Sometimes songs can say so much

Image: BeWytch Me & Wanda Probe

Image: BeWytch Me & Wanda Probe

Sometimes songs can say so much

“Sometimes songs can say so much” is so very true. We’ve all heard a song that we instantly connected to and that has brought back memories whether good or bad. People think of a music artist as the reason the song stays with us but really it’s the words written from inside the heart which touch us and remind us that life exists and good or bad, we are all a part of it.

There are a few songs which really connect with me. I think the lyrics in Free bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd is one of them. I wasn’t a huge rock fan in my younger days and, to be honest, while I had heard Sweet Home Alabama, I really didn’t know who the band was until my good friend Jimmy from Alabama told me. He couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard of them before. I asked Jimmy what other songs they did that I might know and he asked me about Free Bird. Well he laughed when I asked him what a free bird had to do with this band. “You kook!” he said, “That’s one of their songs.” I had an a-ha moment when I listened to it. I realized that while I had heard the song before, I had never actually listened to the lyrics and Jimmy said I should then I would understand why he loves the song too.

I had my own private listening party and played the song he suggested. Instantly I connected to it and understood why my friend liked it so much. It was like someone had written this song and he was the subject.  I fell in love with the song and every time I heard it, I thought of my friend and how he was like the free bird.

I didn’t realize that on March 18, 2014 my friend would take to the sky and become the free bird his soul was meant to be. It’s been one year since he passed away at age 48 suddenly and I still cry when I hear the song Free Bird and I think about my friend flying free now.

Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd courtesy YouTube

If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me
For I must be travelin’ on now
There’s too many places I got to see

If I stay here with you girl
Things just couldn’t be the same
‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now
And this bird you cannot change
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
And the bird you cannot change
And this bird you cannot change
Lord knows, I can’t change

Bye and bye baby, it’s been sweet love, yeah yeah
Though this feelin’ I can’t change
Please don’t take it so badly
‘Cause Lord knows, I’m to blame

And if I stay here with you girl
Things just couldn’t even be the same
‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now
And this bird you cannot change
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
And the bird you cannot change
And this bird you cannot change

Lord knows, I can’t change
Lord help me, I can’t change
Lord I can’t change
Won’t you fly high free bird yeah

Songwriters
VAN ZANT, RONNIE / COLLINS, ALLEN

Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Hell Is For Children in an abusive home

A second song really connects with me. Pat Benatar was a female rock singer back when I was a teen and going through some pretty tough times in my family with severe abuse and no help. When I heard Pat’s’ song, “Hell Is For Children” I connected instantly. The lyrics in the song are so very true and were true for me at that time in my life. Our home was filled with secrets, lies and hate. The missing ingredient was love which there was none.

I had been in foster homes off and on throughout my life for the severe abuse I suffered at the hands of my mothers partners, including my birth father and his friends, her 2nd husband, and the lack of parenting and protection from my mother. My last straw was finding out I would be travelling thousands of kilometers with a man who had raped me nightly almost since I was 13.  This man was found raping me by my mother and she didn’t do anything.  She kept that a secret until I took my step father to court years later for the abuse I suffered.  I’m not sure if I ever forgave my mother for her lack of protection. No I guess I didn’t.

I was 17 and mom said that I was driving back with her husband. I tried to think of anyway to get through this without arguing or being called names she would never regret saying. She told me I would travel by car with him, stay in motels with one bed because that was all they could afford. I had a major panic attack at the thought of lying in a bed with my abuser and being a victim courtesy of my mother. I couldn’t do it. I told my mom that and she slapped me so hard on my face that the hand print stayed for days and became a hand bruise. She left my room and I ran. I ran for my life, literally.

I picked up shards of glass from the sidewalk when I finally stopped running and then I cut my wrists again. I thought death was better than going back to my home. Something made me stop and instead I picked up the Kids Help Line and for the first time, people started to hear me and take me seriously. They asked for my location and then sent a taxi to pick me up to bring me to the local hospital. Once there, the doctor asked why I did that and I told him. His face was beet red when he said sternly, “Never let anyone make you feel so bad that you hurt yourself. You are worth so much more than the words they say.” He released me into the care of the Ministry of Child and Family Services. I spent the next five hours crying and telling the social worker what life had been like and why I ran away. She swore to me that I would never go back to the abuse & later that day my mother reluctantly signed over custody to the ministry.

