The Lyrics She Left Behind

Aldous Huxley said, “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”  Though he died the same year she was born, I like to imagine that he was referring to Whitney Houston.

Oh, Ms. Whitney.

Perhaps it was because so much of her music captured a moment in our time, that the love we have for her is deep, nostalgic love.  And maybe that’s the beauty of song: set to music, no phrase or expression of love, no string of words professing heartache or hurt is taboo.  Songs are truth-tellers.  What would a mix tape be without carefully selected songs expressing what I can’t?  Nothing is off limits.

Like so many golden voices before her, she’s gone too soon. But what makes this songbird’s loss so tremendous is that her music celebrated the keys to living a beautiful life.   After nearly three decades worth of listening closely, here is what Whitney’s music has taught me:

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadow
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

They don’t always happen when you ask
And it’s easy to give in to your fears
But when your blinded by your pain
Can’t see your way straight through the rain
A small but still, resilient voice
Says love is very near
There can be miracles
When you believe

Sometimes you’ll laugh
Sometimes you’ll cry
Life never tells us, the when’s or why’s
When you’ve got friends, to wish you well
You’ll find your point when
You will exhale

I want one moment in time
When I’m more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me one moment in time
When I’m racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time
I will feel eternity

If I should die this very day
Don’t cry, ’cause on Earth we weren’t meant to stay
And no matter what the people say
I’ll be waiting for you after the judgment day
Because my love is your love

I hope life treats you kind
And I hope you have all you’ve dreamed of
And I wish to you, joy and happiness
But above all this, I wish you love
And I will always love you

You know, Huxley was right: Whitney Houston expressed the inexpressible though her music.  And now, there is nothing but silence.

Image via Chimovement

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