Kisah Nyata Dibalik Lagu Tie A Yellow Ribbon

Pada tahun 1971 surat kabar New York Post menulis kisah nyata tentang seorang pria yang hidup di sebuah kota kecil di White Oak, Georgia, Amerika.

Pria ini menikahi seorang wanita yang cantik dan baik, sayangnya dia tidak pernah menghargai istrinya. Dia tidak menjadi seorang suami dan ayah yang baik. Dia sering pulang malam- malam dalam keadaan mabuk, lalu memukuli anak dan isterinya.

Satu malam dia memutuskan untuk mengadu nasib ke kota besar, New York. Dia mencuri uang tabungan isterinya, lalu dia naik bis menuju ke utara, ke kota besar, ke kehidupan yang baru. Bersama-sama beberapa temannya dia memulai bisnis baru. Untuk beberapa saat dia menikmati hidupnya. Sex, gambling, drug. Dia menikmati semuanya.

Bulan berlalu. Tahun berlalu. Bisnisnya gagal, dan ia mulai kekurangan uang. Lalu dia mulai terlibat dalam perbuatan kriminal. Ia menulis cek palsu dan menggunakannya untuk menipu uang orang. Akhirnya pada suatu saat naas, dia tertangkap. Polisi menjebloskannya ke dalam penjara, dan pengadilan menghukum dia tiga tahun penjara.

Menjelang akhir masa penjaranya, dia mulai merindukan rumahnya. Dia merindukan istrinya. Dia rindu keluarganya. Akhirnya dia memutuskan untuk menulis surat kepada istrinya, untuk menceritakan betapa menyesalnya dia. Bahwa dia masih mencintai isteri dan anak-anaknya.

Dia berharap dia masih boleh kembali. Namun dia juga mengerti bahwa mungkin sekarang sudah terlambat, oleh karena itu ia mengakhiri suratnya dengan menulis:

Sayang, engkau tidak perlu menunggu aku…

Namun jika engkau masih ada perasaan padaku, maukah kau nyatakan? Jika kau masih mau aku kembali padamu, ikatkanlah sehelai pita kuning bagiku, pada satu-satunya pohon beringin yang berada di pusat kota. Apabila aku lewat dan tidak menemukan sehelai pita kuning, tidak apa-apa. Aku akan tahu dan mengerti. Aku tidak akan turun dari bis, dan akan terus menuju Miami. Dan aku berjanji aku tidak akan pernah lagi menganggu engkau dan anak-anak seumur hidupku.

Akhirnya hari pelepasannya tiba. Dia sangat gelisah. Dia tidak menerima surat balasan dari isterinya. Dia tidak tahu apakah isterinya menerima suratnya atau sekalipun dia membaca suratnya, apakah dia mau mengampuninya?

Dia naik bis menuju Miami, Florida, yang melewati kampung halamannya, White Oak. Dia sangat sangat gugup. Seisi bis mendengar ceritanya, dan mereka meminta kepada sopir bus itu, “Tolong, pas lewat White Oak, jalan pelan-pelan. Kita mesti lihat apa yang akan terjadi.”

Hatinya berdebar-debar saat bis mendekati pusat kota White Oak. Dia tidak berani mengangkat kepalanya. Keringat dingin mengucur deras. Akhirnya dia melihat pohon itu.

Air mata menetes di matanya. Dia tidak melihat sehelai pita kuning.

Tidak ada sehelai pita kuning. Tidak ada sehelai. Melainkan ada seratus helai pita-pita kuning bergantungan di pohon beringin itu.

Seluruh pohon itu dipenuhi pita kuning.

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Kisah nyata ini menjadi lagu hits nomor satu pada tahun 1973 di Amerika. Sang sopir langsung menelpon surat kabar dan menceritakan kisah ini. Seorang penulis lagu menuliskan kisah ini menjadi lagu,“Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree”,  dan ketika album ini di-rilis pada bulan Februari 1973, langsung menjadi hits pada bulan April 1973. Sebuah lagu yang manis, namun mungkin masih jauh lebih manis jika kita bisa melakukan apa yang ditorehkan lagu tersebut.

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