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"Close Encounters" Of A Musical Kind (Or A Twisted Version Of A Life)
Last night I was reading a blog post by a friend of mine who had accepted a challenge to write about three songs which had a significance to his life.  This got me thinking about a song which has many and varied meanings for me (ranging from death, cancer, people I have met and situations I have been in - both because I actively wanted to get myself mixed up in them and I have just been caught up in them because I was there at the time, to the biggest search I have ever been involved in - the search for what I am).

I can remember when I first heard "Close Encounters" by Clouseau.  Before you say anything - this Clouseau is not the Inspector from the "Pink Panther" - they are a Belgian pop group.

The song is the English version of "Daar Gaat Ze" which appeared on their original album (even though the lyrics don't match when you translate them).

To see the video (so you have some idea what I am going on about) click www.youtube.com/watch

If you want a true understatement I will tell you that the song stirs up a few emotions for me.  Missing deceased relatives ("I'm praying - I won't be looking when you disappear"), feeling lonely in a group of friends, the sense of freedom to be myself which one friend gave me without realising it, the taste of "normality" I got after I had won a particularly vicious fight with another friend over it.  Mainly a feeling of searching for something I will never find - my true identity.

The chorus is "Everybody's looking out for close encounters of another kind.  It won't help me if I shout but I'm getting pretty close this time".  I always think it is a good job the writer didn't specify what kind of encounters they were referring to.

However, my favourite lyrics are the beginning of the second verse - "Don't worry - I should have told you to beware of me.  Don't hurry - come back to see whatever's left of me."  They remind me a lot of me - I am a loner who is happiest in her own company (I can never feel lonely when I am alone - I usually feel lonely in a group of people - especially when I feel I have to hide my true self for whatever reason).

When I get to know you and trust you I will do anything to help you - you want a non-judgemental sounding board for your latest crisis, or advice, or support with your latest venture, or even just a hug, I will do my best to help.  However, if you cause me to doubt you for any reason I will turn extremely volatile (although I have got better with that as I have got older) and go back into my shell.

I suppose what I am trying to say is that "Close Encounters" is a song I want to sing at quite a few people in order to help them help me.

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