“You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself” (Leviticus 19:18)

What A Wonderful World

EVA CASSIDY: WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD:

I have always wondered, what do people think and feel when they know that they are going to die? I understand that we are all going to die sooner or later, but some people have a pretty good idea of when they will leave this life and enter the next world. And, I have always speculated what those people think and feel in the moment.

This question came to a head recently while I was listening to some old music. I turned on Eva Cassidy and remembered how wonderful she was as an artist.

But, one song, in particular, took my breath away, and I had to listen to it over and over. It was Eva Cassidy’s rendition of What a Wonderful World that made me stop and think about life, and death, and how special our world is.

The reason this song gripped me is that Eva Cassidy died of cancer in 1996 and What a Wonderful World was the last song she performed. When Eva Cassidy sang this song, she knew that she was going to die very soon and that this would be her last performance before a live audience. Eva Cassidy closed out with What a Wonderful World in front of friends, family, and well-wishers.

I wondered, what was Eva Cassidy thinking by selecting What a Wonderful World for her ultimate encore? What was she trying to tell us about life, death and her feelings in the moment?

Even though the song is pretty explicit in its meaning, I still can’t tell you what Ms. Cassidy was thinking when she sang. Was she feeling remorse, satisfaction, resentment or something else? Only Eva Cassidy can reveal that secrete and she isn’t talking.

But the beautiful words of What a Wonderful World tell us how to love the little things in life and enjoy the simplest mysteries of our world.

What a Wonderful World was written in 1968 at the height of the Vietnam War and was intended to give hope to those that had lost loved ones in Southeast Asia. However, as meaningful as this song was in that era, Eva Cassidy’s performance is even more poignant because she was the one who was both dying and trying to give hope to the rest of us.

Below are the words to What a Wonderful World. Click here to listen to this song and think about what it means to you.

What a Wonderful World

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself
What a wonderful world

(What a Wonderful World lyrics © Carlin America Inc, BMG Rights Management US, LLC, Imagem Music Inc)

Mark Sunshine

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