For Those Who Can't Be Here by Tom Walker

For Those Who Can’t Be Here — This Friday’s Song

My first ‘This Friday’s Song‘ for 2021 was Alison Krause’s performance of “Amazing Grace” at the 2019 National Memorial Day concert. It was a simple prayer for those we had lost, those fighting for their lives, and everyone struggling to see the light from the darkness because of a devastating global pandemic. While we started to make some progress against this awful disease during the year, we also saw setbacks as two major variants emerged. It was also very disappointing that rather than coming together to fight this disease, we continued to see so many who took it as an opportunity to attack and vilify people they disagreed with. Let’s hope that in 2022 we can do much better.

In that spirit, I thought I would bookend my 2021 listening recommendations this year with a recent performance by Tom Walker at Westminster Abbey of a new song titled “For Those Who Can’t Be Here.” For this performance, he was accompanied on the piano by the Duchess of Cambridge. I found this gentle, low-key performance to be evocative and emotive. As we remember and grieve for those who ‘can’t be here’, perhaps, in their memory, we can try to be kind, to be humble, to be more understanding, and just do better in the coming year.

From my family to yours, we wish you a happy and healthy new year.

But I know, this picture’s not quite right

There’s someone on my mind

First Christmastime without him by our side, I know

He loved these Christmas bells

‘Cause they never say farewell

So we laugh, we shed a tear

For those who can’t be here

Songwriters: Steve Mac / Thomas Alexander Walker
For Those Who Can’t Be Here lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Ltd., Rokstone Music

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