Wednesday, 14 January 2015

I can't make you love me . . .

I love Bonnie Raitt.  She is a living legend.  I love her music, I love the tone of her voice, the way she interprets lyrics, particularly in the dynamics of her voice.  One song that encapsulates the pain and heartache with such depth is her classic I can't make you love me.  It has been covered by so many other artists - Adele, Stan Walker, even Bruce Hornsby who plays the piano for her in this live performance included below.  I have also included Fatai's cover of this song as her arrangements are beautiful.

Turn down the lights
Turn down the bed
Turn down these voices inside my head
Lay down with me
Tell me no lies
Just hold me close
Don't patronize
Don't patronize me. . . 

The song opens with the subtle brush of the drums, the keyboard, the bass, the piano before her distinctive vocals caress the verse.  There's something about hearing the sadness and defeat in her voice.  When I first heard this song I was quite young and inexperienced in the world of love.  Over the years as I've heard the song, on the radio, in shopping malls, wherever I happen to be, I have found it is one of the few songs that sits quite sadly in my soul.  I find beauty in this sadness and hearing it is almost like helping to mourn for the love that will never be, the love that will now cease to exist because love has died.

I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I feel the power
But you won't, no you won't
'Cause I can't make you love me 
If you don't. . .

I think that would be one of the most painful experiences to ever go through, emotionally speaking.
It's like when you're in bed someone pulls the curtains open early one morning, jolting you out of your slumber and the light comes screaming in through the windows and hits you in the eyes before you've had time to focus on your surroundings, trying to make sense of what you see in front of you.  Once that initial shock wears off and you gain your bearings, you get to this stage.  The acceptance, albeit reluctant acceptance, complete with the laying down of your own heart.  What power do you have left in your heart when it's broken?

Fatai's rendition of the song is also beautiful.

I'll close my eyes then I won't see
The love you don't feel when you're holding me
Morning will come and I'll do what's right
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight. . . 

It can be the hardest thing in the world to acknowledge and accept when your relationship breaks down.  It can be difficult to make plans to leave a relationship, aside from the emotional upheaval but also the physical daily upheaval where life as you know it will change completely.  You will be on a new path that you haven't been on before.  If you are a long-term relationship type of person, this may be a completely devastating avenue to explore and venture down.

I hope that at the end of the day, you will love yourself enough to value and treasure your own happiness.  If it means giving up on the fight to stay because the feelings are no longer reciprocated, we must learn defeat in this way.  Everyone must experience heartbreak at least once in their life to know how important love is, to understand how much they need to love themselves first and foremost because there will be times when nobody will love you the way you want.

Despite all of that - just have hope.
If you can't someone love you, love yourself more :-)