Weekend Diversion: Goodbye to the Swayze

I've got to say, I get some weird things in my head sometimes. I don't know how many of you know who Vashti Bunyan is, but you may have heard a snippet from one of her songs last year in an NFL commercial. The beautiful, haunting song is called Train Song and it was the first song I thought of when I heard that Patrick Swayze died.

The song, of course, isn't about death at all. It's about traveling to meet someone you haven't seen in a long time and having your heart in your throat during the whole journey while you do it.

You might know Patrick Swayze best for Ghost, Dirty Dancing, Red Dawn, or To Wong Foo. But when I think of Swayze, I always think of his Chippendale's skit with Chris Farley. Due to copyright issues, I can only show a secondhand (i.e., edited) version of this, but it's a great moment for both of them.

I have to fess up that I like Vashti Bunyan a lot better than I like Loverboy, but unlike some of the other celebrities that have died this year, I really admired Patrick Swayze. How many people -- when faced with a diagnosis that they have an incurable, fatal cancer -- simply do everything they can to fight it, accept their fate immediately, and live out the rest of their days with consummate dignity? R.I.P., Patrick Swayze. I'll always remember the laughter and joy you brought us.

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Feist and Ben Hibbard did a cover of Train Song (which was not original with Vashti Bunyan either) for the "Dark was the Night" compilation this year. It was good. And Feist and Justin Vernon and the rest of Bon Iver covered it together at the Dark was the Night concert in New York this spring and it was even better.

Roadhouse is my Patrick Swayze movie. Jeff Healey on guitar makes anything awesome. Another one who lived well and is gone.