As a 51 year old man surrounded by a bunch of adolescent children, I rarely share their taste in music. However, the teenagers have turned me onto one song that I find quite moving: Lost Boy by Ruth B. I imagine most of the people reading my blog have never heard of this song or the artist. Yet, for young people living in a children’s home there seems to be an universal appeal. They all seem to like it, and when it is played conversations stop, and with reverence rarely seen among children everybody sings along like some sort of solemn ritual. It’s a new song by an artist who was virtually unknown until recently. I believe this is the first song she has written. It is a simple piano ballad with no embellishments whatsoever. Yet, this song has come out of nowhere and is climbing the charts in several genres. Why? I imagine the song will appeal to people in different ways but there is almost certainly certain elements we can all relate to.
There was a time when I was alone
Nowhere to go and no place to call home
My only friend was the man in the moon
And even sometimes he would go away, too
The opening words to the song are the most heart-wrenching. I think they really appeal to our young people here. Childhood is a very insecure time for anyone, but when you take away the security of the family due to divorce, poverty, abuse, or drugs, a child can feel very isolated and alone. These children sing the words because they have lived the words.
The truth is, we have all lived these words. Out of all the painful things I have endured through life loneliness is the most dreaded. It’s one thing to be alone, it’s another thing to be lonely. I think we all benefit from times of solitude, but loneliness is another matter. Loneliness is that feeling of insignificance. It’s feeling like nobody knows you or cares to know you. There’s nobody to turn to without feeling like you are being a burden. It is a despairing feeling that has driven many to make all sorts of sacrifices even taking their own lives to escape the feeling. We need people. Those who have gone through loneliness usually feel a great deal of sympathy for those going through it. Perhaps that is why the opening lines command such silence and even reverence.
Then one night, as I closed my eyes,
I saw a shadow flying high
He came to me with the sweetest smile
Told me he wanted to talk for awhile
He said, “Peter Pan. That’s what they call me.
I promise that you’ll never be lonely.”
For me, the reference to Peter Pan and the lost boys is really a secondary theme. I think the song is really about finding acceptance (real or imagined). I think it is quite appropriate that the video of the song is nothing more than a woman and a keyboard in a completely vacant room. It’s sadness, yet just like the rays of sunshine pouring through the windows there is hope. Acceptance is sometimes rare and highly treasured. I think we crave more than just friendship. I think what we really crave is know that even if all our flaws were known, there would be some people who still loved us for what we are and not what we pretend to be. Perhaps the only place where such a place exist is in our own imagination.
As we soared above the town that never loved me
I realized I finally had a family
Soon enough we reached Neverland
Peacefully my feet hit the sand
And ever since that day…
When we are experiencing rejection especially from people closest to us, we all must be capable of finding hope. It guess that is what Neverland is to me. We can soar above all the negativity when we can envision a place where people can accept us for what we are. Isn’t this something we all crave. A place where we can walk in and everybody knows us and is glad we are there.
“Run, run, lost boy,” they say to me,
“Away from all of reality.”
Sometimes all we can do is run away from the negative circumstances of life. I think this is why so many truly troubled people find solace in the arts. Writing poems, songs, stories, or even blogs give people a peace of mind they can’t seem to find otherwise. The ability to express yourself through pictures, painting, music, or any other use of the imagination might be the best thing for survival.
He sprinkled me in pixie dust and told me to believe
Believe in him and believe in me
There may be times when all of us need a little pixie dust to restore our faith in ourselves. Each failure, each rejection is another blow to a person’s self esteem. Quite often we forget our successes, but we rarely forget our failures. Too many failures and we may identify ourselves as a failure. It’s hard to get up when you keep getting knocked down. How refreshing it is when people believe in our abilities even when we can’t believe in ourselves. That is the very thing we need to lift us up.
To me a good song is one that touches our hearts, and lifts our spirits. Lost Boys definately does that.