Tuesday, August 14, 2012

You'll Never Walk Alone

From Wikipedia:

"You'll Never Walk Alone" is a show tune from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel.

In the second act of the musical, Nettie Fowler, the cousin of the female protagonist Julie Jordan, sings "You'll Never Walk Alone" to comfort and encourage Julie when her husband, Billy Bigelow, the male lead, kills himself to avoid capture during a failed robbery. It is reprised in the final scene to encourage a graduation class of which Louise (Billy and Julie's daughter) is a member. The now invisible Billy, who has been granted the chance to return to Earth for one day in order to redeem himself, watches the ceremony and is able to silently motivate the unhappy Louise to join in the song.

In the United Kingdom, the song's most successful recording was released in 1963 by the Liverpudlian Merseybeat group Gerry and the Pacemakers (peaking at number one in the singles chart for four consecutive weeks).



This song appropriately describes the lonely moments very senior people go through when they confront the imminence of leaving this world and the sorrow of no longer enjoying the life they had been used to as well as regrets, bitterness, anger and unfulfilled hopes that can never be realized.

My father-in-law probably felt this way and so do my own mother. They feel alone and no matter how much family try to bring cheer it is in them to struggle with this very personal matter. They have the assurance of going to a better place, a heaven their faith promised them. But it pains them and us too when they are unable to connect this and the next life, one that can only be received with absolute faith and trust. It is not easy to tell someone to literally jump blindfold and trust that he will be caught safely. Dying is somewhat like that, going away and trusting his soul will be received into safe hands, and that the new life will be far, far better than the present one.

In this life we all walk among friends and family and know they will be there for us in good and difficult times. But to walk through the curtain that separates life and death and be received by a new fellowship of people who cares demands a faith that only the strong and submissive person can possess. We will never walk alone after this life is over, but in many of our dreams and vision, death is like flying away from our bodies, alone, into the deep and dark abyss or deep space, without any guide and direction, lost and empty, crying for someone to reach out and take us.

The living must assure the dying that there will be someone to usher him into a new world where loneliness is alien.

Lyrics:

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark

At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of the lark

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone
You'll never walk alone

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark

At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of the lark

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone
You'll never walk

You'll never walk
You'll never walk alone.

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