Old song, poignant new meaning

Posted by on Sep 11, 2010 in General, Randomness | 1 comment

So for a while now, I have considered the lyrics to the song “I Have a Dream” by ABBA to be an inspiration in my writing life. I heard it for the first time watching Mamma Mia. It was sung by Amanda Seyfried and I fell in love with this version of the song.  I have it on my iPod and I must admit I can never listen to it just once.

Then yesterday something changed…

I picked my kids up from school and we were heading home, my oldest (10) asked why September 11th was special. My daughter (7) immediately claimed to know the answer and begged to tell him.

I relaxed into my seat and said “sure” thinking it should be interesting hearing her take on the events of nine years ago. I honestly didn’t expect her to know the answer. I’ve never told her, but I wanted to know what she was learning through school, or the “Friend Net”.

At the same moment she started to talk this song came on.

My daughter sometimes has trouble coming up with words, she doesn’t stutter exactly but she stumbles, often struggling to find the right word or phrase to complete a thought. She often repeats the word “and” or “uhm” as many as six or seven times as she attempts to express herself.

I’ll admit that this often makes me crazy and I want to jump in and provide her with the word. Yesterday though, this urge didn’t hit me, because I totally understood her struggle as she began to describe how nine years ago four planes crashed.

I found myself desperate to hear how her innocent mind and tender heart would describe the people who took over the planes. In her words they were “crazy people” unaffected by religion, region of the world they lived in, or political affiliations. It was so apt I felt tears well in my eyes.

Then she began to talk about the firemen and rescue workers, she struggled again to find the word “hero” and once again I sympathized. Not because they weren’t but rather because that word seems to woefully inadequate. How can you call someone who runs into a collapsing building to save the life of another a mere hero? How can you relegate a person who sacrifices themselves on a plane to take it back from terrorists to the simple category of Hero?

It seems like there should be a bigger word. Something with more syllables and letters.

More tears gathered as I heard my unbiased child, with no notions of conspiracies or politics, simply talk about the people of September 11, 2001. She spoke about the people, including the children, who died. The hero’s, some who lived and some who didn’t. And the crazy people who made the choices that day leading to those planes crashing and all the deaths.

And through all this, the lyrics to the song poured softly through the speakers of the car. A backdrop to the innocent version or 9/11 told from a child’s eyes.

I realized she’s right. September 11th has been turned into so much, but it’s really about the people that were touched by the events of that day.

I have another dream. I dream that people will become less obsessed with politics, religion, borders, and money, and remember that life is about loving and caring for those around them. Life is not about manipulating people and events to get what you want. In reality, life isn’t even about knowing the truth all the time. After all, we teach our children that it’s better to be kind than right. How do we best love/be kind to the people who were touched by the events of 9/11?

I have a dream, a song to sing

To help me cope with Anything

If you see the wonder of a fairy tale

You can take the future even if you fail

I believe in Angels

Something good in everything I see

I believe in Angels

When I know the time is right for me

I’ll cross the stream – I have a dream

I have a dream A fantasy

To help me through reality

and my destination makes it worth the while

pushing through the darkness still another mile

I believe in Angels

Something good in everything I see

I believe in Angels

When I know the time is right for me

I’ll cross the stream – I have a dream

Lyrics written by: Andersson, Benny Goran Br;Ulvaeus, Bjoern K.