American Idol David Cook “Come Back to Me”

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David Cook’s performance last night on American Idol was amazing – just to prove that I was right (along with millions of others) that he deserved to win last year’s competition. “Come Back to Me”  is probably one of the most meaningful love songs I have ever heard: the transcendent, complete, all there, nothing lacking, unconditional, meaning of love. (This is from YouTube rather than the performance. For the performance, click here: American Idol: Come Back to Me)

I wonder what it would sound like if a woman sang it?

I was talking about it to one of the sisters in my community and she said that it reminded her of how God relates to us, that loving relationship that holds on and never lets go. God is always right there, waiting for us to come back. “You find you then come back to me….” Another of the sisters said it reminded her of Gomer and Hosea in the Old Testament, or the Prodigal Son in the Gospel.

This reflection and song made me think of Francis’ Thompson’s poem, “The Hound of Heaven” about God’s ever-loving pursuit of the soul; that God will never let us go. Sister Mary Paula made us memorize a big piece of the poem when for our senior English final – and it has stayed with me always:

“I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears …”
The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson

(Francis Thompson was a Catholic poet from England, 1859-1907; someone should make a movie. He studied to be a doctor, a Jesuit and ended up a drug addict, homeless, until the publishers George and Alice Meynell took him in. This couple was part of England’s “Second Spring” when many people entered the Church and there was a boon in Catholic literature.)

francis-thompson


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