“Bye Bye Love” by The Everly Brothers
40 Days of Country – Song #23 – Lent 2016
The steel-guitar country rock and roll sound fused with incredibly tight dual vocal harmonies gave the Everly Brothers not only a signature sound, but also earned them a place in both the Rock & Roll and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Born in Kentucky in the 1930’s to a coal-mining family, the brothers were encouraged to follow their passion for music, and by the 1940’s, they already had their own show, singing on local radio stations.
While perhaps their greatest known tune is the classic “All I Have To Do Is Dream,” in 1957, the Everly Brothers opted to a record a song that had already been declined by thirty other artists. That song, “Bye Bye Love,” became one of their greatest hits to date, topping pop and country charts. Like many country songs, the tune is a lament, the refrain crooning, “Bye bye love. Bye bye happiness. Hello loneliness. I think I’m-a gonna cry. Bye bye love. Bye bye sweet caress. Hello emptiness. I feel like I could die…”
The idea of personifying emotions like happiness, loneliness, and emptiness is a familiar concept to many of the Psalms in the Bible as well. As Psalm 25:16 writes, “Turn to me, God, and have mercy on me because I’m alone and suffering.” Meanwhile, in Psalm 13, when the Psalmist feels abandoned by God, the poet laments, “Look at me! Answer me, Lord my God! Restore sight to my eyes! Otherwise, I’ll sleep the sleep of death.” However, in any true lament, the psalmist always ends with a note of hope, such as Psalm 118:17, which declares, “I won’t die—no, I will live and declare what the Lord has done.” When we feel empty and alone, we can be confident that “God’s faithful love lasts forever,” (118:29) and that the Lord will always be here for us.
God of Steadfast Love, there are times when we feel like we have been left alone. There are times when we lose hope for a better tomorrow. Restore our faith in your promises and grant us assurance that your grace and love are always present for us, and that you are constantly at work providing us with opportunities for a future of joy and peace. Amen.