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~Thursday~  My friend Bob bought me a ticket to join him to see LeAnn Rimes, who performed tonight with the North Carolina Symphony in the Maymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

I cried during five of her songs, and this blog entry is about trying to get my head around that.

"Two-time Grammy Award-winner LeAnn Rimes joins the Symphony to perform the songs that made her legendary. She has been a star since the age of 13, when her 1996 breakthrough hit “Blue” pushed to the Top 10 on country charts. She is also known for hits such as “How Do I Live” and “Can’t Fight the Moonlight,” among many others.

I, in fact, fell in love with LeAnn with that first hit at age 13, and I did buy the Blue album, although I must admit I haven't followed her closely over the years.

I didn't know anything about the tumultuous last several years of her personal life. I did have some vague memory of her legal issues with her dad and her manager in 2000, but I didn't know anything about the more recent marital issues of the past several years.

She alluded to them several times during her concert tonight, as she's about to release a new CD this coming week, and some of the—can you say heart-wrenching—songs, a few of which she wrote,"came from that place."

She literally brought me to tears during five of the songs in her playlist tonight. It didn't hurt that we had third-row seats (thanks again, so much, for that Bob), that she told us the "backstory" to each song, and then sang them with an unbelievably pure voice from a heart that has obviously been ripped apart.

Haters: I know she participated in everything that happened to her. She admitted that in front of god and all of us tonight, and it's obvious she hasn't taken any of it lightly and that she not only recognizes her part, but is truly remorseful for it.



Three of the five songs that I cried during are from her soon-to-be released album, which is called Spitfire.


What Have I Done

I've spent some time thinking about what it is in this song that brought me to tears. Of course, part of it was the incredible emotion with which she sang it, and with one of those voices that sound so perfect in the moment that you think, "My god, music is an amazing thing and such a gift to humanity." But enough about her.

What did it for me, I think, was invoke the recognition, admission, and acceptance of the part I played in the "What have I done?" moments in my life to-date—some of which include coming out to my wife of sixteen years, and the actual final discussions around ending the long-term relationships in my life, of which there have been, essentially, three so far.




Borrowed

As in the last song, LeAnn sang this with such feeling and amazingly pure tone quality that you couldn't not be moved, but in me, it stirred the universal—I suppose—emotions of unrequited love, what it feels like to not only want someone who doesn't want you back, but to want someone that you can't have, and the thought of someone experiencing those emotions about you for any amount of time.

During this song, in particular with regards to these lyrics in it,

Do you tell her that you love her like you do me?
Do you make love to her the way you make love to me?
I also thought about Reba's Does He Love You, which I absolutely love.



And this is the third crying culprit for me from her upcoming CD:


Who We Really Are

Did you listen to the song? Such an amazing voice. And so much stuff in it for me.

First of all, any song that touches on "speaking your truth" goes right to my core—because for such a long part of my life, I didn't. And because of that, almost on a daily basis really, I am thankful that I did not spend my entire time here not having lived my authentic life.

When you speak the truth that you used to hide
Seems like you're crossing to the other side
But then I follow you so you're not alone
Then I wrap my arms around you and take you home
And say it's okay, it's okay if love is that hard
That's how we find out who we really are

The other thing that was so poignant about this song, was that in its introduction, LeAnn shared that she hasn't been very successful in getting through it without crying, so she wanted to warn us about that ahead of time. And she did get overcome with emotion, particularly when singing the "And say it's okay, it's okay..." lyrics in each stanza, so that was incredibly moving as well.

So, that's the end of the songs that tore me up that are on the album being released next week. I can't wait to own it.



The other two songs that moved me to tears were Hallelujah and Amazing Grace.

She did Hallelujah much like in this video, sitting on the floor with her accompanist on the guitar: [If you listen to it, move the slider to 1:06 to pass the chit-chat with the audience]:


My tears from this song stemmed from the sheer emotion and purity of tone exuded while she sang it.

And finally, Amazing Grace. I almost always cry when I hear this song sung as beautifully as LeAnn did it, because it always reminds me of when it was sung at my friend Milton's funeral, and in particular when the phrase, "Was blind, but now I see," was sung, since Milton was blind, making it extra poignant.



Whew. Good night.

And thank you, Bob, for this gift that I'll cherish for a long, long time, and for the gift in my life that you are.
 

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