I had tears in my eyes as I ducked under Boston’s “Big Dig,” having just heard our President’s heartfelt tribute to those lost at Newtown, CT. I spent a good part of Friday in the car listening to CNN’s coverage while en route to pick up my son for his vacation from his Massachusetts school. Needless to say, our reunion was a bit more touching than it might have been had I picked him up a day earlier.
When I got home that night, I looked to music in search of both solace and understanding. For some reason, Marvin Gaye popped into my head. All I could think of was “Make me wanna holler… throw up both my hands.” I started playing his classic What’s Going On (1971) album.
Then the song popped up on my iTunes screen: “Save the Children.”
Figuring I’d post it on Twitter, I examined the lyrics for a phrase that might fit inside Twitter’s character limit. Having tweeted nearly 500 songs in recent years, the procedure strikes me as cyber-Haiku – i.e., instead of 17 syllables, you’re bound by 140 characters.
So, I sought out a snippet of the song that said it all for me. I settled on “You see, let’s save the children, Let’s save all the children.” Then I took a shot at seeing how closely it might fit before I had to trim or add. Here’s what I wrote: Song #489: “Save the Children” by Marvin Gaye. Off What’s Going On? (1971). “You see, let’s save the children. Let’s save all the children.”
Much to my surprise, the character count came in at zero — meaning it was a perfect fit — something that virtually never happens for me. I took it as a sign, maybe of something better coming down the road for these Newtown families and our country. I leave you with the full lyrics of Marvin Gaye’s incredible song:
Save the Children
I just want to ask a question: Who really cares?
To save a world in despair, Who really cares?
There’ll come a time, when the world won’t be singin’
Flowers won’t grow, bells won’t be ringin’
Who really cares?
Who’s willing to try to save a world That’s destined to die
When I look at the world it fills me with sorrow
Little children today are really gonna suffer tomorrow
Oh what a shame, such a bad way to live
All who is to blame, we can’t stop livin’
Live, live for life But let live everybody
Live life for the children, Oh, for the children
You see, let’s save the children, Let’s save all the children
Save the babies, save the babies
If you wanna love, you got to save the babies
All of the children
But who really cares, Who’s willing to try
Yes, to save a world; Yea, save our sweet world
Save a world that is destined to die
Oh, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Oh, oh dig it everybody
Onward, Malcolm Gauld