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Could I Have This Dance?

annemurray1

Maybe it was the fact that I just watched ‘Brokeback Mountain’ again and have sad country songs running through my head, or maybe it was the memories of piano lessons coming back to haunt me, but this song popped into my head the other night, took up residence, and refused to let go. The only way to exorcise something of this dire ilk is to work through it in words.

It was one of the first ‘pop’ songs I learned on the piano, after graduating through the rudimentary building blocks of ‘Porcupines have prickly quills/ don’t go near their favorite hills/ if you go you’ll have bad luck/ cause you surely will get stuck.’ Compared to that, this was practically Beethoven.

I’ll always remember the song they were playing the first time we danced, and I knew
As we swayed to the music and held to each other, I fell I love with you
Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?
Would you be my partner every night?
When we’re together it feels so right,
Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?

I could only have been nine or ten years old, and could not have known the kind of promise a lifetime together meant. I could not have known romance, I could have only barely known longing, and the childhood innocence in which I was so blissfully unaware protected and shielded me from the precipice of pain that such a romantic love precariously perches upon.

I’ll always remember that magic moment when I held you close to me
As we moved together I knew forever, you’re all I’ll ever need.
Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?
Would you be my partner every night?
When we’re together it feels so right,
Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?

All I knew was the melancholic undertone of the music, the way love seemed somehow always tinged with sadness, and that if it wasn’t hard, if there weren’t obstacles, then something was wrong, something was missing. It was written then, before I even knew what romance was, that love would prove a difficult thing. But I also knew, deep down inside, that I wouldn’t have it any other way, and it would always be worth the heartache, worth the longing, worth the pain. Because on certain nights, there would be a dance like this, and as long as we had that dance, the world would be bearable.

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