Water

05:20
Andy Livingston
2011
Andy Livingston

Story

The chorus for this song came first, long before I would realize fully what it was about. I had a sense it was about the ebb and flow of life, and how quickly and unexpectedly it can leave us. This song has two inspirations: one lyrical, the other thematic. The lyrical inspiration came from a story I read about two brothers. One brother was dying from a liver disease. A transplant would save him. The healthy brother, being a donor match, decided to give a portion of his healthy liver to his dying brother, since the liver is a regenerative organ, apparently. The transplantation was a success, and the sick brother almost immediately began to improve; however, the previously healthy brother did not immediately recover from the surgery. His health worsened gradually over the subsequent days, and eventually he died. This brother had essentially given his life so that the other might live. I thought of the awful burden of carrying my brother’s life as the price for my own breath. A line stuck out to me in the story where the family described learning of the death of their son, brother, husband, and father: “We heard over the intercom, ‘Code blue, room 601.’” I pictured the brothers greeting each other as the life flowed out of one and into the other; the one leaving this life nodding knowingly and silently to the one who had been given a second chance. The song then kind of leaves the brothers and ventures into my own ponderings on this life, and the end thereof. If I die today, will I really awaken in another place? I can’t answer that question with the surety I used to. If only I could reach Lazarus…

“Come please show me; open my eyes and I swear I’ll believe you then.”

The album “Water” as a whole deals with the theme of death in its many forms: physical death, the death of pieces of ourselves, and the death of relationships. Water represents the force that pushes us along the path through it all. Constantly moving, flowing, changing, and inevitably ending, we all go out smooth like water.

Lyrics

code blue
601
I returned sovereign
Lazarus
come quickly and comfort me
you know I can’t walk that far
into me his flowed
and we traded
glances as we passed
he into darkness
and I into light
we go out
smooth like water
red hot
river run
don’t I deserve this
sacrament
and my body the offering
you know I can’t take anymore
darkness
come and pray
oil and water separate
anoint me and prepare me
to cross to the other side
take me out
smooth like water
so come please show me
come let me see
so come please show me
open my eyes
and I swear I’ll
believe you then
we go out
smooth like water

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