Are You Lonesome Tonight?


Are you lonesome tonight,
Do you miss me tonight?
Are you sorry we drifted apart?
Does your memory stray to a brighter sunny day
When I kissed you and called you sweetheart?
Do the chairs in your parlor seem empty and bare?
Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there?
Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again?
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?

Those words aren’t mine. I have borrowed them from the favorite singer of my boyhood days – Elvis Presley. This 1960s song was a world hit, and is probably the most loved song among Presley’s fans. Perhaps people everywhere, at some point in their lives,  could feel their own heart resonating with the emotions so poignantly conveyed through this song by The King, as the singer is admiringly known among his fans.

Considering Presley’s own tragic married life, perhaps the lyrics must have personally touched a strong cord in his heart, giving an extra depth to the way he sang it. He must have felt lonesome on many a night after being separated from his wife. Truly, a man without his wife sleeping beside him is a miserable human being indeed.

Another great singer, the former Beatle, Paul McCartney, sang a similar song more recently. Ever since his beloved Linda was snatched away from him he must have often longed for the time when the nights would no more be lonely.

May I never miss the thrill of being near you
And if it takes a couple of years
To turn your tears to laughter
I will do what I feel to be right
No more lonely nights
Never be another
No more lonely nights
You’re my guiding light
Day or night I’m always there
And I won’t go away until you tell me so
No, I’ll never go away

Perhaps you who are reading this aren’t lonely in the nights, thank God. But don’t take these nights, when you still have your wife or husband on your bed with you, for granted. We just can never know in this life how long each of us can have the joy and pleasure of feeling our loved one snuggled peacefully by our side. We just don’t know how long before the lonely nights come upon us too. Let’s pray they never will.

And if there’s anyone who is reading this whose wife or husband is temporarily separated from you, or not sleeping on the same bed with you anymore, perhaps you should pick up the phone now and serenade the above words of Elvis to your spouse, ending them with…

Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again?
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?


Pappa Joseph