Thursday, June 10, 2010

Up to the Mountain

It is the best of all possible worlds and couldn't possibly be better.
Voltaire - Candide

I went up to the mountain
Because you asked me to
Up over the clouds
To where the sky was blue
I could see all around me
I could see all around me


Some days I look down
Afraid I will fall
And though the sun shines
I see nothing at all
Then I hear your sweet voice, oh
Oh, come and then go, come and then go
Telling me softly
You love me so
Patty Griffin - Up to the Mountains

The Cranky Old Man asked me what Candide's words have to do with the lyrics from Up to the Mountain.

Very little, if you take them at face value. Voltaire's Candide is a satiric view of  life, which Voltaire sees as a cruel struggle for survival where hope and love count for nothing. Candide travels throughout the world while one misfortune is heaped on another, all the while expressing the notion that God has preordained everything and it is for the best. Patty Griffin's Up to the Mountain is a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.'s last speech. In the speech King compares himself to Moses who led his people out of bondage and to the promised land. From the mountaintop Moses viewed the Promised Land, but he was to die before reaching it. The speech was delivered in Memphis, Tennessee on April 3, 1968. The next day King was assassinated. The lyrics are a reaffirmation of the hope that exists in every soul that God's voice does speak to us, telling us softly that he loves us so.

Cranky thinks to himself that if we have to choose, we choose hope over despair.

1 comment:

  1. How interesting that man looks for the pearl somewhere else then right in front of him. If man only took a moment to open his eyes and listen with his ears he would see and hear the riches that are all around him. I need to look no further than my front door to know that God has given me a string of pearls: my family, my friends ,and yes even Cranky Old Man.

    I have learned that what I think is best for others is sometimes only best for me.

    I have learned that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

    I've learned that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

    I've learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced
    who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

    I've learned that two people can look at the same thing and see something totally different.

    and most importantly I have learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

    “Other people may be there to help us, teach us, guide us along our
    path, but the lesson to be learned is always ours.”