Songs That Stab Me in the Heart: “100 Years” by Five For Fighting

Monday, PM

You’ll notice a trend in these songs. Many of them are about loss, or memories. Maybe it’s my age, or the losses I have suffered, which by comparison to people around the world are tame. Maybe it’s the weird place I’m in, creatively, professionally, personally. But lines like this fill me with longing and regret:

I’m ninety nine for a moment
Dying for just another moment
And I’m just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are

Who am I missing? Is it a love lost? A friend lost? A family member lost? Or is it myself, lost? Undefined, caught in this time of my life that is labeled mostly as Mother/Wife, partially as Writer/Friend, often fully self-appointed Mess.

I had actually avoided “100 Years” since it was released a few years ago. Just the open tinkly piano notes were enough to make me change the station or click away, because in an instant I knew what the song’s lyrics meant. The passage of time, the chances missed, the lost youth, the fading life. In a twist, it was my children who lingered on the song tonight, dancing to the Kidz Bop channel on Pandora. I heard the song come on and I moved to skip it and Brady said “No, I love this song!” and they started a funny little dance.

I didn’t make it past the first verse. I came up here with my half glass of wine to write this post, and I watched the video and read the lyrics. I saw all of my selves, and my grandparents, and the people who died too young. I saw my lost loves and my found love. If this was an old-school CRT monitor, I would see myself, too.

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