“Long as I Can See the LIGHT”

10 Feb

“Put a candle in the window,” John Fogarty began and the song came to life.  First the percussion…then a single lead guitar tracing out the simple strain…finally evolving into methodical chords.  The pace was slow and steady.  It wasn’t exactly rock and it wasn’t exactly country and it wasn’t exactly blues.  It was exactly all rolled into one and by the sax rift in the middle, a listener felt captured between the lyric lines and the lilting almost waltz-like melody.  The title line repetitively assaulting the ears in waves, penetrated to the soul, invading the psyche with a message that one had heard something deeper than the simplistic interpretation of the mere words.

“As long as I can see the light.”  The song’s story built on a theme for all of life’s wanderlust.  Everything was changing in the Sixties.  Forces were pulling us away.  The songs deepest message was counterculture to the message of the day.  There is a force that draws us back.  Somewhere between, “though I’m goin’, gone, and I’ll be comin’ home soon” there would be a kind of magnetic pull drawing one back to the place where the candle lighted the window.  A refuge.

The candlelight in that window was more than a chasing away of the dark.  It was an illumination.  On the first level…love.  Behind that glowing wick there was a home.  There was something calling, “Come back.”  Maybe beyond the walls that framed the abode and housed the love, there was the truth source that silently drummed, “Return to me.”  Spiritual on the second level.  What first seemed like the simple melody line of mommy and daddy became the more methodical chords of an eternal Father.  And even in the melancholy-sax-blues experiences of life, there was the message ever repeating, “As long as I can see the light, I can find home.”

And home was more than a place to store goods, bounded by seconds, minutes and days.  It came to be the place of love and spirit where true treasure could be laid up.  And the candle in the window glowed with the hope that is shared with hearts that we will not lose our way as long as our focus is on the LIGHT.


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