“Can’t Have You” by Jonas Brothers is one of my current favorite songs. It has that feeling of one of my all-time favorite songs. Kevin Jonas says of this song: “It’s all raw emotion and pure intentions. It’s about not letting your life go by and disappear without a moment’s notice.” I love this song.
I’m sure you noticed just how excited and passionate I was about the concert I sang recently. Before that experience, the music activities in my life had been few and far between for a little while. Over the summer, we don’t practice for church choir, we just show up on Sundays. And, for many Sundays, I hadn’t been in town. Then, I was too sick to go for two weekends in a row. And while I was sick, I wasn’t playing my piano, and I didn’t have a voice to even sing in the shower! And as you may have noticed…but I don’t always…when the music is few and far between, I go a little bit crazy.
Crazy, like thoughts of, “It was a HUGE mistake! I should have been a clarinet performance major!!!”
So, anyway, shortly after that concert, maybe a couple days later, I was listening to this song, and I must have had those thoughts in my head. And it occurred to me that the “you” in the song could be something in your life, not necessarily a person. And that day, when I listened to this song, the “you” became playing music in general. You know how sometimes things take on meanings of their own– that’s what this was like. I wasn’t analyzing and thinking, “But what is the song about?” It just became about music, for me, that time listening to it.
The last line of the bridge, “I can’t live without you,” became especially significant. It rang so true. I can’t live without playing and singing. I don’t mean, I would die if I didn’t. What I mean is, I can’t NOT play music. I can’t live without playing music because it won’t stay away from me. Or I can’t stay away from it. Either way, me living without playing music just does NOT happen. I assume I would die if I didn’t play music, which may sound like I’m being dramatic, and I am joking of course, but I also feel like it might be true! But we’ll never find out, because I can’t NOT play music.
And yet, it’s so easy to wallow in regret when I start feeling this way, but I’m thinking regret is not the way to go. God put me on this path, with these twists and turns, for a reason. At the time, I made the best decision I could with the information that I had. Maybe I wasn’t ready. Maybe I was being protected from failing at something I love so much. Maybe I was needed on this turn of the path instead. Or maybe I needed this part of the path to prepare for something else. I may never know why, but I reject the idea that it was a mistake on my part. Sometimes I forcefully reject that idea, because it feels “too late” for me to “correct the mistake.” Or whatever.
So if not regret…how about focusing on this strides I can be making into the future? Or even focusing on being present in today?
But still, this song is so raw and poignant, it’s nice to rest on yearning regret for a moment…
Warned me that you were gonna leave.
Never thought you would really go.
I was blind, but baby, now I see
I broke your heart, now I know
That I was being such a fool
And I didn’t deserve you.
I don’t want to fall asleep, ’cause I don’t know if I’ll get up.
I don’t want to cause a scene, but I’m dying without your love.
Begging to hear your voice tell me you love me, too.
‘Cause I’d rather just be alone, if I know that I can’t have you.
Looking at the letter that you left
Wonder if I’ll ever get you back.
Dreaming about when I’ll see you next.
Knowing that I never will forget
That I was being such a fool
And I still don’t deserve you
Well tell me what we’re fighting for
‘Cause we know that the truth means so much more
‘Cause you would if you could don’t lie
Well I’ll give everything that I’ve got left
To show you I mean what I have said
I know I was such a fool
But I can’t live without you…
–“Can’t Live Without You” by Jonas Brothers