There is something about peaceful, gentle, folksy acoustic music that seems to be a part of nature. It’s not something that I can readily explain, but oftentimes, there is nothing more appealing than a long walk through the woods, muddying your shoes and crunching through the undergrowth, all while listening to the gentle harmonies and acoustic melodies of songs like “Meet Me in Seattle,” by Josh Fudge.
Before I get into the lyrics, I have to mention the instrumental melodies. The acoustic melody which drives throughout the song is simple and beautiful, full of a steady, pleasant kind of rhythm that sounds like a loving hug or the gentle motion of a rocking chair shared by two loved ones.
The few times that this melody is supplemented with hints of somber piano chords represent moments of pure elevation. And the fact that the track consists of nothing beyond the vocals and the guitar (and few lines of piano) make this song even better — it is stripped down and simple, not hindered by multiple guitars or basses or drums.
The story the song tells is one of love, but it is a sad song, because it is realistic in its look on love, rather than naive in its blind hope.
“Someday I will find the time I promise you that I
Will be the one to say
Loving comes in waves”
The singer is seemingly putting his love on hold. Someday, he will find the time, but not today. Someday, he will have the strength to say that love is not one endless unchanging feeling, rather it comes in waves, it ebbs and flows like the ocean beneath the moon.
“Hold on tight my love, my love
Dream of things that you don’t know
All you’re left the falling embers
Wishing I can give you more”
The chorus represents the duplicity of a real personality. He wants her to hold on tight, he wants her to find a way to be with him. But at the same time, he recognizes that he is failing her, that he is falling away from this love, leaving her with embers, all while he wishes fervently that he could be better, because she deserves better than his love.
“I knew I loved you so
I fell down in February snow”
This paints a very clear picture, one of desperation and exasperation. One almost of self-hatred. I envision a broken man falling onto his knees in exasperation, realizing that her leaving was all his fault. This image, because of its clarity, becomes automatically personal to anyone who has been in a relationship — anyone who has ever loved someone else can identify in some way with this idea of losing something so extremely that you can no longer stand.
The subtle shifts between Seattle and Chicago represent constant movement, endless attempts to make a failing relationship work, each one ending in failure.
“Meet Me In Seattle,” is beautiful in its solemnity. It is sad and profound, and so it is touching and heartfelt. A song does not have to be happy for it to be good. Most songs work quite the opposite — it takes a profound kind of sorrow to create a work of exceptional beauty.