During my reflective mood about two to three weeks ago , I thought about writing a post with the title “Something’s Gotta Give” about the immense frustrations that 2013 presented to me, and the fact that such patterns cannot continue, and that my own well-being and that of others is tied up in success, in breaking through walls and in setting and enforcing firm boundaries for myself and others. The lyric, of course, was inspired by the snatches of words I heard from a song that I occasionally hear on my favorite Portland radio station, which happens to play ‘adult alternative’ music, because I am, after all, an adult, and because the station is generally good when it’s not playing blues songs. As it happened, the radio station played the song today and revealed the title, which I had never heard, and that title is “Fugitive,” which I found to be highly ironic given the mental association I had with this year.
Once I found out the name of the song, it remained to poke abound and research it a bit. I had not heard of the song before this year, and I was surprised to find out that the song had been released as a single in 2009. Of course, the song had failed to hit the top 100 of the charts in Great Britain, and did not chart at all in the United States. This would explain why I had not heard of it, as I’m not hipster enough  to know music that obscure, unless someone introduces me to it. Of course, the fact that the song was the lead single from an album called “Draw The Line” only gives it great significance for the way that 2013 worked for me, and that made this song even more important to comment on.
The first verse of “Fugitive” reads: “Is the answer none of the above? / Crouched in a hole like a mud-streaked fugitive / Every day a different version of / Pouring it away like water through a sieve .” According to the singer himself , this particular song was inspired by the sight of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein being pulled out of the hole where he was hiding to escape from the United States military. All too often we waste our time, as it slips away from us, and we ponder different options and wonder if any of them are true, of if the answer is something that we have not considered yet. Sometimes it takes a long time to figure out the answers.
The chorus of the song reads as follows: “Hey, better realize my friend / Lord in the end, now you can’t take it with / Gotta live. / If only for a second
I see it twinkling in your eye, gotta try.” Since we can’t take our things with us when we die, we have to enjoy the life that we live here and now. We can’t hoard away our possessions or waste our time without doing that which we love. If we live wisely, or fortunately, or remotely well, we will have moments in our life when we have a little hint of the mischievous children that most of us are. The more often we have that, the more child-like we are.
The second verse of “Fugitive” reads: Well, it’s flesh and blood and camouflage. / Into the wall, now something’s gotta give. / Just another act of sabotage / Seen through the haze of a mind-rot sedative.” We often tend to sabotage our own happiness and success. Sometimes we do it by hiding our feelings, sometimes we do it through drugs or alcohol. Here, we have what appears to be sabotage through alcohol, although there are many other ways that we hit the wall and wonder what’s going to give, ourselves or the wall. Certainly, I can relate to the experience all too well, in all too many ways. So, no doubt, can many others. The fact that such urgent lyrics are cloaked in upbeat music makes it less easy for some to see the depth therein.
The only other line of the song that is unique occurs in the bridge, and it reads: “The world that you’re forsaking / Is surely more than just a lie, gotta try, yeah.” At its heart, this is a song about trying the best we can to live the best life possible, despite all of the barriers and difficulties that we face, despite our fears. Life is not easy, but we have to try the best that we can. David Gray belongs with those who believe in the reality and worth of the life that we live, as opposed to the Buddhist/New Age conviction that this world is illusion and that all that matters is what is inside of our head. This life is more than meets the eye, and it’s more than a lie. That’s not to say that it’s easy, but it’s worth it, for those moments when we can see the mischievous twinkle in the eyes of loved ones, and find some aspect of love and connection in a world that is full of too much sabotage and hiding away. Perhaps someday we will be able to live our lives without destroying our own success and happiness. The responsibility lies with us.
 See, for example:
 See, for example: