What Judee Sill Did For Me

November 14, 2017

Not too many years ago, when I first heard her, I thought Judee Sill could not sing. I even thought, oh God, another hack. That plain tone, Ohio accent, the focus on the bridge of the nose… (Can you imagine me doing this as a younger man? I’m sure you can.)

But I listened again, almost in contradictory fashion to my own will, having heard something very close inside of me. And then her voice opened within me. Or should I say, I opened to her voice.

I had forbidden, for some reason, myself to be touched at the level she reached in the way she chose to reach it. I learned to listen differently, beyond the notes and the words, if I might say, without resistance.

That’s what I learned from Judee Sill. I am sure, from what I’ve read about her, that she would never have entertained the possibility that decades after her death anyone would remember her existence on this planet, or that someone might be improved by what she’d recorded so many years before.

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