Friday, May 13, 2005

on my own

(ED: Here's our first submission in the "best song ever" category. It's from a girl I've never heard from before, and apparently don't know personally. Despite her anonymity, her essay is heartfelt and touching, and deserves to be here. It addresses the topic of unrequited love quite well, and most of the peolpe reading this know that feeling all too well.

I'll write another one of these in a day or two, because they're more fun to write than basic "what did I eat for breakfast this morning" posts. But for now, here's Gina's essay.)


In middle school, I was absolutely infatuated with this one guy. He was on the football team, so I went to all the games, I looked for his name and picture in the local paper and had the football team picture on the wall next to my bed. I had a song that I considered "my song to him" (It was a horrible Edwin McCain song).

I had known this guy since I was practically in diapers and as far as he was concerned, I was just Gina, that girl he had known forever.

I ended up giving up on him for a while and dating someone else in 7th grade, but that relationship fell apart after nearly a year. The breakup was ugly. In one fatal swoop I had lost not only my boyfriend, who my world revolved around, but also all of my friends. We shared the same friends and they all sided with him during the breakup.

I was crushed. I had lost everything. I was thrown into an extremely serious bout of depression that lasted almost three years.

After we broke up I went back to fantasizing about that other guy. "Dan" we'll call him. Dan was extremely popular now and as far as I, the little geek who was always reading and being smart, was concerned, I didn't exist anymore. I wasn't "good enough" to be worthy of his time. That only deepened my depression.

Gradually I began to make a few new friends, but I was so scared of being hurt again I barely talked to anyone and wouldn't do anything outside of school. One of my friends convinced me to spend the night with her, so I did. We watched one of her favorite movies, Les Miserables. It was an okay movie, but one song brought me to tears because I felt it so closely related to my life. That song was "On My Own":


On My Own - Andrew Lloyd Weber


And now I'm all alone again
Nowhere to turn no one to go to,
Without a home, without a friend
Without a face to say hello to
And now the night is here
Now I can make believe he's near.

Sometimes I walk alone at night
When everybody else is sleeping
I think of him and then I'm happy
With the company I'm keeping
The city goes to bed
And I can live inside my head.

On my own
Pretending he's beside me
All alone, I walk with him till morning
Without him
I feel his arms around me
And when I lose my way I close my eyes
And he has found me

In the rain the pavement shines like silver
All the lights are misty in the river
In the darkness, the trees are full of starlight
And all I see is him and me for ever and forever

And I know it's only in my mind
That I'm talking to myself and not to him
And although I know that he is blind
Still I say, there's a way for us

I love him
But when the night is over
He is gone, the river's just a river
Without him the world around me changes
The trees are bare and everywhere
The streets are full of strangers

I love him
But every day I'm learning
All my life I've only been pretending
Without me his world will go on turning
A world that's full of happiness
That I have never known!

I love him
I love him
I love him
But only on my own.


This is the perfect song for those of us with an unrequited love. It's also excellently crafted, even if Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote it. The singer whispers at parts, almost as if it's too painful to discuss him. Other times her voice soars, as if she's angry at the world for dealing her the hand she is forced to accept.

The song also perfectly describes what I was going through. I had just lost one guy that I thought was the one for me, and was being ignored by the other, as if I didn't exist. The lyrics moved me to tears back then, and even today, they still tug at the heartstrings, just a little.

It's simplistic, musically speaking. Some basic chords to back it with a haunting little keyboard melody-both quiet to keep attention to the artist's voice.

This song epitomizes what so many people feel when they are unable to find the love they yearn for. This song is truly the perfect "unrequited love song".

And it just may be the best song ever.


ED: Round of applause for Gina. Have fun and party naked.


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