24 November, 2005

I Took Off To Find The Sky

This is gonna be one of those posts where I bloviate about what just came up on my iTunes. All blog posts are self-indulgent to varying degrees. They are attempts to say how compassionate, ironic, detached or involved we are about big and little goings on. Blogs about songs are sometimes the worst, because they are usually long-winded attempts to say "yeah, me too" about a topic that someone else said better once upon a time. Everybody has a peculiar relationship to music. Like God and chocolate, it is one of those essential things that means something a little bit different to everyone, and holds varying degrees of importance to each of us. Like God and chocolate, you can love it or hate it, but you know it's out there and it moves people to great heights. It also plunges people to deep lows.

I'm betting everyone has a song that strikes them as a particular ode to melancholy, if only because I have one or two and I know that I'm not all that uncommon. I've already said, both here and at Tangled Up In Blue that John Lennon's Watching The Wheels is my Life Song. It's all about deciding that it's not that important to be "important", whether other people get it or not. Pretty much the soundtrack for a woman who dropped off the fast track to get married, read books, write books and watch TV with a her dog in her lap. I know that I did the right thing then and that I'm doing the right thing now.

If that sounds too much like I'm trying to convince myself, it's because the Side B of my Life 45 just spun around on the iTunes. If there is ever a song that can make you feel old, like you are a vagrant, like you fell to a low you never expected and like you've traded everything meaningful for cold comfort it's this one.

Taxi by Harry Chapin. Where Lennon celebrates taking the less travelled road, Chapin drives you just far enough down the road not taken to tour your lost potential.

Well, another man might have been angry
And another man might have been hurt
But another man never would have let her go.
I stashed the bill in my shirt.

Sure, they both got what they wanted--but only in the most ghostly way. I've got several versions of this song, but the Live version from The Bottom Line Encore Collection is the best, most mournfully joyous of them all. Which is why I stopped in the middle of what I was doing to write about the little cigarette burns of regret it leaves on my soul.

UPDATE Oh the irony. The next song to randomly come up was actually....A Little Less Conversation by Elvis. I think even the universe thinks I'm taking it all to seriously. A little more bite and a little less bark indeed.


At 4:08 AM, November 26, 2005, Blogger Sharon Cobb said...

Brilliant. I felt what you wrote.

You never cease to amaze me with your ability to craft words.


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