, remembering that we all must die. I think of it as a reminder to live with grace and love in these days of light. And to celebrate our time together while it’s here. To remember, really, that we all must love.