we were listening to music on the way home from the children’s museum today. a. and h. were quiet. i asked them “what’s up? why are you so quiet?” a. said she was “mad tired” and h. was ‘spacing’ out the window. if h. could talk, i’m guessing that she would have been “crazy tired”. it has been a busy week, so i didn’t think anything more of it. we have xm radio, and i was listening to a “rock” station. the song “mandolin rain” by bruce hornsby came on – not to be confused with “mandolin wind” by rod stewart. now, i am sure most of you have heard this song. if not, it’s one of those songs that you forget you are listening to after the first 30 seconds, he even admits it in the first line of the song “song came and went…”. it just fades away after that. unless you stay focused. today was one of those days. i must be feeling sentimental.
like most people, i need music. i need it. can’t live without it. music has played a pivotal role in all periods of my life. from my dad playing his guitar and singing beatles songs to us before bed (“maxwell’s silver hammer” was a favorite and probably the source of many odd dreams), my mom singing along with lionel richie in the car (“oh what a feeling…dancing on the ceiling”), not knowing that the beastie boys were saying “porno mag” in “fight for your right to party” (i thought they said “porto mat”, and would shout it when that part in the song came – i thought my brother’s laughter was approval. they still tease me about it.), falling in love with “duke of earl” in fourth grade (if i didn’t get a high enough rank on my daily behavioral sheet i would be sent to my room for the night. there was a kids story hour that i would listen to on the radio, the opening song to the show was “duke of earl”. i still love that song.), discovering bob dylan, cat stevens, and frank zappa, dressing like robert smith, stage diving to ska, doing the funny wiggle dance to phish (r. laughs pretty hard when i try to do it these days.), embracing my inner woman/human with ani difranco, thinking i was hardcore listening to wu tang clan (headphones only), staring at the national, and now being the older-looking-guy at some shows and wondering if i look as old as everyone else at others.
my love of music is steered by lyrics. i enjoy the sounds of music, but it is what the person is saying that grabs me. on the other hand r., who loves music as well, listens for the sound. we’ll both like the same song, i’ll ask her what she thinks about it, and generally she relates to the mood, and i continue on about “what the artist really means, man”. we have both tried to listen to music the way the other one does, but forcing something like that is tough. of course i enjoy the sounds of instrumental jazz, classical, and ambient music, that lack lyrics, but generally i am struck by what the artist is saying with words.
stopping and listening to the lyrics and sound of “mandolin rain” today was beautiful. it is a really nice song to listen to. i wouldn’t want to take it on a date, but, you know, it’s nice to have around. it’s like a good friend. it’s a comfortable song, and in my quest to relax on life (yes, “on”), it was a nice break in the day. i am going to regret writing this aren’t i? as i listened, my thoughts were totally unrelated to the song and flowing. they were the following: no one person is unique. we are an amalgamation of all those that we have come in contact with. our dominant method of expression being the one that we fancy the most. hey that’s a cool tree. i often wonder if i had the thought that i just thought, or if i am remembering something that i read or heard years ago. did i like this band first or am i telling the person that told me about the band that they should listen to them. all the while they are nodding and wondering how i forgot last week. is there a football game tonight? no, it’s tuesday not monday. uh, have i actually lost track? nothing is new, or shocking. oh, i almost forgot about jane’s addiction – another favorite. yes, those were “the mandolin rain” space out thoughts. a. broke me from my space, along with a red light, and decided that she had an opinion about the song “dad, i really don’t like this. i like the song before it” bliss lost, but i have been humming bruce’s tune all day.
impossible to be complete, but here are ten of my favorite lyrics. each one spoke to me at a different point in my life.
after lyric is singer/band and then the title of the song.
“i know that it is freezing, but i think we have to walk” bright eyes. lua.
“if not for you, babe, i couldn’t find the door. couldn’t even see the floor. i’d be sad and blue. if not for you.” bob dylan. if not for you. which happened to be our wedding song. and true.
“tell my wife i love her very much. she knooooows.” david bowie. space oddity. (i just love the way it sounds)
“truth is that i never shook my shadow. every day it’s trying to trick me into doing battle…because, lights blinding, no way dividing what’s yours or mine when everything’s shining. your darkness is shining. my darkness is shining. have faith in ourselves.”
“oh, he didn’t like people much at all. tasted better with alcohol. you know how that one goes. he realized he’d missed his whole life.”
miles benjamin anthony robinson. buriedfed.
“sorry steady. my only lover. i regret to say. i can’t dance with you no more. while you were out. i was getting lonely. doubt that, though i try, i can’t ever feel it’s done. i’m dry. and waiting on the sky to fall”
miles benjamin anthony robinson. who’s laughing.
“retinas are bleeding for the enterprise. surgically wired into paradise. yesterday I dropped in on the MKB. everyone was messaging like it was going out of style. it was just the cynic in me. god, i love communicating. i just hate the shit we’re missing.” dresden dolls. modern moonlight.
“there’s no work in walking in to fuel the talk. i would grab my shoes and then away i’d walk. through all the stubborn beauty I start at the dawn. until the sun had fully stopped. never walking away from. just a way to pull apart. dehydrate back into minerals. a life long walk to the same exact spot. carbon’s anniversary. the parting of the sensory. old old mystery. the parting of the sensory.”
modest mouse. parting of the sensory.
“when I am king, you will be first against the wall. with your opinion which is of no consequence at all. what’s that…? (I may be paranoid, but no android). what’s that…? (I may be paranoid, but no android). ambition makes you look pretty ugly. kicking and squealing gucci little piggy. you don’t remember. you don’t remember. why don’t you remember my name? off with his head, man. off with his head, man. why don’t you remember my name?i guess he does.” radiohead. paranoid android.
“he plays the oboe. i thought he would.” robyn hitchcock. flesh cartoons.
and the list goes on. please share yours.