Fire and Rain

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When I first heard the song "Fire and Rain" by James Taylor, it was shortly after my grandfather had passed away. The death of my grandfather was one of the most difficult times of my life because it was the first time I truly experienced lost. By experience I mean, I was old enough to understand what was happening around me. Someone I thought would always be there, simply wasn't. Every loss I have experienced since has always opened the flood gates with memories of this event in my life. The song "Fire and Rain" is one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I have ever come across in my 21 years of life. Based on an interview on the BBC, Taylor explains that the song refers to his time experienced at a mental institution and the suicide committed by one of his childhood friends. However, for me I hear and read the story of my own emotional distress following the passing of my grandfather.

"I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again" (Taylor, Fire and Rain).

In lyrical writing, the author writes for himself but his words can generally and specifically define the events in hundreds of thousands of listeners' lives. His use of mysterious metaphors, such as 'fire' and 'rain' leave the entirety of the work up to interpretation. Personally, this chorus refers to the idea that everyday we come across happiness and sadness. We have felt alone, we have seen terrible things, but above everything, losing someone close has never crossed our minds. As a child, I never truly understood the concept of death, nor did I believe that it would ever happen to a family member of my own. I thought he was going to live forever. Although the song had reinforced the sadness that I had been feeling, I surprisingly felt infinitely better. I felt less small, less alone.

Though lyricism in songwriting isn't the only of aspect of...
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