I love how, in just a few years, Passenger has busked his way from the streets of Europe to global recognition. I love his simple, almost country-style lyrics which makes the ordinary extra-ordinary, the melancholic melodious and the dark light. And I love the stories he highlights through his music, and how he weaves himself and his listeners into part of the same fabric as the stories themselves.
“Travelling alone” is just one of the stories he and his guitar enraptured the audience with, at his recent gig at the Fox Theater in Oakland.
He started writing this particular song about an old Australian man who he met while busking somewhere in Sweden (I think). The man and his wife had planned to travel the world together, when all their children had left the nest and they had saved up enough money. When they finally could travel, they booked all the tickets and hotels and all seemed to be going according to plan. But just 2 months before their travel started, the wife passed away. The man however decided to continue on the travels, even without his lover and best friend of many decades. And when the man bared his soul to Passenger, Passenger being Passenger, spun the man’s loneliness into a song.
But this only resulted in half a song. He didn’t want to artificially lengthen the song, so as he went about busking, he would play this half-song to whoever cared to listen to it.
And then one fine day, in another city, a girl who was listening to the half-song, was so touched by it that she burst into tears. She had just been dumped by her boyfriend of 10 years. And as she bared her soul to Passenger, Passenger being Passenger, spun her tears into the rest of the half-song.
Two stories of two strangers connected over time, but never space, by this song.