Songs that Inspire: Abilene.

Just this week, thanks to a boost in my finances due to tax returns, I was finally able to get a new pair of headphones; the ones I’ve used before had completely ceased to work. For me, this was practically a tragedy. Whenever I go anywhere, I like to have my music with me, especially when I’m walking to work just because it gets me in a good mood. Usually, the music inspires me, as well, and there’s always a few songs that are almost heartbreaking for me, because I listen to them and long to create something as beautiful and poetic as these songs.

The song that got me yesterday was Abilene; I have the Damien Jurado cover.

I fell in love with a girl of nineteen.
A black haired girl called Abilene.

There’s just something so old-fashioned and classically simple about this song that moves me. The young lovers slipping off in the night; I get the impression that their lives are quiet ones, and, through the last lines, you feel perhaps they’ll find that there’s much more of a life out there for them, and, as long as they have each other. But it won’t be easy, especially since Abilene is the name of a city in Kansas at the end of Chisholm Trail into the west, so those who took the road to Abilene would find it a hard journey, only to find themselves still in the wilds of the western frontier. When I first started listening to the song, I was not aware of the history behind the name, but I love how it just confirms the very vivid story that plays out in my head whenever I listen to it.

And I want to create a story so vivid myself inspired by this song. I don’t think I could touch the beautiful simplicity of the piece itself without outright copying it, wherein lies the challenge, but, on the other hand, it isn’t as if the tale of a young, poor man wanting to whisk away a sheltered, dark-eyed beauty into the wilderness of the unknown is an uncommon story. I feel I might be altering the story of Meriet in the current novel I’m working on to reflect this; she’s from a small village, and there could be this whole thing with a romance between a man her mother does not approve of, and, together, they join Solomon’s journey to escape.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for a romance sometimes, I really am. And it’s a beautiful song, one of the many that just make me really feel how badly I want to create the feelings in people that these songs are able to create inside of me.


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