There was even a comic book called “Stray Bullets” for years.
But songs, so often, develop a life of their own, like James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain.” He has given almost random statements about the song’s origin: his time in a mental institution, the suicide of a friend and shock therapy. Wikipedia said the rain mentioned in the song was meant to convey how showers could block the hated shock therapy.
Taylor’s 1970 song is credited with starting a musical genre of its own, a minimal acoustic guitar backing up provocative notes.
The Cross song made it to No. 9 on the Billboard chart in 1984.
More people know it because the ABC soap opera “General Hospital,” which even the TV character House couldn’t resist watching.
In the show, it was played when character “Luke,” called one of the show’s “supercouples” by Wikipedia, would think of the fictional “Laura,” who had disappeared.
Cross has written about the real story. He said it was written to mourn the death of Laura Carter, a Denison University killed by a stray bullet fired by one of four men during a street argument.
Cross said Carter, a lacrosse player from Wayne, Pa., was riding in the backseat of her dad’s car. He had come to visit her for homecoming weekend. The lyrics tell friends of Laura to laugh and not cry.
As randomness goes there are many more startling things encountered during life in America. The Columbine High Massacre is brought to mind.
Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel,” was written in 1997, two years before Columbine. It was meant to remember Smashing Pumpkins touring keyboard player Jonathan Melvoin, who died of a heroin overdose in 1996.
It is widely but mistakenly believed to be entitled “In the Arms of the Angels.”
Some of these songs are most likely to heard these days in the background, as shoppers look for ripe avocados in supermarkets. Or even as the barista pours an Americano at a Starbucks.
That might explain why so many lyrics are misheard, and titles not correctly remembered.
But if you can remember enough words you can find the song on the Internet.
Think of Laura
Fire and Rain