Wow! I just discovered a video/music series published by the master himself, Jackson Browne. It’s his “live from home” series on Youtube, a set of beautiful, intimate, high fidelity versions of songs from his previous albums and concerts. At age 72 he hasn’t lost a step.
When he looks into the camera in these videos, you can see the wisdom, the sadness and humor, the intelligence of the man. It’s at least as good as any front-row, in person show we’ve seen him. And the glimpses of his house, his personal space where he’s recording these gems, are very cool.
This version of “Farther On” brought tears to my eyes. I listened to this in my 20s and loved it, and it hasn’t lost any power. The entire song is beautiful and haunting, but the final stanzas always resonate with me:
“Now the distance leads me farther on
Though the reasons i once had are gone
I keep thinking I’ll find what I’m looking for
In the sand beneath the dawn
But the angels are older
They can see that the sun’s setting fast
They look over my shoulder
At the vision of paradise contained in the light of the past
And they lay down behind me
To sleep beside the road till the morning has come
Where they know they will find me
With my maps and my faith in the distance
Moving farther on…”
He wrote this in 1973 at the age of 24. Twenty four!! Who has that kind of soul and wisdom at 24? I’ll always wonder that about JB – he’s the prototype old soul.