Heart in a Jar

 

Sometimes I think it's best not to know the story behind a song and to let it paint its own pictures in your head. This is a little different, though, because we want this song to stand as a tribute to someone brave and special.
 

Jennifer Sutton
I saw the picture above in the newspaper. The young woman is Jennifer Sutton. After having her life saved by a heart transplant, she donated her heart (the old one, obviously) to the Wellcome Collection to try to help raise awareness about her disease (restrictive cardiomyopathy if you’re morbidly curious)
I found myself wondering how that would feel. So here’s the resulting lyric.
 
Heart in a jar…


Went right out to the edge
’til I looked down at the stars
but they pulled me back again
and they put my heart in a jar
This phantom in my chest
measures out seconds that aren’t mine
this heart is quiet, still
resting peacefully, perfectly in time
Staring through the bottle
at the tangled knot of flesh
that kept me anchored to this world
that animated every breath.
 
This second chance – to dance in bliss
as lovers’ lips, the raindrops kiss
a snatch of song; the heart insists –
a second longer, the beat persists

 
Beaten insensate, like warrior drums
worn on the sleeve, carried to ignominy
ignored, misused, battered, abused,
surviving still, the poet’s muse,
tender beats such soft tattoos
the comforts of the live embrace,
fill up this empty, aching space
my heart, locked in its jar,
feels so much more,
feels so much…

I don't claim to speak for Jennifer, or that I can possibly know what she went through. This is simply our effort to pay a little tribute to her bravery and her thoughts for others. We've tried to get in touch with Jennifer through the Wellcome Trust to no avail. If you're reading this and you happen to know her, please let her know that we were so impressed that we wrote a song for her!