I went in search of the definitive recording of the greatest ballad ever written, Stardust.  I don’t understand why this song is so overlooked.  The melody is breathtaking.  The structure of the song is unique.  And the imagery in the lyrics is amazing.

I found Tony Bennett.  I like it but sometimes Tony’s phrasing is a little off putting.  There are such big gaps between phrases that you think he’s lost interest and just quit.

There’s Harry Connick, Jr.  Even better but I think it’s just a little slower than I like.  The piano is great but I wanted more strings.

I know.  Frank Sinatra.  Perfect voice.  Perfect phrasing.  Got the strings.  Can’t top this.  Except.  The song has what amounts to a very long intro.  When he gets to the end of that and the song is about to take off into ‘Sometimes I wonder why I spend the lonely night’ he just stops.  How could he do that?

There’s one left.  Nat King Cole.  Some think this is the best recording of Stardust and I think it’s my favorite.  The music starts off just slightly on the eerie side but I can accept that.

What is there about these songs of loneliness and lost love that appeals to us?  I think there’s something in our DNA, something in our bones, that yearns for a connection, an intimacy that we know is missing, or lost.  As close as we are to family and friends, to loved ones, we feel there is something more, something missing.  We yearn to be one with Christ, one with God.  To know as we are known.  Something missing, something we can’t quite define but we know it’s missing and something in us will not be satisfied till we have it.

Like Abraham we are in search of a city who’d builder and maker is God.  But our desire is for more than a city, more than streets of gold and gates of pearl.  What our hearts seek is a connection, a connection with the one and true living God, creator of all things, creator of us, creator of me.


About Angus Lewis

My wife and I lived our whole lives in Arkansas until ten years ago. We moved to the Kansas City area in 2011 (a job change). That was the reason for the 'From a Far Country' title. Our children and grandchildren were in Arkansas. Six months ago we sold our house and bought one in Sherwood, Arkansas and my wife moved back down here. Two weeks ago I retired and moved back too. (I'm probably going to try to find something part time to keep me out of trouble.) So maybe the 'From a Far Country' title is not so much of a fit anymore. But I think I'll stick with it. I'm still not home. Not yet. The Bible says we are all strangers and pilgrims here. Our real home is with God and some day we'll be there. We'll be home.
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One Response to Stardust

  1. You’ve listed some of my favorite vocalists.
    As you say, humans are restless and wandering in search. Sometimes I think they could find it if they just shut up and went outside where it’s quiet in the mountains – or forest – or beach – or desert – and just got quiet and listened .

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