(There is a high probability that you are reading this post because you searched for the lyrics in its title. They slightly misquoted from the song “With or Without You” by U2, released in 1987 on their album The Joshua Tree. (The actual lyric is “nothing left to lose”).
Purchasing that album, which also includes “Where the Streets Have No Name” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” was one of the major reasons i wrote this post.
I’d love it if you would stick around to check out my writing and my original music. I’ve embedded an MP3 of the original “With or Without You” elsewhere on this site – you might bump into it if you do enough browsing. You can read the full lyrics here.
I now return you to your regularly scheduled post.)
There are some songs I’ve only ever heard on the radio. Those magical hits, disembodied from albums, never seemed meant to be played at my command. I might not hear one for years, but one day be bestowed with it in a restaurant, or in someone else’s car. All a matter of chance.
These songs are different for everyone. Certainly some are more universal than others. They are each quicksilver, resolving in your aural canal as quickly as they will trickle away. You may not even remember them from one listen to the next, maybe not even if you see their names.
When people come to my house sometimes the marvel at how many of these songs – otherwise lost to them – exist in my record collection. Can they listen to this one, or borrow that one? It’s a wonderful role of fantasy fulfillment, being able to render the songs more real for my friends by offering them in the context of albums, cases, and liner notes.
I can’t possibly own each possible slippery tune, mine or anyone else’s. Not without buying all of the “Best of DooWop” and “The Big Eighties” collections there are to be had. Yet, sometimes you are in Tower Records, and there is an inexplicable $7.99 sale, and your fingers are dancing across the tops of plastic cases, and suddenly you see it – one song easily worth a penny under eight dollars just so you can capture it, like lightning in a jar.
Will you listen to it once a day? Will it hold up? Or, will you content in knowing that the next time you catch a snippet of it you can return to your home and release those notes into the air to light up the room, if just for three brief minutes?