Grief is a pain that I’ve never fully managed to endure. It weighs me down so much that I avoid it with ever scrap of effort I can manage. Heck, I’m a consummate Marvel fan, never missing a movie or TV show, but I can’t bring myself to see “Thor: Love and Thunder” yet for fear of certain triggers within. (If you know, you know.)
However, there’s one song that I can’t avoid because it understands the pain, the sorrow, the longing of grief so completely that it cuts right to the core of me. I can barely hear it without tears, and it drags something from within me that I can’t quite articulate. That’s why I felt it was important to share.
Even if you don’t enjoy metal, I would encourage you to listen to “Blackbird” by Alter Bridge, the title track from the band’s second studio album, originally released in 2007. There are many, many versions of the song that I could recommend — and the studio version shouldn’t be missed — but there’s something special about this live version from Amsterdam, embedded below.
Some fast facts before we get into the reasons why it represents grief so strongly:
Lead vocalist Myles Kennedy said: “Blackbird was inspired lyrically by a friend of mine named Mark Morse. He sold me my first guitar when I was a kid, and we stayed friends for years and years. He actually passed away right as that song was being completed so it was dedicated to him and his memory. It’s really about seeing the suffering he was going through and hoping he would find his solace soon and be free from all of that.” Myles also told Guitarist magazine that his friend had been fighting cancer. Lead guitarist Mark Tremonti shared that the song’s title came from “Blackbird” by The Beatles being the first song Myles Kennedy’s friend
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