Several years ago, the Grammy’s had on a fresh young singer who came on stage and then belted out a very memorable and passionate song. Melissa Etheridge gave a performance of her first big song “Bring me some water,” that truly electrified the house. Now, that she is 54, she is not as fresh a personality, but very few sing with such passion. Very few move an audience like she can with her aching, yearning lyrics and raw guitar. Here is a sample of her lyrics from this first song.
Somebody bring me some water. Can’t you see I’m burning alive? Can’t you see my baby’s got another lover? I don’t know how I’m gonna survive.
Somebody bring me some water. Can’t you see it’s out of control? Baby’s got my heart and my baby’s got my mind. But tonight the sweet Devil, the sweet Devil’s got my soul.
One of her gifts is she is true to herself. You might note her songs are typically devoid of masculine and feminine pronouns. While Lesbian, she knew her songs would appeal to all forms of passionate love between two adults. I heard that the record label wanted her to make her songs more heterosexual in orientation. She refused, but said I will song about passion without regard to gender identification.
She has had many hits, but another favorite is “Come to my window.” Here is a sample:
Come to my window. Crawl inside, wait by the light of the moon. Come to my window. I’ll be home soon.
I would dial the numbers. Just to listen to your breath. I would stand inside my hell. And hold the hand of death. You don’t know how far I’d go. To ease this precious ache. You don’t know how much I’d give.
I love the metaphor of the window. Come through and help salve my aching for you. I find her choice of words, extremely inviting.
A third song I will highlight is “I’m the only one.” Here is a taste of another song of passion.
Please baby can’t you see. My mind’s a burnin’ hell. I got razors a rippin’ and tearin’ and strippin’ . My heart apart as well. Tonight you told me That you ache for something new. And some other woman is lookin’ like something. That might be good for you.
In this song, she does identify a woman as another suitor, but in this case, her love could be a man or a woman, so the songs still works. In this song, she is more direct with her ache and hell. Yet, she is very vivid that her heart is not just breaking, it is being ripped apart.
A few of her other hits include: “Like the way I do,” “I want to come over,” “Similar features,” and “Chrome plated heart.” I won’t highlight lyrics from these songs, yet each has a passionate edge. And, there are many more.
Etheridge is a force, whether it is on stage or fighting for many causes. If you ever get a chance, go see her perform or just download a few songs. Make sure you car is on cruise control, as you might get a speeding ticket.