"Hello Stranger," by Barbara Lewis
Over the last two days, I've watched the miraculous movie Moonlight twice, the first time on my daughter's recommendation (she called it "stunning," and she was absolutely right), the second time on the recommendation of my compulsion to repeat ecstatic experiences. It's one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen and it's still bouncing around in my head like a little ball made of light and truth and brimming life. "Hello Stranger" comes near the end, in a diner, out of a jukebox and straight into the bloodstream. The song is simplicity itself, but if it doesn't make you swoon (or sway, or maybe even get swept off your feet), you might want to check your pulse to see if you still have one. The singers, lead and background both, are all velvety longing and love, the organ flows through it all like a serene, necessary river, and even the drums (busily simple, if that's possible) are all tasteful charm. I vaguely remember it from my teenage years, but I was too tone-deaf to pay it close enough attention back then.
"Hello Stranger" isn't profound, but it's lovely and sweet and honest, and it helps buttress the profundity of a great piece of cinematic art. It also helps me remember why I've always loved jukeboxes.