“YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE”


 
I think it scared me a little, as a kid — 
the emotionality, the near-religious gravity. 
I mostly heard “storm” and “be afraid.” 
I sensed that it was about something big. 
Now it’s come round again, 
in a 1963 version by Gerry and the Pacemakers 
that probably didn’t get much play on our shores 
so it sounds old yet fresh to my ears. 
 
That recording, in fact, was enlisted by the Dutch DJ 
Sander Hoogendoorn to comfort Europeans 
fearful and house-bound as we are here in the States, 
broadcast simultaneously on March 20th 
on hundreds of radio stations from Finland 
to Romania, Luxembourg to Spain. 
There’s a new video of the old song that fits 
perfectly this moment of the pandemic. 
 
The video, which you really must see, 
features a couple of dozen different 
people miming Gerry Marsden’s vocal, 
men and women, adults and children, some funny 
but all of them sweet and profoundly moving 
as they throw themselves into their part of the lyric, 
letting some essential innocence and vulnerability, 
which we all feel so keenly now, shine through. 
 
My body gets sad having to hold itself 
at a distance from so many I love.  Doesn’t yours? 
These stand-in’s, with their serious working class 
faces, throw their arms around each other, sway together 
as they sing in that old familiar warm way 
we’ve suddenly lost.  The lonely have 
always known that touch is the true wealth.  Wouldn’t 
you give anything now just for a good hug? 

 
Thomas R. Smith 

 

 


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One Response to “YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE”

  1. Miriam Weinstein says:

    Outstanding poem that captured my feelings.

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