Jackson Browne & Venice – For a Dancer

For a Dancer is een prachtig lied van de Amerikaanse singer/songwriter Jackson Browne, dat komt van zijn album Late For The Sky uit 1974. Hier zingt hij het in 1999 tijdens de 2 Meter Sessies en krijgt hij meerstemmige vocale ondersteuning van zijn vrienden van de groep Venice.

Hij zegt zelf het volgende over het nummer: “I wrote this for a friend of mine who died in a fire. He was in the sauna in a house that burned down, so he had no idea anything was going on. It was very sad. He was a really interesting guy. Besides being a great dancer, he was an ice skater – he had a job in the Ice Follies. And he was a great tailor – he would make his friends clothes. He was a Renaissance man. When I wrote him the song – it’s a song I’ve sung many times, other times when people have died – but I was making a metaphor out of the dance. Just the idea that your life is a dance. And there’s a line in it, ‘In the end, there is one dance you do alone.’ That’s one of the songs I’ve sung all through the years, and for me, it’s like going to that place, and dealing with the fact that life will end. It’s a sad song, but at the same time, it feels good to sort through that reality and touch base with it, and then go on.”


For a Dancer
Keep a fire burning in your eye.
Pay attention to the open sky.
You never know
what will be coming down.

I don’t remember losing track of you.
You were always dancing
in and out of view.
I must’ve thought
you’d always be around.

Always keeping things real
by playing the clown.
Now you’re nowhere to be found.

I don’t know what happens
when people die.
Can’t seem to grasp
it as hard as I try.
It’s like a song I can hear
playing right in my ear.
But I can’t sing,
I can’t help listening.

And I can’t help feeling
stupid standing ’round.
Crying is they ease you down.
‘Cause I know that you’d
rather we were dancing.

(Dancing our sorrow away.)
Right on dancing.
(No matter what fate chooses to play.)
There’s nothing you can do about it anyway.

Just do the steps that you’ve been shown.
By everyone you’ve ever known.
Until the dance becomes your very own.
No matter how close to yours,
another’s steps have grown.
In the end there is
one dance you’ll do alone.

Keep a fire for the human race.
Let your prayers go
drifting into space.
You never know
what will be coming down.

Perhaps a better world is drawing near.
Just as easily it could all disappear.
Along with whatever meaning
you might have found.

Don’t let the uncertainty
turn you around.
(The world keeps turning
around and around)
Go on and make a joyful sound.

Into a dancer you have grown.
From a seed somebody else has thrown.
Go on ahead and throw
some seeds of your own,
and somewhere between
the time you arrive,
and the time you go.
May lie the reason you were alive,
that you’ll never know.