Sunday, April 09, 2006

I Saw Your Face In A Crowded Place

What is it about James Blunt that has caused his song, You’re Beautiful to stick at the top of the charts? Why do the crowds at his live performances whip themselves into a frenzy when they hear the opening chords of this melancholic song?

Is it simply because Oprah has given her approval and told everyone to put the Back to Bedlam album into their shopping baskets? Is it Blunt’s trademark falsetto voice? Not everybody loves it. One reviewer reckoned Blunt sounds like his underwear is three sizes too small!

It may be the words:
"You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
beautiful, it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
And I don't
know what to do…”

“But it's time to face the truth,
I will never be with you.”

I don’t profess to understand the story completely and one could dismiss the song as the words of a person of low morals preparing to seduce the love of another man.

There are many people who wonder wistfully how their lives would have turned out if they had decided or been able to commit themselves to another person. Like the comment by Drew from Texas on a James Blunt web site who said, “And I love you Jill, even if I’ll never be with you.”

Associated with this is the reality that sometimes a chance encounter can be life changing. Our eyes lock like magnets “in a crowded place” and we know!

On Good Friday Jesus of Nazareth is made to carry a heavy cross through the city. When he falls under the weight, Simon from Cyrene, who is in town for the annual festival, is conscripted to carry the cross. And so it happened. He got more than what he bargained for. I like to think that in that crowded place unsuspecting Simon saw Jesus’ face and his life changed forever.

Geoff Pound

Image: James Blunt