I am and always have been a private person when it comes to my favorite media content. I seldom share my favorite things because it seems telling others somehow makes them less mine. This is ridiculous, though, as I do not own this content and beyond that, it is my favorite for a reason: it is *too* good. Because it is *too* good, I would love to share a favorite with you all now. Behold, my favorite song :
I first heard this song when I was thirteen years old. In the midst of my Wicked-inspired Idina Menzel obsession, I stumbled across this duet on YouTube. I was instantly intrigued, as I love BOTH of these performers very much. In fact, one of my very favorite musical concerts is Chess in Concert, in which Idina and Josh play opposite one another as Florence and Anatoly. (Revive Chess!!!!!) Not long after doing that project in London, the two united again during Idina’s Soundstage episode to turn Josh Groban’s “Awake” into a duet.
First, let’s talk performance: Their chemistry. I’ve attended weddings of couples who had less chemistry than these two have, which is incredible considering they are sitting with feet (and a piano) between them. I think it is all in the eyes and the looks. They sing to one another like they are the only two people in the room, despite being in a packed theatre. Another thing I really like about this performance is that the accompaniment is only the piano. There is no percussion. There are no strings. It is just the piano, Josh, and Idina. For eight years, there has not been another performance that is as intimate or beautifully done as this one.
Now let’s talk meaning. When I was thirteen, this song made no sense to me. I did not understand, even in the slightest, how on earth these two could sing of leaving one another if they were as in love as the song would have us believe. Back then, I only knew the simplistic version of love. This version of love suggests that if you love someone, despite any circumstance or obstacle, you will be with them. Therefore, when these two sang of leaving one another, I was utterly perplexed. I thought that if you loved someone, then that love would be enough. At least, that is what I had been taught and told.
It was not until years later, as I tightrope-walked the fine line between naive child and experienced adult, that I began to understand the song’s meaning. Love is not always enough. I know that is hard to hear, but again, I’ll repeat: Love is not always enough. Now, I’m not trying to be a pessimist. Believe me, I want love to be enough more than anyone else on this planet wants love to be enough. I don’t have to tell you, though, that love often has very little to do with it; you already know that. You already know that timing is everything. You can meet the love of your life, but if you meet him at the wrong time, be it too early or too late, everything is put at risk. As someone who has a heart the size of Texas, this is incredibly hard to grasp and thusly, was something I refused to believe for a very long time…until I watched it happen to some of my family. Then, I watched it happen to my friends. Then, it happened to me. I was bitter for a very long time. In fact, it made me want to lock up my heart and throw away the key. I wanted to do anything that would protect me from ever dealing with that level of heartache again because frankly, experiencing it once is enough for three lifetimes.
It is my pleasure to inform you all, however, that broken hearts, much like broken cars or bones, can mend. It takes a spirit of invitation, though. You wouldn’t hesitate to ask a mechanic for help with your car, nor would you mind asking a doctor for a cast when you’ve broken your leg. When you have a broken heart, invite others to assist in the mending process. Trust my experience when I say that closing yourself off is not at all healthy, nor is it the way to go about dealing with heartache. To combat our aching, we should focus on loving as much as we can. Be it platonic or romantic love, we must never let hate or indifference win out. As we fight fire with fire, we too should fight love gone wrong with love gone right.
Bad timing might have the potential to spoil everything, but that shouldn’t stop us from making the most of what we have when we have it. And that, my friends, is what this song is about- they’ve run out of time. Instead of acting like cowards, though, the two face their unfortunate expiration head-on and love until they can no longer do so, and that’s one of the most beautiful and comforting premises I’ve come across to date.
It is always better to love than to not love. Whether you can be with someone for 45 years or 45 minutes, love intensely and love without restraint.
…All of this just to share my favorite song with you. Perhaps the reason I’ve kept it private for so long is that it represents something as huge as the tangent upon which I just embarked. Maybe it’ll mean something to you, too. Hopefully.
Regardless of meaning, enjoy this beautifully sung, beautifully performed song by two fantastic performers. Love and light as always!