Awake In the Infinite Cold

1

My mother went shopping one afternoon in 1958. As a treat she bought me an album of popular rock and roll songs by Elvis, Dion and the Belmonts, Buddy Holly, and others. Resting the needle on the record I realized at once they weren’t the real songs, but covers. Unknown singers sang songs originally sung by Elvis, Dion, Buddy Holly, Perry Como.

At least once a year my mother would buy me a budget cover album. Here’s a cover of a Beatles song: pleasepleaseme.mp3.

Today it’s funny to listen to, but in 1963 when you were 14 years old, you wanted to hear the Beatles. It was as depressing as life got. Not that the version of Please Please Me is bad. The singers of these cover songs were often better than the original singers.

2

When we were kids we hated cover songs. Nowadays cover songs are much loved, widely accepted and very popular. YouTube is full of cover versions of popular and even little known songs. The song Only Hope, by Christian-inspired group Switchfoot, must have been covered a hundred times on YouTube. Here’s the lyric:

“Only Hope”

There’s a song that’s inside of my soul
It’s the one that I’ve tried to write over and over again
I’m awake in the infinite cold
But You sing to me over and over again

So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only Yours
I pray to be only Yours
I know now You’re my only hope

Sing to me the song of the stars
Of Your galaxy dancing and laughing
and laughing again
When it feels like my dreams are so far
Sing to me of the plans that You have for me over again

So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only Yours
I pray to be only Yours
I know now You’re my only hope

I give You my destiny
I’m giving You all of me
I want Your symphony
Singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs I’m giving it back

So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only Yours
I pray to be only Yours
I know now You’re my only hope

Here’s a typical YouTube singer, Joyride13, covering Only Hope. Note that she reveals she is doing a cover of Mandy Moore’s cover of Switchfoot’s Only Hope. (You can easily imagine that there’s a cover of this girl’s cover of Mandy Moore’s cover.)


3

In the world of nonduality, we could ask, “Are some teachers imitative of famous gurus or scriptures? That is, are they doing ‘cover songs’? Could the ‘cover songs’ be better than the originals? Are teachers doing ‘cover songs’ of ‘cover songs’?”

It’s up to the consumer of nondualia to be aware of those questions and to decide how to value what they read. This portion of Only Hope points to what the only authentic voice might be:

I’m awake in the infinite cold
But You sing to me over and over again

4 thoughts on “Awake In the Infinite Cold

  1. Lost & Sound

    This rings a bell… I grew up in the seventies but I was a Beatles fan, too. I remember buying a “Beatles” record on a flea market. At home I noticed that there were only instrumental versions of Beatles songs. I hated it. I hated actually all kind of cover versions when I was a kid.

    Still when I was teenager, I hated all cover versions. I thought, that there is only one real and true version. Now I ‘m a little order and I love cover versions. I even love instrumental and easy listening versions of Beatles songs.

    I also remember the cheap records and tapes by fifties stars such as Chuck Berry, Little Richard and others they sold in supermarkets that were “re-recorded by the original artists”, as it was stated in small print somewhere on the back cover.

    Like

  2. nonduality Post author

    I don’t remember the cheap versions, but it’s interesting. Now cover versions are acceptable because there’s no sense of greed and deception. People can just enjoy singing and interpreting great songs.

    I really like how on YouTube an unknown person can write and perform a song and then it gets covered by a bunch of people who simply like the song. It’s pure appreciation, which is what any cover song should be about.

    Like

  3. Jeff Moore

    History itself is a succession of covers. Humanity will continue repeat its mistakes until the day comes that this kind of suffering is no longer necessary. Stanley Kubric framed this so beautifully in 2001, during the scene when a bone tossed into the air by the protohuman morphs into a satellite in orbit above the earth, 3 million years into the future. The immediate interpretation is, “Wow, look at how far we’ve come!”, but Kubric is not Spielberg. On deeper reflection, he is probably implying, “Gee, not much has changed”.

    Like

  4. Omkaradatta

    “This portion of Only Hope points to what the only authentic voice might be:

    I’m awake in the infinite cold
    But You sing to me over and over again”

    I think you’re right… nonduality is the living moment, and is about relationship (interdependence) and love. It’s about giving my full attention to you, about compassion for suffering, about wanting it gone for good – wanting you out of the infinite cold, wanting you home.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s