By Jim O’Neill
Well it’s all right, even if they say you’re wrong
Well it’s all right, sometimes you gotta be strong
Well it’s all right, as long as you got somewhere to lay
Well it’s all right, every day is Judgment Day
Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please
Well it’s all right, even if the sun don’t shine
Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line
Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne “End of the Line”
The world lost one of its premier rock singer/songwriters with the recent death of Tom Petty. His music and lyrics have played on the background soundtrack of my life for decades – beginning with the song “Breakdown” in 1978.
No doubt Tom’s family and friends (and any number of fans) are heartbroken by his sudden death…but to my mind he’s on to bigger and better things, and I say “God bless you Tom Petty – thank you so much and Bon Voyage!” Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that I don’t have a tear in my eye as a wave farewell.
I figured out many years ago that this life is no permanent gig, and we can be pulled away in the blink of an eye at any given moment. So, I try to live this life as fearlessly as I can – to love life, and embrace death when it comes; to leave this life a better being than when I arrived, and the world a bit better for my having been here.
Some say life will beat you down
It’ll break your heart, steal your crown
So I started out for God knows where
I guess I’ll know when I get there
I’m learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings
Coming down…is the hardest thing
Tom Petty “Learning to Fly”
Relatively very few of us live in the rarified spiritual atmosphere of the higher states of consciousness — lacking the spiritual energy to reach escape velocity from this mundane world’s spiritual gravity well. Most of us simply get by, doing the best we can, day by day. That means that often simply standing tall and being strong in the face of adversity is quite an accomplishment, as Tom well knew.
I’ll stand my ground
Won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from dragging me down
Gonna stand my ground
And I won’t back down
Hey, baby, there ain’t no easy way out
I won’t back down
I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down
Well I know what’s right
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushing me around
But I’ll stand my ground
Tom Petty “I Won’t Back Down”
In any event, I believe that the love, prayers, and tributes of family, friends, and fans accompany Tom and will help ease his way as he travels into the ultimate Great Wide Open. Thanks Tom, thanks a lot – and may God guide, bless, and protect you on your way to your next port of call, and upon your arrival.