Precious Heart ~ finding the path out of darkness

I commented on a post that I’d post this song.

I’ve been holding onto it, because there are a number of other connotations for it — one of those is a woman, one woman in particular, a soul-mate. But I’m not ready to tell that story, or is it the story that’s not ready to be told?

In that other post, Traces of me ~ In the darkness that is you, we are discussing darkness in a number of senses, and also coming out of darkness. Precious Heart is a song very much about one kind of darkness, and wavering on the edge of falling into it or escaping it. Also, in those discussions of that post, I wrote about how the terror that chases me, so often, into the quiet somnambulent numbness of the darkness will force me to my knees, literally, should I resist it. The lyric to this song also speaks to that, and to the state of putting a smile on your face when you leave the confines of your brokenness to walk in the world.

What I love most about this song is its straightforward prescription for finding your way out of the darkness, out of the anguish and terror. So, take a deep breath and look down, look down…

Above all that, though, whatever this song means to me, however it affects me, Precious Heart is perhaps Veda Hille’s most beautiful song. That’s saying something. She’s created an abundance of beautiful, spirited and insightful music.

Precious Heart

I am such a beggar now
I sleep out under my own bridge
If my wealth’s in what I give away
Then he’s a wealthy man today
I dance in rags of shearest shear
Out on the edge of you’re not here

Oh, precious heart
You think you’re lost
Look down, look down
And find your feet
The next step is
The path you’re on
Just don’t confuse
The light and heat

I thought that I had loved my last
But the strangest one was comin’ round
Amidst all this brokenness
My own two knees fell in love with the ground
It’s hard to keep up appearances
When dealing with such experiences

Oh, precious heart
You think you’re lost
Look down, look down
And find your feet
The next step is
The path you’re on
Just don’t confuse
The light and heat

How can you be my destiny
You’ve been here from the start
How can you be my ending
When you’re already in my heart?
Are you the many or the one?
Will I know before I’m done?

Oh, precious heart
You think you’re lost
Look down, look down
And find your feet
The next step is
The path you’re on
Just don’t confuse
The light and heat

~ Veda Hille

8 Responses to “Precious Heart ~ finding the path out of darkness”

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  1. Sonny says:

    “The next step is the path you’re on…” Wise words.

    My mind scatters on which part of it is most relevant. I’ve decided it’s the first three words… “the next step”. Darkness befalls us all. Black and blinding and bewildering. But keep moving forward. One foot in front of the other. Existing within this present moment (the path you’re on) until something gives. And I love the line… “don’t confuse the light and heat.” mmmmm… so easy to do. The light is pure and guiding. Directing the spirit out of a darkness. And the heat, well, the heat could be any number of deceptions.

    And oh, the percussive piano in this song. A natural, lulling rhythm. A thumping that reminds me of feet moving… dancing. I love how piano has a dual personality… the rhythmic thumping of felted hammers that some can tap out of it. The lilting, aching sing of strings that others coax from the keys.

    Peter, I’ve followed all the things you’ve shared on darkness… the things others have shared. Such a sore and sensitive subject for me. A discussion I find difficult to enter. Until you post music. Music… feelings finding words. So soothing to me this morning…

  2. Peter says:


    I’m not surprised that music soothes you even as it opens you u to difficult subjects.

    Music is my muse — my main one at least. And in so many ways. It brings me solace and peace when I need it. It also comes, in the most uncanny fashion, with insight and illumination at moments when I most need it. Many songs — and often performers — become associated with moments in my life, or eras, or people, or rites of passage. This song strikes many of those chords, and as I wrote above, it will likely make more appearances in this blog and, I think, more appearances and create more insights and influences, in my life. Music opens me up in a way that no other art does.

    I very nearly wrote about that very line, “don’t confuse the light and heat”. I know how often I’ve sought something to hold onto, a rail, or a rope, to pull myself out, and grabbed the most powerful object I could sense at the edge of the darkness. But when you can’t see very well, sometimes it is the hottest object you sense, rather than the brightest. And so, you cling to lust and passion rather than opening yourself to love, or you seek out a sense of purpose rather than a sense of character — in yourself, and in others. You try to do right, rather than be right by your own standards.

    Veda Hille is a favourite of mine. If you love this song, I think you’ll also love my favourite album of hers, “Here is a Picture (Song’s for E. Carr)” — an album of music inspired by the journals of Emily Carr, an important 20th century Canadian Painter. The lyrics for the songs are all taken directly from the pages of her journals. I think you’ll find she plays as percussively with her words as she does with the keys of her piano.

  3. karen says:

    Thanks Peter,

    this song struck a chord (no pun intended πŸ™‚ with me – I love the lyrics (so hauntingly insightful)and also noted the line “don’t confuse the light and heat” – she very much reminds me of Jane Siberry, they both sing with passion and aching and wisdom all at once.

    Aah, music can be the difference between withdrawal and awareness, of isolation and interaction, and is quite often a refuge for me, it’s amazing how you can “crawl” into a song and be oblivious to your surroundings. A little bit like prayer, I am drawn to both when I’m in need of a mediator of sorts.

    I’ve also been following the “Traces of me” discussion for personal reasons and think that is why I was drawn to this song.

  4. Peter says:


    Siberry, another Canadian, and a much overlooked talent.

    Mmmm…. Darkness … blackness — it’s a compelling subject. But, perhaps, one that we too easily dwell on… choose to live in too easily. Acknowledgement is certainly valuable and important, but not a place anyone needs to live within, especially after we’ve become conscious of living there.

    Look down, look down and find your feet. They’re already taking you in the right direction.

    About the light and heat… just be wary there’s a difference. Remaining aware of that alone will help you know when you’ve confronted one or the other, and help you make the decision between them.

  5. Joy says:

    Hi Peter,
    Very expressive lyrics and song..very insightful comments..
    I think what happens is people become so afraid of feeling pain, they do anything to avoid it, and when one is in the throes of pain that fear is so big that one may forget that moving through is an option..It’s as ‘easy’ as finding your feet and taking one step..yet we can make it so complex…
    I tend to look up and ask for help in guiding my feet πŸ™‚

    • Peter says:

      Welcome, Joy. πŸ˜€

      I am delighted by all the insightful comments … we are blessed with several wise participants…a number that is now increased by one.

      Your thoughts about pain and fear are very much like my own. Terror is an extreme fear, and underlying it I am beginning to sense a deep and bitter pain. Something I fear I will need to experience if I’m to move on.

      lol — well, yes, after you’ve convinced your feet to take one or two steps checking the landscape and seeking insight, assistance and collaboration from others … all excellent ideas. πŸ˜‰

      btw, I mention your “Learning to Fly” post on our facebook page… I wonder if the Tom Petty song came across your mind at all while you were writing it?…

  6. jeklinjeklin says:

    Precious Heart is perhaps Veda Hille’s most beautiful song. Even it’s not just song it’s superb song and best lyrics. Thanks

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