Florence Nightingale

Oh Florence. As in Florence from the “Machine”. What a woman. I know nothing of her, other than the soaring, powerful voice, the lyrics that partner that power, and the fact that she looks to be a bit beautiful.

Then THAT video. The one where she sings to a young woman in a hospice. The one where she sings from her heart to that girl, not doing a little rendition, but doing Dog Days Are Over like it was meant to be done. And that brave young lady who seemed to forget her world for a moment and just become a girl at an amazing concert, putting in a request, clapping along, loving it.

Here I am, in my own little world, wondering about whether I might do this or that, whether I should put a song out or not, gazing so deeply at my lint-filled navel – and then Florence comes along and gives me a stern talking to. She doesn’t know it, but as she sang, she had a message for me. In her beautiful English accent, she said:

“Look here. You are wasting your time, you crazy thing. You’re there with your abilities and your time and your lack of terminal illnesses, and you’re worried what your Facebook friends will say when you tell them about yet another song! For Christ’s sake man – get some perspective. There is no reason to overthink a single thing. Just fucking well DO something, because I can tell you that looking at your world from this bedside, in this hospice, there is not one thing in the world to stop you doing what you want………..and as an aside, you’re not bad looking for a man of your age…..”

She digressed at the end there, but I got the message loud and clear.

You don’t need the big production, the lights, the reverb, the harmonies.  If it’s from the heart, it will shine.

Watch this woman. Witness the magic of music at work. Listen to the purity of her performance in the face of something that would make most of us fold in on ourselves. In this special moment, I see grace, compassion, humility and strength. Her music is light in darkness,  she is the modern day Florence Nightingale, the lady of the lamp.




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