I think most of us, at one point or another, have carried an unrequited torch for someone. Mine happened to last, off and on, for about five years, meaning that any ongoing discussion of music as it relates to the girls in my life will periodically turn to Jill, and in the interest of spreading those stories out a little, we might as well get the first one started now.
As I mentioned, this was a totally one-sided relationship, at least as far as anything more than friendship was concerned. This became clearer to me over time, but at sixteen, it’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a girl who’s sending mixed signals and one who’s just trying to be polite. When my daughter is old enough to care about these things, one of the first things I think I’ll tell her is that it’s more important to be completely honest than it is to try and save someone’s feelings — you never know when, for instance, your actions will be so grossly misinterpreted that they lead the person in question to, I don’t know, drive halfway across the country to visit you. Unannounced.
That’s another story, though. When I hear Jude Cole’s “Hallowed Ground” (download), I think about the spring of 1990, when Jill’s family moved from the Bay Area to Colorado, which happened to be around the same time I realized I still had feelings for her, and had made a huge mistake by getting involved with someone else who just happened to be one of Jill’s best friends. (Again, another story.)
It’s kind of a corny song, yes, but I think it’s easy to see how it might appeal to a melodramatic teenage wiener — and even now, those beds of acoustic guitars sound good to me, and the line “I was your trouble and you were my friend” still rings true.