She sang like a freight train at full throttle,
Emotions bare as an empty bottle,
Drawing so deeply from a pool of pain:
Distraught, ecstatic, again and again.
Each syllable was brutally honest;
Her feelings were anything but modest.
She conveyed exactly how she felt,
Gripping your heart and making it melt.
She could also be subtle, and so witty, too,
Even full of joy, not just a little girl blue.
This potent performer was a rock ’n roll sarge,
A magnetic stage presence who always loomed large.
Yet while her career would shine like summertime,
Her emotional strength wasn’t worth a dime;
Acutely sensitive and insecure,
Her hunger for love would ever endure.
Great success just wasn’t enough;
Perpetual doubts proved too tough.
All the applause couldn’t drown those fears;
Too many had laughed at her for too many years.
Nursed by bitter memories and fears of tomorrow,
Depression dogged her like a pit bull of a shadow;
And to be alone was terrible,
A real nightmare beyond bearable.
So she surrounded herself with other outcasts and noise,
Full of bluster and pretending to be one of the boys;
If the party was big and loud enough,
Then perhaps her days wouldn’t be so rough.
But the parties, bad boys, and cheap thrills
Could not cover her loneliness bills;
Running away from facing her fears
Failed to slow the flow of all those tears.
So she treated the hurt within
With loads of booze and heroin,
Anything it took to escape the stress,
Whatever the cost or how dangerous.
“I just want a little peace,” she said,
To bury the blues inside her head;
So she ignored the close calls and carried on still,
Until she slipped off the ledge and paid the last bill.
Yet, despite the tragic waste of a remarkable life,
I celebrate the swell music to come from so much strife;
All that pain produced a musical pearl
Which is still savored by a grateful world.
So let us enjoy her each and every song,
Resolved to never treat someone different wrong,
But provide a safe harbor for anyone run aground,
And never glamorize deadly habits that drag us down.