I’ll Fly Away

There were many, many high points at Simone’s memorial service on Saturday. In fact, you might even say the whole service was one high point from one end to the other. I cannot begin to thank everyone personally for their help and participation. I’m sure I’ll forget someone who’s dear and close to me and I would never want to hurt anyone, so thanks. You know who you are.

You know how in the Navy, or in the Air Force, when a fighter has fallen and the squad does a fly-over with one position empty? I’m not sure the same thing exists in music. Leave out a part and the harmony is strangely wrong, or the melody is missing – which might prove the point, granted, that some one is missing, but might not pay as much tribute to that person as one might want.

I cried with joy when I would sing in my kitchen with Simone and Johnny. One December evening, we called my mom and sang 3-part carols to her. She wept with delight. I was so proud my chest felt like it was going to burst, and I relived that phone call all night long as I tried to fall asleep.

Simone loved the soundtrack to “O, Brother, Where Art Thou?” and we sang “I’ll Fly Away” together whenever the music sort of found itself under my fingers on guitar or mandolin. I’d do it as a duet with her, and if Johnny was around we’d sing trio.

Jennifer took Simone’s place in the flying formation on Saturday, and we sang for Simone, and I could hear a pin drop when we finally stopped and our harmony echoed around for a bit. I know Simone was smiling.

Leave a Reply