“Hey, I’m just the messenger,” said Levon. “And here’s the message.” Levon began to sing. He sang of disillusionment, of despair, of living apart though they were living together. And Arnold began to realize that, yes, his wife was telling him she wanted a divorce by singing messenger.
She had been distant, and wouldn’t respond to his efforts to talk. She had spent more and more time away from him. And now she was taking definitive action. Arnold listened to the whole song and asked Levon the Singing Messenger to sing it again, since he’d only begun to understand part way through. He listened for a reason why. The lilting lyrics spoke of growing apart and moving on and all for the best. But there was no reason why.
Arnold tried to call Laureth, but she wouldn’t talk to him on the phone. So Arnold paid the messenger to go to her in person and sing his question. The verses asked why she was abandoning him, told her she must have forgotten everything they’d had together, and mentioned that the dog missed her too. The basic refrain was “Are you seeing somebody else?”
The messenger returned and sung that there had been somebody else for some time, but that wasn’t what had made them drift apart. Levon shut the door on him. It would be some time before he would listen to a song with lyrics.