The grieving process is sometimes unclear, vague, and complicated.
You cry every day at the memory of someone’s laughter or a small moment the two of you had shared. In Zack Fletcher’s single, “The Traveler,” he composes a song about loss in a way that makes the grief easier to understand. By comparing the loved one to a traveler into “that great, big, blue sky,” Fletcher sings about loss in a way that haunts and transforms you at the same time.
The stringed accompaniments, which include an acoustic guitar, a piano, and violins, create a somber effect. Fletcher’s virtuoso fingerstyle guitar is melodious; in a song about loss and grief, it is a sign of hope while you grieve. On the other hand, the piano and violins in the background add a somber quality to the song. It reminds me of the songs that are played when commemorating a life well lived.
While the music itself shifts from moody to hopeful in great, the lyrics are the true beauty of this single.
It’s already time to fly
Up above in that great, big, blue sky
And look down
Oh, can’t you tell me
What you see?
This is a lyric in the first verse that puts you on the verge of tears. It makes the journey of the loved one seem more like the eponymous single title—as a traveler. It also paints the loved one as a guardian angel for you. This allows the song to transcend and introduce you to the grief in your heart.
So show me, my friend
How the days at hand
Will change me
And where you’ll be
When you can’t stay.
This lyric precedes the fingerstyle guitar solo. The timing of this lyric lets you reflect on the loss and what it means for you. The last line about not being able to stay is such an emotional one that it hits you so strongly.
Then the guitar solo takes you alongside the traveler. It is a musical flight that lets the grief transform and build until the following verse.
So take off your shoes
The places you’ve been
Stick to their soles
And carry with you
All the prizes
That modern man can’t hold
When the souls are starving for something new
These lyrics follow the solo. It is the heart of the song as you can hear Fletcher’s voice deepen with emotion. It signifies that the loved one has reached home finally with the image of the shoes.
So show me, my friend
Where life begins
And daydreams end
And where you’ve always been
If not here today.
This final line lets you understand that living doesn’t happen in the past or future, but in the present. It allows you to be grateful for what you have, to love each other unconditionally because you are never certain about when it will be your last day.
For a single that discusses loss and grief in such a solemn way, it is that last line that transforms you. You start to understand the true meaning of life – which is to love and love with all your heart.
Fletcher’s heartbreaking single is also one of many great dimensions. It has an emotional resonance that lingers with you and allows you to process your emotions following the death of a loved one. Because music is the sound your heart makes, this single will transform you and help you understand that the depths of your grief can be validated, if not through love, then through song.