On July 4th Mark and I were invited by a longtime friend of mine (think from grammar school on) to see James Taylor at Tanglewood. James Taylor is the Berkshire hometown musician, and Tanglewood is his home arena. Being raised in the Litchfield Hills of CT it was like going home for me.
His set list is like a walk down Memory Lane for me, Sweet Baby James, Fire and Rain, You’ve Got a Friend, Carolina in my Mind, Copperline, Mexico, Shower the People & Your Smiling Face.
They are the songs of my teenage youth, the songs I grew up to. They all have meaning to me and each of them take me to a special place. “Sweet Baby James” is the first JT album I owned on CD, and I played it to death. I always played it driving back and forth to CT with Kyle & Connor in the car to see my Mom & Dad.
When he introduced that song, we all cheered and began to sing, and inexplicably the tears started to roll. My brain went back to driving down the Mass Pike or even the backroads from MA to CT with both of them in the back seat, my sweet babies. Sometimes sleeping, sometimes singing, or being silly, as they got older often fighting with each-other but always my babies. The next song was “Fire and Rain”, the tears didn’t get much better with that one.
With the tears running down my face Mark put his arm around me and let me cry, with JT playing and me singing (which trust me no one wants to hear). The next song up was “You’ve Got a Friend,” once it started and I really listened to the lyrics. I started to think, and the tears dried up.
When you’re down and troubled
And you need some love and care
And nothing, nothing is going right
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night
You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running, to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there
You’ve got a friend
I began to think, closing my eyes makes the memories of Connor flood back, and I can bring him back in my mind. But I also know that I can also call out to all of you. My friends that have stood by me, through this ordeal, dried my tears, held my hands while I buried my Sweet Baby and tried to come to terms with the fact that I had seen fire and rain and yet I would never see him again. James Taylor is truly the music of my soul, but you my friends, family and followers are the people that keep my heart and soul alive.