If I could sing, I’d sing a song for lost songs.
I’d build a room of tunes and wallpaper it with every song we’ve ever shared with those we’ve loved, and I’d sing in it. I’d sing of pain and misery, of beautiful moments and intimate memories. I’d sing of happiness and laughter, of heartbreak and tears, but mostly I’d sing of loss.
We lose so much with love. Our futures, of course. And our hearts. Sometimes our minds and memories.
But must love take our songs as well? That’s just cruel.
I often stare at the wall and wonder if old lovers listen to our music. Do they still recite our lyrics or remember our rhythms? What happens when they sway to a previous lover’s dance or share a new lover’s earbuds? What happens when they’ve sold their cassette player in a garage sale and all the mixtapes we made them unspool in a shoebox? Do they still hear our songs?
Can we listen again and hear the same song in the same way with the same feeling? Once we’ve shared it, can we ever take it back? Can we sing along despite the loss or echo the sentiment of simpler times?
I think not.
When we share a song, we give it away. No matter how long it might have been ours, it now belongs to us, even if us is no longer a functioning entity. And we’ll despair that “functioning entity” is a horribly unpoetic phrase, and it would never work in a song, but, even while we’re lamenting a song’s loss, our unlyrical minds may commandeer our fingers… But we digress.
When we give a song away, when we wallpaper it to a certain romantic era, when we tie it like a ribbon to another’s soul or hang it on another human’s hook, can we ever have it back?
Or is it lost forever? And if it’s lost, are we not lost as well?
And at what point do we tire of losing?
At what point do we stop playing the game?
Autumn is upon us. There are so many songs of autumns past. So many songs, as Elton sang, that said so much. So many parts of ourselves given away to those who, if they haven’t already, will one day wallpaper over our memories with newer songs from newer loves.
I, for one, am tired of losing. I’m weary of playing the game. I’m sad for the songs lost and the loves gone, the efforts and the smiles and the comfy coffee moments that, to put it musically with a phrase I’ll never use properly, poco a poco dimmuendo, only to crescendo in heartbreaking moments of breathless recollection.
That wasn’t very musical. That’s why I began with, “If I could sing…”
Yet I will sing a song for lost songs. And even that song, too, will one day be scraped off time’s wall with a rusty razor blade.
Because songs die like Autumn leaves. As do memories. As, I fear, does love.