I was placed in a group home and then a foster home with a single mom who had two biological children,Marnie and Grant, and one adopted first nations boy named Greg. Gloria was the first real mother I had ever seen and I remember treading on eggshells worried that if I messed up, I would be gone from this home.  One day she came to me after a week of being there and seeing that I came home from school everyday and cleaned, cooked or did whatever I thought I should do to keep me there, and told me to sit down. Gloria looked at me and said, “Look you are not a maid, babysitter, cook or anything else but a part of our family. You need to do things. Yes you have chores like we all do but you need to live a teenager life too. So stop trying to be perfect. It’s okay to be imperfect.” Wow. Instead of tossing me out, she drew me in closer. I was grateful for those words.

During this time I listened to a lot of Pat’s tunes and even became a singer in a rock band for awhile though as Pat would tell you, it was hard to be a girl in a rock band then and be taken seriously. I listened to Hell Is For Children over and over again. To this day, a ton of years later, I still know every word and note in the song. I wrote to Pat a few years ago to tell her what her song had meant for me and how it had given me hope. I was shocked to find a response thanking me. It was a very nice email from her.

The song is about child abuse and how it’s covered up. It’s about secrets, lies,lost hope and closed eyes to what is right in front of us. It’s hard to listen to because it is true. Even today there are so many children living what I did for the first 18 years of my life. This song has been a light and a pole to hold onto when climbing out of the hell which is child abuse.  I love this song.

They cry in the dark
So you can’t see their tears
They hide in the light
So you can’t see their fears
Forgive and forget
All the while
Love and pain become one and the same
In the eyes of a wounded child

Because hell, hell is for children
And you know that their little lives can become such a mess
Hell, hell is for children
And you shouldn’t have to pay for your love
With your bones and your flesh

It’s all so confusing this brutal abusing
They blacken your eyes and then apologize
“Be daddy’s good girl, and don’t tell mommy a thing”
“Be a good little boy, and you’ll get a new toy
Tell grandma you fell from the swing”

Because hell, hell is for children
And you know that their little lives can become such a mess
Hell, hell is for children
And you shouldn’t have to pay for your love
With your bones and your flesh

[Repeat: x3]
Hell, hell is for hell
Hell is for hell
Hell is for children

Hell is for children
Hell is for children

Songwriters: NEIL GERALDO, PAT BENATAR, ROGER CAPPS
Hell Is For Children lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC
Do you have a song which touches you and never lets go? Thanks for reading my blog. Have a great day.
If you need help, reach out for it. Life can get better.

Help Links for Kids:

  • Child Helpline InternationalA global portal for all child help line’s around the world. Young people can select their country to find out available help.
  • Childline IrelandIreland’s leading children’s charity specialising in the prevention of cruelty to children. This site has separate sections for parents and young people. There is information on fundraising, services, publications, training, research as well as useful links.
  • Childline IndiaIndia’s first 24-hour, free, emergency phone service for children. Includes information on how to raise children (from diet to sleeping habits), growth/development of children and a mother’s corner.
  • Childline UKChildLine is the United Kingdom’s 24-hour help line for children and young people. Contains information on bullying, a help and advice section, and details on ChildLine in Partnership with Schools (CHIPS).
  • Covenant House Nineline, USAA free, confidential, 24 hour, 7 day a week counselling service for young people in the United States. Offers email and phone counselling, as well as an online forum. Also provides information on issues affecting young people.
  • Girls & Boys Town USAA leader in the treatment and care of abused, abandoned and neglected girls and boys in America. Includes information on parenting, kids and teens, training and a hotline chat room.
  • Kids Help Phone, CanadaCanada’s only toll-free, 24 hour, national bilingual telephone counselling service for children and youth. Offers online and phone counselling, as well as information on young people’s issues and interactive activities.
  • SamaritansA counselling service for people in the United Kingdom and Ireland, providing 24 hour, 7 day a week support. People that need help can call, email, or write a letter to volunteers.
  • What’s Up – New ZealandA telephone counselling service for young New Zealanders. Provides information about The Kids Help Foundation Trust and What’s Up’s services, policies, and procedures. Also includes publications, press releases and newsletters, and information on how to get involved in What’s Up.

If any of these links are broken, please email me and let us know.

Thanks for your comment. Comments are personal opinions of the senders and in no way reflect the authors or administrators of this page.

%d bloggers like this: