Yumiko Sato Music Therapy

Journey Into Wholeness

“Kisses Sweeter Than Wine” – Song about ordinary happiness

Fall 1People who have lived a full life can look back at their lives and say something like, “It’s had ups and downs, but I’ve had a good life.”  As they face their final days, they’re filled with feelings of contentment, gratitude, and love.  At the same time they can acknowledge the aspect of life that was challenging, difficult, and even regrettable.

A song, “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine,” comes to mind when I meet a person whose life was well lived.  It’s a song that tells a story of a couple, written by The Weavers and sang by a number of musicians including Peter, Paul, and Mary.

When I was a young man and never been kissed

I got to thinking it over what I had missed.

I got me a girl, I kissed her

And then Oh Lord, I kissed her again.

Oh, kisses sweeter than wine,

I asked her to marry and be my sweet wife,

And we would be so happy the rest of our lives.

I begged and I pleaded like a natural man,

And then, Oh Lord, she gave me her hand.

Oh, kisses sweeter than wine,

Well we worked very hard both me and my wife

Workin’ hand-in-hand to have a good life

We had corn in the field and wheat in the bin

And then, oh lord, I was the father of twins

Oh, kisses sweeter than wine,

Our children they numbered just about four,

They all had sweethearts knockin’ at the door.

They all got married and they didn’t hesitate;

I was, Oh Lord, the grandmother of eight.

Oh, kisses sweeter than wine,

Now that we’re old, and ready to go,

We get to thinkin’ what happened a long time ago.

We had a lot of kids, trouble and pain,

But then, Oh Lord, We’d do it again. 

Oh, kisses sweeter than wine

(Words by Paul Campbell and Music by Huddie Ledbetter)

The song talks about happiness found in ordinary life.  The last verse is poignant, reflecting the sentiment I’ve heard many times from dying persons who had fulfilled lives.  What they remember and cherish the most at the end is the love they’ve received and given.  They’ve had tough times and experienced pain, but they’ll do it all over again if they could.

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