Garth Brooks once wrote a song by the name of “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” I know that no one really reads anything that I write, but for those that do happen to stumble upon this blog entry, I cannot really state for certain how familiar you may be with the aforementioned individual or his music. It is my deep conviction that the majority of people, those who just so happen to read this, will not be familiar with the Oklahoma native. The song that I am calling attention to is one of his more popular and beloved songs.
“If Tomorrow Never Comes” is often viewed as a melancholic love song; yet, at its core, it is a man’s attempt to come to grips with his own mortality while keeping his significant other [almost] solely in mind. The opening verse leads as follows:
Sometimes late at night
I lie awake and watch her sleeping
She’s lost in peaceful dreams
So I turn out the lights and lay there in the dark
And the thought crosses my mind
If I never wake in the morning
Would she ever doubt the way I feel
About her in my heart”-Garth Brooks
The song’s speaker opens up with his own inquiry into the woman that he’s sleeping next to. It’s obvious that this “she” is the beloved of the man in question. He states that “the thought crosses my mind.” This thought? What else would it be, if not the thought of death.
I can’t really speak for anyone else. This much is obvious to me. Be that as it may, I don’t think I am alone when I say that my mind is constantly wondering. There is very little control over our own thoughts. Particularly when the seeds of thoughts are first planted, there doesn’t seem to be much authority over infant ideas. Various ranges of people from different walks of life will undoubtedly have their own opinion when it comes to this subject, but I myself happen to think that our thoughts are truly out of our own control.
The wandering of our own minds is something that we cannot help. What we can control though is how long we happen to dwell on a particular thought or group of thoughts. What I mean to say with all of this is that when a thought is “born,” it is out of our own control and cannot be helped. What can be helped though is how much we happen to think about it and whether or not we continue to dwell on that thought in question.
I’m not really sure how any of this is relevant to what I am trying to say. I think what I wanted to do was capture just how perpetual the thought of death is for me. I honestly think that it is my mind’s default state. I may be exaggerating for either dramatic effect or a desire for sympathy, but I hardly ever think about anything else unless I am occupied with something. Dying is always on my mind. This is where my desire to consume things, art and media specifically, stems from.
The rest of Garth’s song goes on to illustrate the magnitude of what it would mean for him (i.e. the speaker) to die by the morning. The harsh reality of the imminence of death glares at him, becoming blatantly obvious. And of course, he begins to think about what would become of the woman that he loves. This is a responsible approach to this harsh truth. How heartbroken would she be? Would she truly know and understand how much he loves her? Would the way he loved her be enough to power through the rest of her life without him by her side?
I’m not sure if he writes all of his songs, but Garth Brooks has some of the most lyrically rich work when it comes to country music. In a genre that is ripe with cliches, Garth’s stuff has always happened to stand out from the crowd. “If Tomorrow Never Comes” is a solid example. Though I do think that its value as a poem of lament is overlooked. I feel like those who sing along fail to recognize “just what…[they’re]…thinking of.”
I don’t consider myself a very good reviewer when it comes to critiquing art–regardless of its form. I’d lean toward me being subpar when it comes to spouting my own subjective opinions on any given subject. This would include music. I feel there is objective value in critiquing art, especially when it comes to illustrating and evaluating aspects of the discipline itself. This is something that I have trouble with, due to my ignorance of formalities and some of the work behind the scenes.
Regardless, I do enjoy trying to capture my opinions on different media that I happen to consume. I honestly think that this is a big part of my aim with this blog. What is a blog if it isn’t a man just rambling on about stuff pretty much only he, himself, is passionate about. I’d imagine that there is more to it than this, but at the end of the day, I have to be comfortable in my own skin. Comfortable and content enough to be able to autonomously do things without the outside approval of any other party.
Garth Brooks’s song is a call to attention. It is a meditative work. It is not only an encouragement to reach out to those that are important to us before it is too late, but it is an attempt to grapple with the ephemeral nature of life. If we want to live our lives to the fullest extent, we must neglect procrastination and live with the possibility of our own deaths in mind.
Not sure if my thoughts are coherent, but I’m trying to be more consistent with my blogging. Hopefully this will suffice.
Thanks for reading,