Reflections of Loss Through Song

“When you have come to the end of all the light you know and are about to drop off into the darkness unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen; There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly”.

I once read that on the wall of a Hooters bathroom. I had just lost my dad to a lifelong battle with the bottle, and it spoke to me. I later found the quote (written by Patrick Overton) on a Hallmark card, framed it and displayed it in my office where it sits today. I pull it out when I need comfort. When life forces us to deal with death we search for a connection.

Almost everyone I knows finds comfort and strength in music. In the past month, LoCash Cowboys, Amy Grant and Luke Bryan have released touching singles that deal with their own personal tragedies.

Chris Lucas, LoCash Cowboys, talks about how his late dad would call him daily to chat and often would ask if the Opry had called him yet. The Opry did call, 3 months after his father passed away. After the emotional show that included a tribute song to his dad, Chris found some time to reflect. His duo partner, Preston Brust, offered these words of support “I know your dad is here tonight…he has the best seat in the house”. That moment was life changing. “Best Seat in the House” takes you on a lyrical journey through life with the hook “I know somewhere just above the clouds. You still got the best seat in the house”.

Amy Grant wrote her latest song “Shovel in Hand” on the airplane in route to the ACM (Academy of Country Music) awards. She had just come from the cemetery where she watched her son bury a good friend. The song, featuring Will Hoge, has a simple poignant message. “Life can change in the blink of an eye. You don’t know when and you don’t know why. “Forever Young” is a big fat lie. For the one who lives and the one who dies”.

Luke Bryan only recently opened up about the death of his siblings. His brother Chris was killed in a car accident in 1996 just days before Luke was planning to move to Nashville to start his music career at the age of 19. The singer eventually moved to Music City to fulfill his dream. Days after his antcipated Grand Ole Opry debut, his sister Kelly passed away at home from an unknown cause. Losing his siblings deeply impacted him and he was generally private about it until now. Bryan told Good Morning America “If telling my story moves people down a positive path of hope and getting up out of the bed and getting back going, then, you know, its certainly worth telling”. And telling he did….to 18,000 people inside Bridgestone Arena and the 16.6 million watching the 47th Annual Country Music Awards from home. He closed the award show with a powerful tribute to Chris and Kelly called “Drink a Beer”. He describes the song as the “coolest sad song ever”. The performance was mesmerizing. Bryan sat on a stool, with a wooded scene in the background and filled with billowing fog. He was visibly emotional singing “Well Ill remember you. And all the times we used to..sit right here, on the edge of this pier. And watch the sunset disappear. And drink a beer.” A large photo of the 3 kids appeared in the background, Luke slowly picked up his beer and raises it to Chris and Kelly in a tribute felt all over the world.

These emotionally charged songs were written in part to help those that lost someone close and may seek refuge in music. They provide a connection that otherwise is not understood and give a voice where there otherwise was none.


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Author: Country Cadre

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