A Reason for it All - Eric Bogle
It's late so we're going from an everyday tragedy in America (Back Street) to an everyday tragedy in Australia, from a sixteen year old young woman to a seventy plus old lady. And a question that echoes Joni Mitchell's of four days ago.
This is the wonderful and underrated singer songwriter Eric Bogle, a scotsman who emigrated to Australia.
This song was written after seeing a news story about an old lady discovered dead in her flat in Sydney. She had died of starvation, and the evidence showed that at the end she'd been living of cardboard cereal packets. Eric and musical sidekick John Munro put two belief systems to the test in the face of this beautiful song of doubt:
John's creed is :
Don't talk to me about the meaning of life
don't sing your songs that cut like a knife
I don't wanna hear
don't wanna hear it at all
lonely old people ain't my concern
from dust we come, to dust we return
and that's all there is
don't look for a reason in it all
but later, Eric counters with brave optimism:
Can't you understand what I'm trying to say
there must be an answer, there must be a way
to make some sense of this
to try to find a reason for it all
well we are not born just so we can die
there must be an answer and we gotta try
to make some sense of it
to try and find a reason for it all.
John's harsh, pragmatic view has more logic to it but Bogle's yearning, compassion is winning through as they argue into the darkness:-
"there must be a way, there must be a reason for it all."