Another Adam

In her suggestion for this week’s Totally Optional Prompts, the theme of which is A different voice, Tiel Aisha Ansari quotes several poems for inspiration. They include a translation of Adam by Federico García Lorca. I’m letting Jackson Browne speak as my different voice for Adam:

Song for Adam

Though Adam was a friend of mine, I did not know him well
He was alone into his distance
He was deep into his well
I could guess what he was laughing at, but I couldn’t really tell
Now the story’s told that Adam jumped, but I’ve been thinking that he fell

Together we went traveling as we received the call
His destination India, and I had none at all
Well, I still remember laughing with our backs against the wall
So free of fear, we never thought that one of us might fall

I sit before my only candle, but it’s so little light to find my way
Now this story unfolds before my candle
Which is shorter every hour as it reaches for the day
But I feel just like a candle in the way
I guess I’ll get there, but I wouldn’t say for sure

When we parted we were laughing still, as our good-byes were said
And I never heard from him again as each our lives we led
Except for once in someone else’s letter that I read
Until I heard the sudden word that a friend of mine was dead

I sit before my only candle, like a pilgrim sits beside the way
Now this journey appears before my candle
As a song that’s growing fainter the harder that I play
But I fear before I end I’ll fade away
But I guess I’ll get there, though I wouldn’t say for sure

Though Adam was a friend of mine, I did not know him long
And when I stood myself beside him, I never thought I was as strong
Still it seems he stopped his singing in the middle of his song
Well I’m not the one to say I know, but I’m hoping he was wrong

I’m holding out my only candle, though it’s so little light to find my way
Now this story’s been laid beneath my candle
And it’s shorter every hour as it reaches for the day
Yes, I feel just like a candle in a way
I hope I’ll get there, but I never pray

Jackson Browne

(from Saturate Before Using, 1972)

Personal trivia
I may have heard Kiki Dee‘s cover of this song, which is on her 1973 Loving & Free album, before knowing the Jackson Browne original.

Here’s a lovely recording of this song from Youtube:

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About James Steerforth

I am an author of poetry and fiction, translator and painter who loves to have fun with borrowed feathers.
This entry was posted in Creative writing, India, Life, Literature, Lyrics, Music, Poetry, Stellar poetry, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Another Adam

  1. whypaisley says:

    what an absolutely lovely post… you know i have never heard this song and it was very beautiful… first in word… and then in voice…..

  2. sweettalkingguy says:

    Yeah, I love this song…

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