BESIDE ME ALWAYS – PART 1

Click on the blue links below to hear audio:

Beside Me Always Acoustic 1/4/16 Copyright 2016 By Judy Unger

Beside Me Always 3/21/17 Copyright 2017 by Judy Unger

 

“I am dreaming I will find a special voice for my song, and then have it professionally recorded. I am also dreaming it will be heard by many people. It feels good to dream. It feels good to simply feel good again!”
Early performance
Links to more stories about this song:


BESIDE ME ALWAYS”

Copyright 2015 by Judy Unger


I’ll search the shrouded darkness

Wanting you and nothing less

Seems my whole life I’ve waited

In darkness that was fated

I’ll live within my broken heart

Littered with your unfinished start

All the memories leave me haunted

You’re all I’ve ever wanted

And when my tears are flowing

And I don’t know where I’m going

I feel your love, then you’re beside me always

In the breeze that’s blowing

You surround me in a breeze that’s blowing

I know that I will still exist

longing for the soul I’ve kissed

I dream of you in a distant sky

the breeze it comforts while I cry

I know you’d tell me, “When your tears are flowing

And you’re not sure where you’re going

Just feel my love, I’m beside you always

In the breeze that’s blowing, I’ll surround you

in the breeze that’s blowing; that’s blowing”

Jason with Freckles

I hardly played my guitar for over 30 years. I stopped when I was married at the age of 21 and embraced music again when I turned fifty. But occasionally I did play – Music was something I wanted to share with my children. After Jason died, it was very difficult for me to sing. I forced myself and my other children probably thought that Puff the Magic Dragon was the only song I remembered how to play.

There was a special song that would call out to me. Every few years, when it was quiet and I was alone, I’d try to see if I could still remember how to play “Beside Me Always,” As I fingered the beautiful chords, tears would stream down my face. It was because it brought Jason back to me.

I deeply treasured when I shared my song with other bereaved parents. For a few years after Jason’s death, I played “Beside Me Always” at the December holiday meeting of Compassionate Friends. I sang it in the brisk night air under the stars while surrounded by bereaved parents holding hands in a circle.

I had another meaningful occasion where I played my song. When a close friend of mine was dying, she asked me if I could speak at her service. I spoke and then I sang “Beside Me Always” because it felt like a beautiful way to honor her.

It’s ironic that this song had a completely different meaning when I wrote as a young girl of 17. At that time, I felt discouraged about love because I had just broken up with a boyfriend. I wanted to remember him with the breeze and the love we once had. He never knew about the song and I hardly remember him anymore.

When Jason died in 1992, I wanted to write something to read at his funeral. I remembered that I had song lyrics that expressed loss. Then suddenly, “Beside Me Always” popped into my mind.

The concept of the breeze comforting me, literally “blew me” away. It was a beautiful theme, but first I needed to change a few words. I came up with revised lyrics and softly spoke them into a tape recorder. I was not up to speaking aloud at my son’s funeral. What a difference revising those lyrics made; all these years later, this song still can easily bring tears to my eyes.

 BESIDE ME ALWAYS”

ORIGINAL LYRICS

Copyright 1980 by Judy Unger


I searched through shrouded darkness

Wanting more, but finding less

Seems my whole life I’ve waited

In darkness that I’ve hated

I lived amidst broken hearts

Littered with unfinished starts

Empty dreams had me haunted

I didn’t know what I wanted

But when my tears are flowing

And I don’t know where I’m going

I think of you and you’re beside me always

In the breeze that’s blowing

You surround me in a breeze that’s blowing

I thought that I could just exist

without your love, but now you’re missed

And I realize how I did care,

and now you’re no longer there

You used to tell me, “When your tears are flowing

And you don’t know where you’re going

Just think of me, and I’m beside you always

In the breeze that’s blowing, I’ll surround you

in a breeze that’s blowing; that’s blowing”

Judy, Jason & guitars

In 2010, when I enthusiastically began to play my guitar again, I could barely sing at all or hold a note. But I was determined to remember all of my songs. There were at least 30 of them and I was lucky I had an old cassette with 20 songs recorded in 1980.

It was courageous, but the first song I shared on my blog was the 1980 recording of “Beside Me Always.”

BESIDE ME ALWAYS 1980 recording-Copyright 2015 by Judy Unger

I wrote the following words when I posted it:

“I am dreaming I will find a special voice for my song, and then have it professionally recorded. I am also dreaming it will be heard by many people.”

At that time, I certainly had no idea that the special voice I would find for my song would be my own!

Finding my voice was definitely a journey. I opened up through writing and music, and suddenly I began to feel joyful. After so many years of being a caregiver, I had finally begun to take care of myself. My life became exciting because I made the decision to pursue things that brought me excitement. I felt like a different person and so much younger.

Because I wanted to improve as a performer, I searched for places where I could play. I found a wonderful open-mic venue named Kulak’s Woodshed, where singers could be videotaped and put on a Webcast. At one of my first performances, I played “Beside Me Always.” I strummed the chorus and sang the high notes loudly just like I did when I was 19.

It wasn’t long, before I realized my song needed to be transposed into a lower key. I had always been reluctant to change any of my song’s chords, but once I overcame that, I discovered the new key had a haunting quality. The music conveyed so much more aching sadness than before. The process of reinventing the guitar parts for my song, just added to my enthusiasm about music in my life. I was a new person, a new singer and now a new guitarist.

Gravatar 3

The soft caress of a breeze can evoke many feelings for me. I remember Jason. And sometimes, I imagine that God is touching me.

At the beginning of this story, I shared how I revised the lyrics to Beside Me Always. But I didn’t really change the chorus lyrics very much. It was because they created a powerful image for me. I pictured myself standing near Jason’s grave on a grassy hill. I was crying and the breeze comforted me while my “tears were flowing.”

But there actually was one revision and it was only to the last chorus. Because of that change, my song became even more meaningful for me. It was a revelation. With the words, “I know you’d tell me,” the conversation was switched. I wasn’t speaking to Jason about my tears. Instead, I was being spoken to and reassured.

From the distant sky came my understanding that God and Jason did not want me to be sad.

Callig beside me always© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
This entry was posted in Grief Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to BESIDE ME ALWAYS – PART 1

  1. Fawn says:

    Judy, You need to keep writing. Thank you for sharing. No we never accept the loss of our parents. In my heart, I too said goodbye to them way before they died. They were so sick off and on for so long. Yet, I feel that they have been with me these past years. My father helped us find the perfect used car for Ben. My mother can’t talk to me, but she sends me people who say things to me that she would have said. It is comforting believing that.

    Like

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s