Thursday, June 01, 2006

You're Beautiful

You’ve probably all heard the song. If you haven’t, you just haven’t been listening to the radio or watching MTV or VH1. You’re Beautiful by James Blunt has been in heavy rotation everywhere. I know there are those of you out there who are completely burned out on it. I even read where one radio station in England has banned the playing of anything by Blunt. Not because he isn’t any good, but because he is played too much everywhere, in other words, a severe case of over exposure.

Usually, I’m one of the first to jump on the You’re-Playing-It-Too-Much bandwagon. Really, I am. I don’t listen to top 40 radio because of that. In fact, I seldom listen to pop radio at all. KCRW is my station here in L.A. It’s the local public radio station, and they have some kickass radio programs. Check ‘em out. They podcast almost everything over the web. In this age of the Internet, I think KCRW would probably be my station wherever I lived. When not listening to the radio, I’ve got the iPod going with what it tells me is 4.7 days worth of continuous music.

But here’s the thing. I love this song. There are several elements that play right down my alley. The simplicity of the guitars. The emotion of the voice. But most of all, the story the lyrics tell.

It’s a simple one. You catch the eye of someone across the room, and for a split second you feel the attraction between the two of you. You can see a whole shared life right in front of you. But, for whatever reason, you know you will never be together. And then she (he) is gone. But that memory is there for you for the rest of your life.

The song makes me think back to the fall of my senior year in high school. I was working at McDonalds (yes, it’s true.) I was very much a single guy at this point with no idea what to do about it. But that’s probably beside the point.

I remember this one night, it was a Saturday. Late, maybe 9:30. Not a busy time for us. This family comes in: a husband and wife and their teenage daughter. I’m sure we were about the same age. I remember her face to this day. Open and friendly and cute as hell. I lived in a small town with only a single high school, so I was pretty sure they weren’t local.

The girl and I exchanged glances while they ordered their food. Then again while they were out in the dinning room eating. I wanted so much just to say hi. But it was like I’d forgotten how to talk.

And when they left, she looked back at me.

And she smiled.

And I smiled back.

And then she was gone.

I never saw her again. But I’ve never forgotten that evening, that perfect meeting.

That’s what this song does for me.


You're Beautiful
by James Blunt


My life is brilliant.

My life is brilliant
My love is pure.
I saw an angel.
Of that I'm sure.
She smiled at me on the subway.
She was with another man.
But I won't lose no sleep on that,
'Cause I've got a plan.

You're beautiful.
You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause I'll never be with you.

Yes, she caught my eye,
As I walked on by.
She could see from my face that I was,
Flying high,
And I don't think that I'll see her again,
But we shared a moment that will last 'till the end.

You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause I'll never be with you.

You're beautiful.
You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
There must be an angel with a smile on her face,
When she thought up that I should be with you.
But it's time to face the truth,
I will never be with you.

8 comments:

JT Ellison said...

What a great story. The road never taken.Our lives are a compendium of little moments like these. A perfect scene for a spy, too.
Poor Blunt, I love that song. Hopeless romantics are always welcome at the Ellisons.Thanks for starting my day off with a smile. Think I'll go cue that one up.

Sandra Ruttan said...

That is a beautiful story. I, uh, haven't heard the song, but now I really want to hear it.

Someone once told me the down side of getting married was that you'd never have that moment when you met someone again, when you wondered if they were the one, you know? All that butterflies and heart-pounding wonder.

Brett Battles said...

I think this song demonstrates it's all about the storytelling, and, in my case at least, making that connection with the audience.

JT, hopeless romantic has always been my problem. Well, that and the long romance thing...

Wow, Sandra. Never heard it? That says something about you. Good, I think. Not bombarded by the culture cram.

JT Ellison said...

At nearly 11 years married and 14 years together, I'm with you on the long romance thing. We started young:)

Sandra Ruttan said...

You know, the three of us are pretty sappy.

Next we'll be crying over our lost youth...

JT Ellison said...

Naw, I don't miss anything from my youth. Well, a few physical attributes were a little higher and tighter, but other than that...

t said...

Hopeless romantic... always a part of your charm :). Some enchanted evening, across a crowded room and all of that fun stuff :) Thanks for sharing Brett and I'll bet she thinks about that moment too.
go me I finally remembered the right combo of numbers and letters so I am not anonymous any longer. And yes I know that I could have just contacted Blogspot, but what fun would that have been?

Brett Battles said...

Welcome back, Theresa! Glad you figured out your password. See you're not as old as you thought... :)