Preamble: see below for explanation that is too long to preamble here.
I didn’t know I was still angry till the day I heard you’d died.
Suddenly the old bitterness is welling up inside
I haven’t given you a thought for literally years
But now I find my eyes are filling up with tears
Not of grief, but of re-awakened pain
Reliving the sting of your words all over again
I’m not the type of person to speak ill of the dead
I guess I’ll add it to list of self-reproaches in my head
I thought I’d left behind the arrogance of youth
That always lays the blame elsewhere and won’t accept the truth.
Thought I’d forgiven and forgotten and moved on with my life
But here I am old anger burning, old pain cuts like a knife
As I read the tributes to the great man you were, for sure
And I can’t help wondering if perhaps there are more
Like me, who came for guidance, in confidence and trust
Who had your help and guidance, in turning dreams to dust.
I know you meant well. You were trying to tell me
I’d never be the thing that I’d worked so hard to be
Since I was seven years old. Clearly not hard enough
I’m not tough enough, not made of the right stuff.
Funny, that’s not what you said four years before in my entrance test
When you actually paid me money to choose your school above the rest
But I let you down, things went astray
Took on too much, I lost my way
I knew I had more to give, and was ready to do so
I thought I’d get another chance… but that day you said no.
If you’d told me I lacked the technical skill,
The physical strength or the mental will
To do what it takes to reach great heights
I’d have to admit, time has proved you right
But what you actually said was so painfully wrong
It still hurts now, even after so long
I can’t forgive how, in my postgrad audition
You turned me down by saying ‘you’re too cheerful to be a musician’.
It could have been quite funny if it wasn’t then so untrue
You told a girl who was sick and hurt, that she was too happy to make it through.
It was insult to an injury that even now won’t heal:
You didn’t say I couldn’t play well: you told me I couldn’t feel.
I can now thank myself that I found the strength within
To resist the urge back then, to carve the pain into my skin
Or even go as far as the ultimate sacrifice
To make you eat your words and pay the highest price.
But still, nor did I fight, despite you, to succeed
To show I can bare my soul, and musically let it bleed.
Instead I took the coward’s way, gave up on all my goals
Let life take me where it would; I let go of the controls.
But hey, now I’ve finally got all that off my chest
I can perhaps accept things really worked out for the best.
Your peculiar judgement, voiced so thoughtlessly
Through no fault of your own, became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
True, I’m not a musician, perhaps was never meant to be:
But I can say I’m often cheerful, and that’s good enough for me.
Post-amble: I don't normally write viscious stuff. Well, I do, but this is perhaps more than usual, as it is aimed at one person, and a dead person at that. It was written in anger and performed once to get it out of my system, then I found it again yesterday. I could never share this on other, more personal forums where people who know me might be able to identify who I'm talking about, but I'm risking it here. Why? It was therapy for me, but I think it also serves as a message to teachers, and those who have suffered at the hands of teachers.
God I hope I'm not one of those teachers.