Commentary - Jackie

1. Her Name Was Jackie
2. Forever With You
3. Lost, A Friend
4. A Song For My Son
5.
Agates In The Sand
6. Worlds, In Their Turn
7. Do You Remember Me?
8.
The Dying Of The Light
9.
Blue Castle

Her Name Was Jackie

Jackie M. was an English girl, who'd been in the U.S. since she was about ten years old. I'd known her casually for a few months, when she cleverly arranged for me to join her and her two girl friends for coffee at a local shop one evening. When I arrived I noted that their car was not there yet. Just then, their car pulled in and parked. The girls got out of the car - not noticing me, and Jackie, forlornly, said, "Oh, he probably won't even show up".

I now knew why I had been invited to join them...

I'd had no idea that she'd even noticed me. Once at a table, Jackie began to tell me about her secret love for me. Laying her head upon her folded arms, she looked up at me with great, adoring blue eyes, and said, "You're perfect".

I was a young man...

My heart skipped a beat...

She was beautiful! We were in our early twenties - and I was lonely and very much looking for a wife. And, I liked her. But Jackie had the remnants of a "punk" haircut - a bit too short and racy. I was concerned about her stability, and I was looking for a very conservative and sophisticated lady (I found one, but it took another dozen years!) And so, I didn't follow through, and spent many years waiting for my "lady" to arrive. I later heard that Jackie had married a nice man of asian descent.

Years passed. While attending a convention, and breaking for lunch, I noticed a beautiful young lady across from me. She had very long, shining, gorgeous auburn hair, and was surrounded by three or four Eurasian children - obviously hers. She glanced at me a few times. As I ate, I realized that she looked familiar to me. Finally, I went over and asked, "I'm sorry, but do I know you?" She replied, "of course you know me, Alan".

It was Jackie, of course - looking radiant and happy, and just the kind of lady I had been looking for all those years! We chatted, briefly, she returning to the duties of motherhood, me returning to my lonely life, rueful of what I had passed up.

That was the last time I ever saw Jackie. She's another fish that got away - but this particular fish was in the palm of my hand - and I still let it get away!

Fool... fool.

I'm happily married now, but I still remember how I felt then - so the emotions in my voice as I sing this song are quite real.

Jackie, if you're still out there: I hope you're still as happy and beautiful as you were when we last met.
 
Forever With You

This song is for my lovely wife, Lynn.

She's the kind of beautiful and elegant lady I was looking for. She's been a very fine mother to our two children, Ennis and Ian.

We had some difficulties adjusting in the early years, as most couples do, but we work well together now, and I intend to stay with her, always.

I hope that I never lose her. I well know what it's like to be alone.

Lost, a Friend

As a teen-ager, I had a best friend, who got me through some emotionally turbulent times. I loved him as much as a best friend can. Together, we were the most admired young men in our range of acquaintances. I was, and always have been, a loyal friend – never compromising a friend’s rights or dignity, even when it might seem to be in my best interests to do so.

That wouldn’t be me.

My friend’s father once admonished him to guard our friendship, since he could tell that I was true. He was right.

However, as the years passed, I came to see that my friend was prone to show little regard for the rights of others, dally with their love interests, and attempt to incite jealously in his friends, including me – all hallmarks of an extremely selfish and immature man. After about ten years of tolerance and patience, and having had enough, I broke off our friendship. It wasn’t easy, as I still enjoyed his company.

Much later, I learned that he had been romantically involved with the wife of another close friend, causing me to loose any vestigial respect I’d had for the man. How many other’s wives has he tried to seduce? How many close friends has he betrayed? I don’t know… I’m afraid to find out.

Sleaze.

He has attempted to contact me a few times over the years – but I want nothing to do with him, and would never again trust him near anything I cherish.

He won’t be able to betray me again.

Ever.

