Songs for Sound Minds are our picks of the best music that uplifts, inspires and boosts mental health. Songs written as an anthem to overcoming the storms of life. The songs that give hope in those times when we are struggling. In the Songs for Sound Minds series we often pick tracks because of they have been crafted so that every line serves a very specific purpose. This week we have chosen a song on the basis of just 4 lines.
Blood on Blood by Bon Jovi
Much of Blood on Blood features the kind of lyrics that would have had parents rushing to unplug the cassette player (yes, the song is that old) of their son or daughter. Blood oaths and shoplifting are just a few of the recollections in a song that charts a misspent youth in late 1970s/early 1980s America.
It is not however the acts of the 3 teenage tearaways of Blood on Blood that are important; it is what they represent. And what they represent is something very uplifting.
Friendships then and now
Blood on Blood – if we can distil the song down to a single theme – is about friendships. After charting the highs of their youth together, Bon Jovi’s lyrics turn somewhat melancholy. The lead singer of his eponymous band recalls how the trio have grown up and drifted apart.
‘Now Bobby, he’s an uptown lawyer
Danny, he’s a medicine man
And me, I’m just the singer
In a long haired rock’n’roll band’
Blood on Blood quickly turns from a rampaging rock anthem to a sombre reflection on lost friendship. You can hear the sadness in Bon Jovi’s voice at the end of friendships that were once everything to him. Not exactly the kind of uplifting song we usually pick for Songs for Sound Minds, is it?
A long and lonely ride
But like all good storytellers, Bon Jovi is keeping a beautiful conclusion up the sleeve of his leather biker jacket.
‘Through the years and miles between us
It’s been a long and lonely ride
But if I got that call in the dead of the night
I’d be right by your side’
The imagery here is deeply moving. A weary Bon Jovi is roused from his sleep in the wee small hours. The voice at the other end of the phone is one he has not heard in years. But that makes no difference.
No matter how many months or years have passed it is never too long to reach out to that old friend for comfort. Equally it might be time to call up your childhood best friend simply to say: “I know it’s been a while but how are you doing?”