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Last year, there was an unexpected death in my husband's family. The day after the funeral, I felt a strong push to arrange this song for my family member who had lost her husband.
I've always thought of this song as a funeral song more than anything else, but I assumed the lyrics were the living saying goodbye to the person who had died. However, as I spent a lot of time reading the lyrics and pondering on how to best convey them, I started to get the feeling that a better fit for the song would be those who have passed on speaking to those of us still living.
In classical music, songs were often written in specific keys depending on the feeling the composer wanted to portray. The beginning of this arrangement is in Ab Major, which was traditionally associated with death and the grave. Near the end, the key changes to G Major, which is a very gentle, peaceful key associated with love, friendship, grattitude, and faith. When I was writing it, I had a strong feeling that even though everything seemed dark at the time, eventually there would be peace.
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