He’s lost a true friend – perhaps the closest one he ever had…

- Alan Kim Cochran

A Song For My Son

My thirteen-year-old son, Ian, is autistic. Autism isn't so much something you have, as something you are. He's a handsome, wonderful, gentle boy, awkwardly growing into manhood. His autism manifests itself most noticeably in his speech, which is sometimes difficult to understand. Other than that, he's pretty typical.

We're concerned about how he'll do as an adult. One of the reasons I'm involved in these artistic endeavors is the hope that I'll have the financial resources to leave something behind for him when he's an adult.

This song centers on Ian at about ten years of age.

By the way... the reason he "never cries" isn't because of some autistic anomaly... It's because he has no reason to cry. We've given him a good life. I wish my childhood had been like that...

Agates In The Sand

I was very close to my wife’s extraordinary aunt, Gail (she introduced us, in fact). She died two years ago, at the age of sixty-seven, after a long struggle with cancer, leaving us in quite an emotional state.

It was only after she died that I discovered her poem “Companions on the Beach”, upon which this song is based. It was written by Gail and her old friend Stella Moran, after the death of Gail’s mother and husband. Until then, I’d thought that Gail didn’t have an artistic bone in her body… Quite a surprise.

As an emotional release after our loss, I turned the poem into this song. The song chokes me up a bit, as it reminds me of our lost Gail.

Her friend Stella loves to collect agates on the beaches of Oregon, where she lives, but the song is really about the loss of our loved ones, and expresses an optimism that God will remember them in the resurrection to come.

Perhaps, then, I can play this song for Gail too. She hasn’t heard it...

Worlds, In Their Turns

Having long been a fan of heroic fiction (think of Conan the Barbarian, and Lord of the Rings), I decided to create a television show in an anthology format to feature the best short stories ever written in the genre. To this end, I created a narrator, to tie the stories together - an elderly mage, who watches human activities from far across time and space.

He is known to the common man as The Watcher.

The TV show failed to get off the ground, so we formed our film production company, Vesper Star Productions LLC, to turn it into a series of feature films. The first of the stories has been filmed, and post-production was completed a few months ago. We will be using it to raise funds to complete the first feature.

So... stay tuned for The Watcher!

But, for now at least, the Watcher lives only within this song.
 
Do You Remember Me? 

Sometimes... I'm a ghost.

I was single for much longer than I ever wanted to be. In fact, I never did want to be. In search of a wife, I dated many lovely women (just dated, not slept with!).

This song recalls those times when I see, or hear about, women who'd rejected me and then married very poorly. Our eyes meet, and I can see the regret - but can't do anything to help them, not now.

You see, my life as a happily married man is well on the way.

And, at other times, I never see them anymore - and they can't know how badly I feel for them - and I can't tell them that I do, it wouldn't be appropriate. But, I know they think of me sometimes, perhaps ruefully. My memory follows close behind them, haunting them like a ghost. But, when they turn to see me...

I'm not there.

The Dying Of The Light

"So all the days of Methuselah amounted to nine hundred and sixty-nine years and he died" - Genesis 5:27

Obviously, human life is much shorter than it was originally meant to be.

This is a rather lively song... about death.

I'm a tall, strong man. But, a few years ago, as my wife's frail and delicate aunt lay dying, there was nothing that even a tall, strong man could do to save her - to stay the hand of Death. Life slips even a fist of iron...

...and there is no stay upon the dying of the light.

Blue Castle
 
This is my oldest song, written about twenty-seven years ago on my rare Takamine twelve-string guitar... quite a challenge, as this song is fingerpicked from end to end! Here, I play it on a six-string.

It was inspired by George R. R. Martin's fabulous short story "The Lonely Songs of Laren Dorr." That story is, in George's own words, "romantic as hell," and left me in a dreamy mood for quite some time.

I intend to film it someday.

The story concerns a man who has been imprisoned upon a distant world for offending evil gods. He's been there for unknown thousands of years. A girl arrives, traveling via gates between worlds, searching for a lost lover...

And he sings of her...
 


 

 

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