Heal the Pain (George Michael)

So George Michael has passed on, so has David Bowie, so has Prince. So has Debbie Reynolds. It’s not that I have such great affinity to these artistes. It’s just that when I hear of them no longer on this earth, I feel that a part of my teenage years has been taken away. Childhood memories surfaced with each piece of news announcing yet another artiste’s death. So why has George Michael’s passing on leave me feeling just a tad more sombre than the news of the other artistes’ deaths, all of whom I have never been great fans of anyway?

When Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 was first released in 1990, I bought the cassette tape without hesitation. Yup, I am that old, I got my first CD player only in 1992!

George Michael’s song lyrics from the album Listen Without Prejudice fascinated me. At that time, I was struggling to make sense of Shakespeare’s super cheem sonnets, as well as works written by E.M Foster, Shakespeare (it was King Lear in my year), Samuel Beckett etc. On the contrary, I found pop song lyrics so much more manageable and meaningful. I guess my intellectual faculties puts me only at this level of superficial poetry. I would pore over song lyrics, often inserting more meaning to the song lyrics than I was sure the composers had ever intended.

Thus, Praying for Time became a song of exile for me. Freedom90 became yet another statement of rebellion for me, and ranked with Freddie Mercury’s Bicycle Race and Billy Joel’s My Life.

My favourite song from that album was/is Heal the Pain. A classmate of mine had pointed out to me how clever George Michael had been in playing around with theme tune. She used the analogy of Rachmaninov’s Paganini’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, to illustrate how George Michael had used the same technique for the intro. I was blown away. Okay, I am not saying that Heal the Pain was a work of genius. I know I know. It’s not a difficult or secret technique, U2 also used that same technique in the theme song from Mission Impossible. But because someone had taught me how to observe this first with the song Heal the Pain, it has since been etched in my memory as the very clever song. George Michael also used some jazz in his songs, which I thought was unique as the regular main stream singers then were more straight cut and predictable.

So in melody and lyrics, Heal the Pain became Jeremiah’s lament for me. For those few months of my life, it became kind of a warped personal psalm for me. I just youtube searched that song and discovered that Paul McCartney did a really nice duet of this song with George Michael. Every time I heard that song in those wandering days, I would pretend that God was singing it to me. So ironic right? Since I doubt that God was ever the key character in the original intention of the song.

I don’t think I’m allowed to paste a youtube link on my blog, so here are the lyrics instead:

HEAL THE PAIN

Let me tell you a secret
Put it in your heart and then keep it
Something that I want you to know
Do something for me
Listen to my simple story
And maybe we’ll have something to show

You tell me you’re cold on the inside
How can the outside world
Be a place that your heart can embrace
Be good to yourself
Because nobody else
Has the power to make you happy

How can I help you
Please let me try to
I can heal the pain
That you’re feeling inside
Whenever you want me
You know that I will be
Waiting for the day
That you say you’ll be mine

He must have really hurt you
To make you say the things that you do
He must have really hurt you
To make those pretty eyes look so blue

He must have known
That he could
That you’d never leave him
Now you can’t see my love is good
And that I’m not him

How can I help you
Please let me try to
I can heal the pain
Won’t you let me inside
Whenever you want me
You know that I will be
Waiting for the day
That you say you’ll be mine

Won’t you let me in
Let this love begin
Won’t you show me your heart now
I’ll be good to you
I can make this thing true
Show me that heart right now

Who needs a lover
That can’t be a friend
Something tells me I’m the one you’ve been looking for
If you ever should see him again
Won’t you tell him you’ve found someone who gives you more

Someone who will protect you
Love and respect you
All those things
That he never could bring to you
Like I do
Or rather I would
Won’t you show me your heart
Like you should

How can I help you
Please let me try to
I can heal the pain
That you’re feeling inside
Whenever you want me
You know that I will be
Waiting for the day
That you say you’ll be mine

Won’t you let me in
Let this love begin
Won’t you show me your heart now
I’ll be good to you
I can make this thing true
And get to your heart somehow