Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hippocratic Lament (American Tune, Paul Simon / Johann Sebastian Bach / Hans Hassler)

Jack's relationship with Christian has been one of the most complex on the show. Here, to the tune of Paul Simon's American Tune, I imagine him struggling to come to grips with his father's death, juggling bitterness, respect and affection, and discounting the validity of his Island experience in White Rabbit. (The actual song kicks in at about two-minute mark on the video.)

Hippocratic Lament

Many’s the time my father told me,
“You don’t have what it takes.”
And when I wanted him to hold me,
He wouldn't soothe my aches.
Oh, but I’ve grown up. I’ve grown up,
And I thought that I’d moved on.
Still, I’ve felt the hollowness gnawing at my heart
Since I’ve known he was gone, since I’ve known he was gone.

And he said that I had to keep my distance.
He said I could not afford to care.
He said that I needed his assistance
For dural sac repair.
But I’ve grown up. I’ve grown up,
And I hope I proved him wrong.
Still, I accept that his pushing made me strong
And wish we’d got along.
Oh, why couldn’t we learn to get along?

And I dreamed that I saw him.
I dreamed that the man who I so longed to see
Was standing in front of me,
Beckoning silently.
And I dreamed of his coffin,
Which, to my surprise, was empty as could be.
Exhaustion was tricking me.
That’s not reality.
But I dreamed that I saw him.

Now he never will know how much he taught me.
He never will know how much he meant.
He never will realize that he brought me
To this Hippocratic lament.
Oh, I have grown up. Yeah, I’ve grown up, I’ve grown up.
I’m a doctor, not a child.
Still, I will remember, in the midst of many frowns,
Those rare instances when he smiled.
I will remember the times he smiled.

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