The Headset Song

The flight from Atlanta to Seattle takes about 5 ½ hours, time for the airline to offer a movie to those who purchase the headphones. On a trip there this fall, i decided to read a new book rather than watch the film. i found myself though, as i often do on the cross county flights, watching the images on the screen and trying to figure out the story line of the movie. From time to time, the ones with the headsets would laugh in unison. A lady beside me wiped tears from her eyes and was obviously drawn into the story being told, as were the others who could hear the words being spoken by the actors. It struck me that, while i watched the same images as the headsetted passengers, i was at a disadvantage because i didn’t have the words. It inspired a song which i sang once i landed in Washington state. “You miss the entire story if you haven’t got the words.”

Isn’t life much like that airplane experience? We are inundated with pictures, images, experiences, headlines, stories that catch our attention but are hard to make sense of … unless we have ‘the words.’ And God, the Author, is gracious to give us what we need to adequately, if not totally, understand how the pieces of life somehow fit together.


(this recording was made on 12/10/2000 at a small gathering of friends at my home.)

There are people on this airplane, with the headsets for the movie

but most of us can only watch, but cannot hear a thing

We have only got the title, we can only see the pictures

and we can only guess at what is happening on the screen

The ones who have the headsets match the pictures to the text

To them is given insight to the way the parts connect

But to us who sit in silence, we just jump from scene to scene

Not knowing where it’s going, with no clue of what it means

This movie’s just a myst’ry, disjointed and absurd

We’ll miss the entire story, if we haven’t got the words

Watch the people with the headsets, they will laugh and they will cry

There’s something in the lines they hear, that’s clearly reason why

They get to feel the romance, they are very much enthralled

But those like me, who cannot hear, just miss out on it all

We’re all on the same big airplane, we are sitting row by row

Some of us want much to learn what others clearly know

i see boy and girl and bad guy, i sense conflict and betrayal

Though i do not know the reason, and i fear love won’t prevail

It’s like trying to read a novel, skipping every other page

Like driving downtown Paris with no map to show the way

And this life is like that movie, disjointed and absurd

we’ll miss the entire story if we haven’t got the words

we will miss all of the romance if we haven’t got the words.