Thursday, May 19, 2011

Musical Impact - 'Veronica' by Elvis Costello

Sometimes the magic of a truly exceptional song hits you when you least expect it. This happened to me recently with Elvis Costello's 'Veronica', a song I'd loved when I first heard it. It came on the other day on a Pandora station I was listening to while out in public, so it was an inopportune time for me to get extremely emotional. I was surrounded by people and almost had to run away, since I was in tears, but I kept my composure as well as I could while listening to the song through my headphones. I was then struck by how incredibly effective a song can be in stirring emotions you never knew were there. When that song is a legitimately great one. Elvis Costello's 'Veronica' is co-written by Paul McCartney, who also plays bass on the track, and the song is co-produced by T-Bone Burnett. It's a beautiful, emotion-filled, catchy tune. A perfect pop song. 

But Elvis Costello wrote this song for his grandmother, 'Veronica', and it depicts so movingly, with the greatest artistry and such intricate lyrics, his experience in watching her struggle with Alzheimer's disease. Although I'm not witnessing this experience as he did, since my grandmother is geographically far away from me, I now have a grandmother like 'Veronica' too. Despite my infinite number of questions to my mom (who has been witness to the way the disease has affected my grandmother) about this confusing experience, my emotions about it were somehow locked away. 

I thought this song was beautiful before. But now it has touched on new feelings in me, because of an awareness of this disease that has affected my family. They are feelings I could not have grasped until now. Elvis Costello, with this one lovely song, made me understand with great intensity what we're dealing with here. It's something very mysterious to which any wonderful person, so full of life and experience named 'Veronica', someone who could be anyone's grandmother or grandfather', can sadly fall victim. 

This is the sort of music I will always treasure. There's so much more I could say about it, but I am grateful for Elvis Costello for giving me that good cry I seemed to need–––and for doing his best to clarifying for others what happens to be a very confusing experience. We all know that there is so much more to our own Veronicas than what we are left with.

I'll leave you with the beautifully poignant song here.

1 comment:

  1. The song came on the radio so I decided to search for others who suffered the same teary eyes and lump in the throat when they heard it. Watching the video of her in the nursing home is even worse. Some Kinks songs have the same effect.