This is the second of Sally O’Dowd’s seven-part, music-insipired blog series that pays tribute to all victims of the recent and ongoing violence in France and to all people around the world who support and fight for free speech. My first post honored those who paid tribute to the fallen via vigils. This post honors those who lost love ones in the Charlie Hebdo murders.  For other posts click: third post/Edith Piaffourth post/Enigmafifth post/songs from the 1996 movie Romeo and Julietsixth post/Tears for Fearsseventh post/Daft Punk.

Bruce_Springsteen_The_RisingSoon after the 9/11 attacks, a man saw Bruce Springsteen in a New Jersey parking lot and yelled, “We need you now.”

Like so many people at the time, the man was looking for relief…a song, a melody…words from a poet that might lessen unspeakable grief or somehow provide solace amidst the inexplicable.

Bruce took heed. Having read that many of the fallen had been big fans (The New York Times wrote detailed biographies of every person who died) he picked up the phone and called spouses and loved ones.  He  wanted to know how they were doing, he wanted to hear their stories. The result was The Rising released in 2002.

Comparisons to 9/11 (or onze septembre) are being made to what is going on in France this week.  The smaller scale doesn’t matter. Hate is hate. Life and spirit know no bounds.

As such, for my second post, I am choosing “Missing,” a gut-wrenching song from The Rising. This song honors all those who knew and loved those who perished in the Charlie Hebdo murders.

Here is my French translation. Excuse inaccuracies or help me to improve.

Chemise dans l’armoire
Chaussures dans le couloir
Maman dans la cuisine, bébé et tout
Tout est tout
Tout est tout
Mais t’es absent

Tasses du café sur le comptoir, vestes sur la chaise
Journaux à la porte, tu n’es pas là
Tout est tout
Tout est tout
Mais t’es absent

Photos sur la table
La télé dans le salon
Ta maison attend, ta maison attend
Pour que tu entres, pour que tu entres
Mais t’es absent, t’es absent
T’es absent quand j’eteins la lumière
T’es absent quand je ferme les yeux
T’es absent quand je vois que le soleil se lève
T’es absent

Les enfants demandent si tout ça va
On t’embrasse ce soir?

Le matin est le matin, le soir tombe
J’ai trop d’espace dans mon lit, trop d’appels
Comment va tout? Comment va tout?
Tout, tout

Dieu flotte en paradis
Le diable dans la boîte postale
J’ai de la poussièe sur les chaussures, rien que des larmes

–Sally O’Dowd is a former journalist who has founded Sally On Media, a company providing business strategy and integrated marketing services.

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