Basement Songs: The Pretenders, “I’ll Stand By You”

Written by Basement Songs, Music

As I did a quick dance to get around a woman standing idle on the steps at the train station, my iPod shuffled on to “I’ll Stand by You” and I knew that I had to write a few words. I can’t think of a more appropriate message at this time of the year, especially in these hard times.

It’s time to close the basement door for the rest of the year. When you spend two and a half weeks working on a post that reflects on your missed opportunities and giving up on certain dreams (thanks to this song), well, then it’s time to reboot the old mental toolbox and take some time off. The last thing anyone reading this website needs is a writer throwing a pity party for himself.

Over the course of the past couple of months, as I’ve struggled to find meaning in what it is I’m doing with my life, I’ve been blessed that Julie and our two brilliant children have been there for me. Nothing cures the ills of a downtrodden spirit like the kiss of a good woman or the clinging embrace of a loving child. I am so blessed. No matter how low I get, I have them to prop me up and say that they’ll stand by me.

Instead of closing out the year with a traditional holiday song, I wish to say goodbye to 2010 with a different classic. In 1994, the Pretenders returned to form with a strong album, Last of the Independents. Among the great tracks featured on that LP was Chrissie Hynde’s beautiful anthem, “I’ll Stand By You.”

Last night, stepping off the train for the short walk back to my car, I was contemplating skipping this entry and slipping off into the holidays without another word from the Basement Songs for the rest of the year. As I did a quick dance to get around a woman standing idle on the steps at the train station, my iPod shuffled on to “I’ll Stand by You” and I knew that I had to write a few words.

Many of us are struggling, either financially or emotionally, and we all need one another, now more than ever. If that isn’t the true meaning of this season, I’m not sure what is.

So, download the song, say it out loud to your loved ones, your neighbors, to the postman or the UPS lady, to that strange dude who hums Air Supply songs in the grocery line, to the bartenders and the policemen who have to work late on the holidays, to anyone you think needs a kind word of encouragement. And know that you’re not alone.  Someone is ready to sing this song to you, as well. Let’s just hope it isn’t Wing.

I’ll wrap things up by saying thank you to my loyal readers; you really make my week by encouraging me to keep writing. Thanks to my family and friends who have always been there for us. Thanks to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for continuing the search for a cure. Thanks to the amazing staff at Popdose, many of whom I hope to finally meet face to face next summer. And most of all, thank you to Julie, Sophie and Jacob for continuing to provide inspiration.

See you in the new year, when the basement walls will have a fresh coat of paint and I turn off the music for a little while so we can check out some of my favorite flicks.

Aloha.