Thursday, March 28, 2019

I Who Have Nothing

There is a wonderful old Tom Jones song called I Who Have Nothing.
I am sure someone else sang it before him, but it was he who made me
adore the song.  I saw him in concert about 13 years ago and absolutely
loved it. He was a little before my time, but my mom and dad always
did a great job of exposing my sister and I to a wonderful array of
eclectic music.  I went with a friend last minute who had an extra ticket.
It was a wonderful decision to quickly say yes. A small simple band
and he in a beautiful black tuxedo. I was impressed by his showman-
ship and how he commanded the entire stage and kept the entire
audience engaged.  And then he stood under a single spotlight, and
belted out I Who Have Nothing.

I, I who have nothing
I, I who have no one
Adore you and want you so
I'm just a no one, with nothing to give you but oh
I love you

You, you buy her diamonds
Bright, sparkling diamonds
But believe me, dear, when I say
That she can give you the world
But she'll never love you the way
I love you

You can take her any place she wants
To fancy clubs and restaurants
But I can only watch you with
My nose pressed up against the window pane

I, I who have nothing
I, I who have no one
Must watch you, go dancing by
Wrapped in the arms of somebody else
Darling it is I
Who loves you

This love song is about watching his loved one with another man. While
I have never experienced this in real life, the lyrics are heartbreaking
and so very moving.

When you know you love someone and they are the one for you, all of
your hopes and dreams and desires usually involve them. You want to
live life daily with them, explore everything new together and love them
completely. If, for whatever the reason you are not able to be with them,
it can make a person crumble when they see their loved one with
another. Especially if you know you would be the one to make them the

My husband and I have been married for just about 24 years.  We were
married the day before I turned 20. We were children, knowing nothing
of the world, but we knew we were in love.  I couldn’t imagine my life
without him. And I still can not. We have been absolutely blessed with
eternal love for each other. No, not every day is perfect. And we have
been through our fair share of trials and challenges, but he and I make
it work. We don’t give up. We don’t walk away. We work through it.  
Because that is what love does. Love encourages. Love perseveres.

I approached this marriage with the same mentality as Tom Jones. I, I
who have nothing.  Adore you and want you so. I’m just a no one with
nothing to give you. But I love you. I had nothing to give my husband.  
I loved him with all of my being. And that was the one gift I possessed.

Love isn’t usually love. It is usually a desire to not be alone. Or simply
lust that eventually turns to dust.  It isn’t always love. But when it is. It is
something to be adored, cultivated, treasured, and shared. What is the
old saying? Love isn’t love until you give it away.

I was singing I Who Have Nothing out loud yesterday afternoon and my
12 year old daughter heard me.  She waited in silence, standing on the
other side of the kitchen for me to see that she was watching me.  
When I turned and she caught my eye, she scrunched up her face at me.

“Mom, who sings that song? Is it Sam Smith?”

“No babe. That is Fire on Fire from the Watership Down.  This is I Who
Have Nothing by Tom Jones.” I told her.

“Tom Jones? There is book called Tom Jones. I haven’t read it. It is an
old book and didn’t understand it.”  

“Not the same thing. But I love that you know about the book Tom Jones.
Do you want to hear Tom Jones sing this song? It is pretty amazing.”

“No, not really. Maybe another time.” And she was off to her next activity.

This afternoon, I called to her after she got settled in when she got home
from school.

“Lily, come here. I have a song for you to listen to.”  I may have smiled
too much, I don’t know. But she wasn’t haven’t it.  I began playing the
song on YouTube and she looks at me with a bit of snark preparing to
let loose. She shakes her shoulders, pretends she is interested and
only lasted through the first verse. She didn’t even make it to the chorus.

So there I sat by myself enjoying the whole 2 minute 46 seconds of an
excellent song. I just view it as her loss.

Come to think of it, I also tried to play the song for my husband once.  
He wasn’t haven’t it either. I even tried to explain the song to him. “If
you have to explain it, there might be a problem.”

So if I ever ask you to listen to a song, be kind. Be loving. And please
just pretend you like the song as much as I do. Candice Glover, my second favorite performance of this song.

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Brass Knuckles

         I love telling stories. I also love retelling stories that aren't mine. Stories that have been shared with me. Stories overhear...