Today, I want to highlight a Jules Shear song that makes me kind of weepy — but in a good way. It is “The Soul of Many Places.” It’s a full tilt love song — but a wise one. It has lines like, “I will not invade you like a warrior or a preacher; I will not approve you like a butcher or a teacher.” Ah, that is something that most 26 year olds don’t know about love; that’s something that most people of any age don’t know about love: you have to accept people as they are if you plan to be around them a lot.
Of course, what I most love about “The Soul of Many Places” is one word: starving. The refrain is all leading up to that word. She touches the soul of places in him that he is starving to touch in her. I do remember feeling this way. And even as I felt it, I understood the tragic nature of it: love doesn’t work that way. Yes: you are touched in ways that you cannot explain. Yes: you wish to touch the object of your affection in the same way. But no: it never works out that way.
There is a great strength and joy to “The Soul of Many Places.” One could, I suppose read the song in a positive way, but that isn’t my nature. The singer understands the tragedy but is going to embrace what is ultimately a losing proposition. The funny thing is, the one time that I was ever in this situation, I did exactly the same thing. But the brave embrace of my feelings only lasted for so long. Then I fell apart. For a decade or so. But then, I’m a slow learner — good, but slow.