I was browsing through some old Beatles music on the internet and came upon the song “Michelle.” As I listened, I was back in the 1960’s with “Beatlemania.” The term described the hysteria over John, Paul, George and Ringo, “the Fab Four.” They lived in a bubble floating high above the world and every fan watched them float over England, Germany, Europe and North America. They seemed to be the answer, but who knew what the question was. They were a movement. Within a very short period of time, they had knocked folk music off the pedestal and were themselves up there along with the rest of the “British Invasion.”
In that sweet, but crazy period of Beatlemania, the Song “Michelle” was released and it sounded like something from the streets of Paris, describing a young man’s struggle to communicate with the woman he loved. It did not sound like rock and roll, but then the Beatles were always exploring new venues and genres. The words “Michelle, ma belle” translate as “Michelle, my beautiful.” The young man had found the most poignant words to express his feelings. It probably spoke to a number of young people who didn’t have the words to confess their true feelings. It spoke to me.
Hearing the song the other day carried me back to those first emotions I felt: emptiness because the woman I thought I loved was not interested in me, reassurance that love can be a beautiful thing, desire to continue looking for the “right one” who had be out there.
What a powerful force music is: allowing us to go “back there” for at least a little while. For a time we can connect at least emotionally with part of our past.