Saturday, September 19, 2009

There Ain’t NO Sunshine When She’s Gone—Well there may be Sunshine

There Ain’t NO Sunshine When She’s Gone—Well there may be Sunshine

By Kevin Stoda, Germany


Some of you reader’s know that one of the more meaningful (a al déjàvu-like) songs for me is Bill Wither’s classic, THERE AIN’T NO SUNSHINE WHEN SHE’S GONE.

http://the-teacher.blogspot.com/2007/11/2007-racism-in-arab-worldcan-it-be.html

A simple websearch of the song will show that many stars have tried to create either their own version or their own tribute version of the Wither’s ditty. For example, here are a few:

Sting and David Sandborn http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnmTa3fhhPs

The Lighthouse Family, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLybl1kBgVo

Otis Redding, http://www.last.fm/music/Otis+Redding/_/There+Ain%27t+No+Sunshine+When+She%27s+Gone

Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, and nearly 350 others have covered the Wither’s song in the past 35 years. The lyrics from Withers are short and bitter sweet—as well as certainly providing one of the more memorable cries of loss by a male in recorded music. (Withers received a Grammy for THERE AIN’T NO SUNSHINE WHEN SHE’S GONE.)

I personally will never forget walking down a very cold snowy sidewalk in January 1983 with this very song from Withers playing in the streets of Chicago, i.e. just outside the unemployment office. Chicago that winter seemed to be a world of unemployed men who stumbled through the cold up and down the street with these words echoing off the concrete.

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
It's not warm when she's away
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
She's gone much too long
Any time she goes away
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
Wonder if she's gone to stay
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And this house just ain't no home
Anytime she goes away
I know
She's gone to stay
It's breakin' me up
Anytime she goes away
Gotta leave the young thing alone
There ain't no sunshine when she's gone
Despite the melancholy and unemployment in Chicago that freezing cold winter of 1983, the atmosphere in the City of the Big Shoulders soon turned into sea of change during the age of Ronald Reagan and high unemployment. You see a third party candidate, Harold Washington, was running for mayor of the city and would be elected within a fortnight—after hundreds of thousands got out the word and vote, i.e. for an alternative who could work across cultural and party lines.

I had been handing out “register to vote” information myself that cold January Day 1983 when those words came bouncing across the cold sidewalks from small street side amplifiers. So, I know that melancholy can turn to joy—something, which the Wither’s tune inspires.


26 YEARS LATER

The German officials at the Integration Office in Wiesbaden in Hessen have now kept my wife out of Germany for nearly ¾ of a years by now--and as I plopped down on my bed for a nap to get over the tiredness and depression on a gloomy rainy Tuesday this past week, the German radio station played:

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
It's not warm when she's away
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And she's gone much too long
Any time she goes away
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
I wonder if she's gone to stay
There ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And this house just ain't a home
Any time she goes away
I know
She's gone to stay
It's breaking me up
Any time she goes away
Gotta leave the young thing alone
There ain't no sunshine when she's gone

I naturally thought the voice was communicating to meet about being separated unfairly from my wife for months…..Well, at least, Bill Wither’s recorded voice & music certainly seemed to be playing an ode to Victoria and I – as we have been separated by 12,000 kilometers for far too long now. .(She lives in a very isolated part of the Philippines with her family—awaiting the change in visa status for her.)

The next day, however, I went over to the Wiesbaden Integration Officer, Frau Q met me with a smile. Ms. Q is the person on site in charge (most of the time) for my wife’s visa.

She assured me with a friendly tone of voice that the very next day, Thursday afternoon, that she would meet with several others on a committee and discuss my wife’s visa application for Germany. I had rarely seen her in such a good mood.

So, I left the office that Wednesday with a sense of euphoria and immediately emailed (and told) loved ones and friends that the 17th of September would be a day of big decision.

Today is now Saturday the 19th of September and there has been no news at all from the Wiesbaden Integration Office.

Despite this sense of missing something and being a bit depressed again, here in Bavaria, where I am visiting my sister and family this weekend, the sun is shining.

On the way here by train via Nuremberg, I came across a huge building. It was named the Victoria Insurance company. In Nuremburg, I stopped and drank a beer at the Hotel Victoria by the walls of the ancient city,.

Moreover, I recalled that the lucky numbers on the national lottery this week had included 5 and 31—which is my wife, Victoria’s, birthday, i.e. May 31.

So, despite the phrases from Wither’s song, THERE AIN’T NO SUNSHINE WHEN SHE’S GONE, echoing in my memory, perhaps sunshine is coming into Victoria and my life in the coming days and weeks.

http://the-teacher.blogspot.com/2009/09/hessen-landtag-investigation-needs-to.html

NOTES

Psalm 37:6 (New International Version)

“He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”

Isaiah 60:19 (New International Version)

19 “The sun will no more be your light by day,
nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.”

Matthew 13:43 (New International Version)

43″Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”

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