The background story of this song is relevant as Aerosmith writes this from personal experience in addiction and recovery. The band was still using drugs, especially Tyler, who collapsed while performing in Springfield, Illinois on the 1984 tour. Their creativity and performances were tanking and fans were getting fed up. They almost disbanded, then they all got in rehab and have stayed sober since. In 1986, the band held a meeting in which the band members staged an intervention for Tyler and persuaded him to enter a drug rehabilitation program. After he completed rehabilitation, his bandmates did likewise; all had completed treatment by the mid-1980s. Tyler maintained sobriety for 20 years, had a relapse, re-entered rehab, and regained sobriety. The crossover "Walk This Way" with Run DMC pulled them back into popularity and with their newfound sobriety they were able to keep it going. Their song Amazing is all about recovery and is full of 12-step sayings. Great inspirational song. I'm sure you know the song, but give it a listen again--especially now knowing the background and with what you or a loved one may personally be going through.
I kept the right ones out
And let the wrong ones in
Had an angel of mercy to see me through all my sins
There were times in my life
When I was goin' insane
Tryin' to walk through
When I lost my grip
And I hit the floor
Yeah,I thought I could leave but couldn't get out the door
I was so sick and tired
Of livin' a lie
I was wishin that I
With the blink of an eye you finally see the light
When the moment arrives that you know you'll be alright
And I'm sayin' a prayer for the desperate hearts tonight
That one last shot's a permanent vacation
And how high can you fly with broken wings?
Life's a journey not a destination
And I just can't tell just what tomorrow brings
You have to learn to crawl
Before you learn to walk
But I just couldn't listen to all that righteous talk, oh yeah
I was out on the street,
Just tryin' to survive
Scratchin' to stay
Desperate hearts, desperate hearts
[So from all of us at Aerosmith, to all of you out there, wherever you are: Remember the light at the end of the tunnel may be you. Goodnight.
I first heard this song when I was a new substance abuse counselor working in rehab. A client shared it with me and we discussed its significance in her life. It really touched me, for her sake, as well as for my own as it resonated with my own struggles. The song, while tied to addiction, clearly is applicable to the human condition and the change process, addicted or not: we are all weak and screwed up at one time or another. We all get caught in "stinkin' thinkin'". We all get short-sighted or think we are stronger than we are. All too often our pride and ego must be stripped from us before we can see clearly, and that usually involves hitting bottom.
There is desperation in life, sadly. There is also a very AMAZING "other side" to the suffering. It usually takes a whole heck of a lot of work to get to that other side, but it's well worth the effort.
But if you're reading this, and on the desperate side of life right now, please know that I am "saying a prayer for the desperate hearts tonight." Please know that I'm only bothering writing this because I care and I want you to hear that I'm sorry. You need to hear it from someone: I'm sorry. I'm sorry for all you are going through and all you have gone through. I'm sorry it's just so damn hard. Sorry comes from the word sorrow. I'm sorry means I feel sorrow for you and with you. Even if we don't know each other, the truth is none of us are any different from each other. We're all in the same boat.
I wish you peace. I have faith in you. Even if I don't know who you are and you don't know me. If you're here and you're trying that's enough to start with, my friend, whoever you are. That alone is enough to begin with and that alone is enough to have faith in. Don't give up. I believe in you.