You Are Not Alone

      This is a song written by R Kelly and made popular by Michael Jackson.  I'll admit that I didn't know much about MJ until my 3-year-old granddaughter, Charley, turned me on to him.  Prior to that, I only knew what I heard on the news, and knew the news was always the worst place to get accurate information.  For a time, she was obsessed and we came to know quite a bit about him.  Charley was one of the very few 3-year-olds who would know that the song Thriller was initially titled Starlight Sun

      Once, when Charley was four, her mom and dad took her to see an MJ immitator, Danny Dash.  He was great, and Charley got to go on stage and sing with him.  When she was still 3 she and I would do a lot of plays that Charley would make up.  She was amazing with character changes, stage blocking and feeding lines.  Really.  Where does she learn this stuff? 

      Anyway, one day her play was just to recreate an MJ music video of this song.   I was to be Michael on stage (with a head mic and all), and change to the bouncer who carried off the swooning fan who jumped on stage.  Charley, of course, was playing the part of the swooner.  Before I pushed the play button to start the music, I noticed Charley standing in the corner of the room.  I went to her and asked, "Are you ready?"  I could see that tears were welling up in her eyes, and I asked, "Are you ok, Charley?  What's wrong?  What happened?" 

      She just looked up at me with frustration and said, "Babuuuu.  I'm just getting readyyyy."

      Wow!! That, of course, blew my mind.  When the play was over, she came to me and said, "Babu, I want you with me forever."  So now I was the one holding back tears.  When she turned 5 she wrote me a note saying U R not alone.  Of course, I'll carry the note for as long as it lasts, and carry the sentiment forever.  Then, for Christmas she gave me a wine glass etched with her writing the words You Are Not Alone accompanied with her drawing of her and me holding hands.

      This was one of the songs I wanted to do as soon as I got the new version of Band in a Box.  R Kelly's words and sentiment are great, but the meaning was a bit too ambiguous for what I wanted to say to Charley.  So I changed some words and added some more.  As I was making it, I realized this is a song to everyone I know.  Heck, it's a song for everyone who knows anyone.  I made it more about someone who dies than about someone who just isn't there at the moment, but both perspectives work. 

      Without consideration for the higher spheres of our lives, we are all basically brains communicationg with and altering brains of others who are also altering ours.   Most of us can say for certain that when someone of influence in our lives, someone with whom we talk and have a relationship, is not with us, we can still hear "in our heads and hearts" their words of guidance and encouragement.  Many of us are still guided by what our mothers, fathers, teachers and others have told us, whether they are alive or not.  It's part of what we call conscience, I suppose.  Quite often those mental conversations with lost loved ones are not just rehashing old times between us, but contain helpful words appropriate to our current situation.  Sometimes they may even be words we'd rather not hear.   Whether we are atheists, agnostics, or deeply religious -whether we believe in an afterlife or not, we can still believe in that communication we seem to recieve from absent loved ones. 

      When I first played this for Charley she was four, and said, "Thanks for making the song for me, Babu, but next time could you make it the way Michael did?"  If she doesn't grow up to be a performer, she'll make a good critic.

       You Are Not Alone is done here using BiaB and Cakewalk.   I sang. 

You Are Not Alone
Charley & Danny Charley & me

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