Where Are You Now My Handsome Billy?

The shooting early this morning in an Orlando nightclub became the deadliest single-day mass shooting in the history of the United States. There are no words for the tragedy, even while the media tries to sort through the gunman’s motivations when he singled out the Florida gay nightclub for his horrible act.

The politicians will have many words in the upcoming weeks, connecting the shooting to their issues, rightly or wrongly. We will hear more about the shooter’s affiliations and we will again debate a killer’s ability to gain access to weapons. And most likely, they will fail to agree on a solution.

At times like this one, it can sometimes be helpful to turn off the TVs and seek comfort in music. Maybe eventually there will be some hope that will lead us to songs like Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.” But today, we can only think about the victims.

Along those lines, one of the sweetest songs about losing someone comes from Bruce Springsteen’s “The Last Carnival.” While the song was written about the loss of E Street Band member Danny Federici, it still seems appropriate for a wider meaning.

Moon rise, moon rise, the light that was in your eyes is gone away;
Daybreak, daybreak, the thing in you that made me ache has gone to stay;
We’ll be riding the train without you tonight,
The train that keeps on moving.

It’s black smoke scorching the evening sky;
A million stars shining above us like every soul living and dead
Has been gathered together by God to sing a hymn
Over the old bones.

Photo by Chimesfreedom. What is your favorite song of comfort? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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