Friday, February 26, 2010

Ben's Song (Annie's Song, John Denver)

"It's us. That's you and that's me. Now we never have to be away from each other. Happy birthday, Ben."
 - Annie, The Man Behind the Curtain

Last night, I watched a video that filled me with more happiness than any video rightly should. Entitled Old Spice Fills Up My Senses, this video ingeniously takes the text of the iconic new Old Spice commercial (with which I am currently obsessed) and marries it to the melody of John Denver's Annie's Song. As the main singer, Emily, explains, "There's a video that's making the rounds on the Internet, and I think it's the most romantic thing that I've ever seen... and we thought it might be fun to set the words to the video to the tune of the most romantic song ever written."

Well, I was elated and inspired, and I watched it half a dozen times, and when I woke up this morning, I watched it again. And then I had a thought: "I need this song." Every time I've heard Annie's Song in the past three years, I've briefly wanted to toy with the idea of turning it into a way of exploring Annie, who ties for my favorite flashback character on LOST. But I always shot myself down because I have a strict rule of never using the same song twice, and I made short work of Annie's Song back in 2006 shortly after my filking began in earnest.

This time, I decided to throw out the rules, especially since that was one of the dumbest songs I ever wrote, and hardly worthy of John Denver's beautiful melody. I shunned my first attempt, freeing me to say everything I've been longing to say about Annie, or rather to have her say. It was a strange revelation to me when I finished that everything we really know about Annie is contained in this one brief song. She appeared in one episode, and then she was never mentioned again.

I have a few theories about what happened to her. My most outlandish speculates that she was either Jacob or Smokey (akin to the theory that Vincent is Jacob or Smokey). Intriguing thought, but I don't give it a lot of credence. My most prominent theories are as follows:

1. Annie left the Island with her parents shortly after she presented the dolls to Ben. The very nature of the gift suggests that she knew they would be separated soon, and this would explain why she seemed to be out of the picture when Jack and his buddies arrived.

2. At some point in the mid-to-late 1980s, Ben impregnated Annie, who subsequently died in childbirth. That explains why he was so deeply moved by the presence of the infant Alexandra and protective of her mother, even as he stole the baby to claim as his own. It also gives more reason for the fervor with which he tried to keep Karl away from Alex and attempted to find a solution to the Island's fertility problems, which Richard (the man who barely remembers what birthdays are) clearly found inconsequential.

Whatever Annie's story is, I feel certain that we will get it this season and that it will prove an important piece of the puzzle that is LOST. Until then, we're left with three short but incredibly sweet scenes.

Ben’s Song

I guess that you’re new here.
Nice to meet you; I’m Annie.
Won’t you have an Apollo?
They’re amazingly good.
Take a taste of this candy.
We will never run out here.
You want to be friends, Ben?
I think that we should.

Come to the corner!
It’s a Hostile invasion.
It’s a little bit scary,
But don’t be afraid, Ben.
Take my hand, and I’ll guide you.
I am right here beside you.
Soon they will leave us.
You’ll be okay then.

I am right here beside you.
Someday I’ll leave you,
But I can’t say when.

I know it’s your birthday,
Though your dad has forgotten.
Here’s a gift that I made you,
And it comes from the heart.
Take the doll, for it’s me, Ben;
This one’s you, and I’ll keep it.
As long as we have them,
We’re never apart.

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