McLachlan song has words of warning for Clinton

September 18, 1998|By J.D. Considine

There was more to Monica Lewinsky's relationship with President Clinton than furtive assignations and stupid cigar tricks. There was also talk of higher things, of poetry and music and how works of art can embody a person's brightest hopes and deepest feelings.

Lewinsky in particular paid attention to the deeper significance of things. As she told the grand jury later, when the president gave her a special-edition printing of Walt Whitman's book "Leaves of Grass," she felt it was "the most sentimental gift he had given me it meant a lot to me."

Too bad the president wasn't more attuned to the emotional nuances of art. After visiting the Oval Office on Nov. 13, 1996, Lewinsky wrote, "When I was hiding out in your office for a half hour, I noticed you had the new Sarah McLachlan CD. I have it, too, and it's wonderful. Whenever I listen to song #5 I think of you."

The song she refers to is "Do What You Have To Do," from McLachlan's "Surfacing" album, and had the president paid closer attention to the lyrics, he might have had a better idea of where their relationship was headed. "Do What You Have to Do" is a song about painful, frustrated love, sung in the voice of a woman who tells her lover that she's "Yearning to be near you." Its final verse is almost chillingly vivid:

Deep within I'm shaken by the violence

Of existing for only you

I know I can't be with you

I do what I have to do

I know I can't be with you

I do what I have to do

And I have the sense to recognize

I don't know how to let you go

I don't know how to let you go.

Pub Date: 9/18/98

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