Thursday, March 15, 2018

THE JUKEBOX HERO HYMNAL: Hymn 030: Love Remember Me by Dennis Wilson

It’s been a while since we added a track to the Jukebox Hero Hymnal, hasn’t it? That being the case, we may as well come back with a doozy.

Love Remember Me is a previously unreleased bonus track from the 2008 reissue of Beach Boy drummer Dennis Wilson’s only official solo effort, Pacific Blue, an album AllMusic’s Thom Jurek proclaims “a classic, blissed-out, coked-up slice of '70s rock and pop that is as essential as Fleetwood Mac's Rumours.” That sounds about right.

The music of the Beach Boys was never overtly religious, but that doesn’t mean such concerns weren’t there. In an interview with Rave Magazine in 1967, Dennis’ brother Carl Wilson noted,
"At present our influences are of a religious nature. Not any specific religion but an idea based upon that of Universal Consciousness. The concept of spreading goodwill, good thoughts and happiness is nothing new. It is an idea which religious teachers and philosophers have been handing down for centuries, but it is also our hope. The ideas are there in God Only Knows, Good Vibrations, Heroes and Villains and it is why the new LP is called Smile. The spiritual concept of happiness and doing good to others is extremely important to the lyric of our songs, and the religious element of some of the better church music is also contained within some of our new work."
At least a few of those same notions seemed to remain in Dennis Wilson’s head a decade later, especially in songs like Love Remember Me. It opens like any song about a broken heart, with Wilson lamenting a lost love…

Never thought you could ever blow me away
Never thought I'd see the day
We both would run away

But as the song goes on, he starts to cry out…

I want to love
(People live, people die)
I need to love
(People laugh, people cry)
I want to love
I want to love
So love remember me

And then it happens. He gets a response in the form of a quite heavenly sounding choir…

(Love keeps tumblin' down on you)
(My love comes driftin' down on you)
Oh, come on, come on, hello, come on
(My love comes gently down on you)
Well, come on, come on, hello, come on
(My love keeps tumblin' down on you)
Yeah, Come on, come on, hello, come on

It is as if a voice from above has heard his calls and is offering comfort, assuring him that he is loved. It is one of the great paradoxes of faith that when times are at their worst, it is often then that we are open to hearing God’s voice. When asked how he made it through seven years of being held hostage in Lebanon, AP journalist Terry Anderson explained…
"We come closest to God at our lowest moments. It's easiest to hear God when you are stripped of pride and arrogance, when you have nothing to rely on except God. It's pretty painful to get to that point, but when you do, God's there."
God, who is love, does remember us, and His love does come tumblin’ gently down when we need it most. Just a reminder as we head into these last few days in the desert of Lent.

No comments: