Monday, February 13, 2006

Baby's Got the Blues

On Wednesday nights on a local college radio station, they're playing my song. A DJ with the unfortunate nickname of Rich Dog (more likely Dawg, now that I think of it) plays the soundtrack to my GenX post-college years while I drive home from work. Screaming Trees, Alice in Chains, Beastie Boys, Nirvana...it makes me want to start drinking and get involved with unworthy guys just listening to it.

The other night, I had to hear "Alice Says" by Screaming Trees. Had. To. But couldn't! Because the only Trees album ol' Rich Dawg has is "Sweet Oblivion," and "Alice Says" is on "Uncle Anasthesia," as everyone knows. So he played two songs off "Oblivion" for me, which was enough to round out the drive home.

But "Alice Says" was sticking with me. On Sunday I asked Matt if we had "Uncle" around, which we do somewhere, packed away in one of the majority of boxes we haven't unpacked yet. He couldn't find it, so he pulled out Soul Asylum's "And The Horse They Rode In On" instead.

Rockin'! I haven't listened to this album in more than 10 years. It had accompanied me on countless drives from Minneapolis to Nebraska and back again, and one of my favorite college memories is seeing Soul Asylum AND the Jayhawks at a small outdoor concert while being awed by the unshaven unworthy senior who had a bottle of Jaegermeister with him. (Hey, I wasn't the only one being awed. Ethelred, I'm looking at YOU!)

The most ballad-ish song on the album is called "Gullibles Travels." Here are the words:

Keep a watch out behind you from that which can blind you
And die like a dream in a jar
Forewarned if hindsight is all that makes you right
You're running away but you won't get very far

No it's not my intention to harbor pretensions
So I told you I hadn't a clue
Took fate by the neck and you'll never look back
You've forgotten more than I ever knew

Everything's turning but mostly just turning out wrong
What's lost was once burning and finally the day seems so long
And it's Gullible's Travels and nothing unravels this way
Just another lost journey where everything's turning away

Saving crowds from the roar from the cutting room floor
Played it at night in his dreams
Woke up was cold and his manager had sold him
It's louder than love but don't think I know what it means

Nobody's talking and who tells you when to go home
Guess I wore out my welcome, it's better than being alone
And it's Gullible's Travels and nothing unravels this way
Just another lost journey where everything's turning away

Shot in the dark landed short of the mark
Can't hold a candle to you
Flame's burning brightly and shines in so lightly
But lighting the day alone seems so untrue

Everything's turning but mostly just turning out wrong
What's lost was once burning but finally the day seems so long
And it's Gullible's Travels and nothing unravels this way
Just another lost journey where everything's turning away
-- Lyrics by Dan Murphy, (c) 1990 Soul Asylum


Oooh! Pair that with a brisk yet gently despairing 6/8 melody, and you've got the perfect song to unwind the miles to on I-80 north of Mason City, especially if you're kind of wondering about the direction of your life.

As we listened to the album, Maia had been jumping in place to "Spinnin' " and head-banging to "Nice Guys." But when this song came on, it was like a candle had gone out. She stopped. Her face fell. When she's sad, she gets solemn and strong, not weak and unhappy. She stood and listened to the song, and then began to cry.

She knew. She knew, and she didn't know how to deal with it, because after all, she's only 3. The music that's meant to call out feelings of confusion and desperation did so, but she didn't know what it was. So she cried. Then she took a nap. The emotions wore her out.

Today I was listening to the Gear Daddies' "Let's Go Scare Al" while doing a little cleaning. When the second song, "Statue of Jesus," came on, she was sad again. Rather than wander off to do a puzzle or read a book during the song, she clung to me, not wanting to do anything but be hugged, and when the song was over, she leaped off my lap to dance to "Boys Will Be Boys." The feelings, they run strong in this one.

3 comments:

  1. O ze memories!

    I just want to point out that he LOOKED worthy through the thick-rimmed beer goggles we were wearing. Worthy enough to dance with, as I (hazily) recall.

    "I know I'm drunk, yeah, but I don't think that He cares. Surely He must understand the crosses that I bear."

    I'm so glad Maia gets it. And I'm also glad she's got another decade or so before she gets "Another Stupid Boy."

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  2. Well, as long as she's got Randy to bring her through the hard times, she'll be OK. And as long as she doesn't start dancing on the stage along with the headliner, like some people I know. Sheesh, some people's kids.

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  3. God, Soul Asylum was the first CD I ever bought for myself. I have to hear it now...thanks so much, Krup! :)

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