don’t worry… about a thing…
’cause every little thing is gonna be all right
-Bob Marley, Three Little Birds
When I was in college, I had a good buddy. Totally non-romantic. We’ll call him Bryan, because that was his name 🙂
Bryan was awesome. He could run a 4 minute mile. He was ROTC and ridiculously strong. He was whipsmart and eternally good-natured.
He was always up for whatever utter nonsense I would suggest— I’d say, “Hey! You know what we should do?” and Bry would go “YES! Let’s DO IT!” and we would. Never a moment of hesitation. Not once did he ever tell me “that’s dumb” or “I’ve got better things to do.” Dress up like superheroes and walk around campus asking if anyone needed saving? Sounds like a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
I’ve never known anyone then or since that was such a pillar of strength, and optimism, and perfect faith. With Bryan there was no halfway, no pussyfootin’ around. If we wanted to do it, we could. Period.
As lovely as Bry sounds, he had his off days. (I had them too, only quite a bit more often.) And whenever we’d get discouraged or mad or sad, Bryan would load up Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” on his CD player and play it. At top volume. On repeat.
And we would sing along, at the very tipytop of our lungs, shouting into each other’s faces… until we believed it. And everything was all right.
It sounds dumb. It worked every time.
“Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”
Singin’: “Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right!”
Rise up this mornin’,
Smiled with the risin’ sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin’, “This is my message to you-ou-ou.”
I haven’t seen or really even thought about Bryan in years and years. I’m sure he’s got a family of his own now, telling them constantly with perfect faith that if they can think it, they can achieve it: with such enthusiasm and conviction and strength that they believe it. Damn, I hope they all know how lucky they are.
This past Sunday I ran out to the co-op with my son Maverick, and I heard “Three Little Birds” on the radio for the first time in forever.
And on the way back, flipping through the stations, I heard it again.
Hearing it twice in such a short time— maybe a space of ten minutes— made it all came flooding back, all these old memories. And I felt really, really GOOD. Better than I have in a long time.
I came home and played the songs a few times for my kids. I set it as my alarm on my iHome. Such an easy way to stay happy! It’s impossible to wake up grumpy now.
Hey, thanks, BryBry, wherever you are. I can’t believe you’re still bolstering my good spirits after all these years.
Who still lifts you up when you’re down?
Who have you lost touch with, that still touches your life?
What song always makes you happy?