All these things that won’t change

come what may…

I watched a Neil Young documentary the other day and he told a story of how when he was a kid he heard a tune on a juke box and spent all his money playing it over and over again because it was the “prettiest song he had ever heard”.

Jesus says in Matthew 13.44-50: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.’ I’ve written elsewhere about how music is perhaps the only art form that we’ll still need in heaven. So songwriters may be saints.

The song Neil Young heard was Four Strong Winds, written by fellow Canadian Ian Tyson (it used to be known as ‘the unofficial Canadian National Anthem’). It’s been recorded by many artists, including Neil Young, but Tyson himself said his favourite version was by Johnny Cash, who recorded it just before he died, managing to bring out a whole new level of meaning and emotion from the song: “Well our good times are all gone, and I’m bound for moving on / I’ll look for you, if I’m ever back this way.”

Achingly beautiful. I listened to it yesterday, a couple of weeks after the 5th anniversary of my mother’s passing, and just cried. That is all.