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the (embarassing) lyrics of your life

the (embarassing) lyrics of your life

Hello my love, I heard a kiss from you
Red magic satin playin’ near too
All through the morning rain, I gave, the sun doesn’t shine
Rainbows and waterfalls run though my mind

Brothers Johnson, Strawberry Letter 23

Sometimes the past is just a really embarassing stain on your shirt.

We listened to that song last night - me, my sister and her husband - because he brought it up and I had some good memories to go with it so we thought we would download it and reminisce. We had to look up the lyrics, because we weren't sure. And then we laughed. I mean, I loved this song. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. But what the hell was he talking about?

conversation about the song then:
This song doesn't make sense
I'm sure it means something
The meaning is like...hidden
Yea, how genius is that! It's cryptic!

conversation last night:
This song doesn't make any sense
It does if you've ever dropped acid

So, as I battled insomnia for another night, I stayed awake thinking about all those songs I loved back in the 70's, when I thought I was cool and a deep thinker and intellectual. When I would interpret the words of Jim Morrison or Robert Plant as if they were gospel.

There was a night, and I can't believe I'm telling you this, when we sat on the back of Mark G.'s El Camino and discussed the lyrics to Stairway to Heaven.

To be a rock and not to roll. Wow. That's like...so deep. I totally know what he's saying there.
Yea, he's saying like....be a rock. But not a roll, you know?
I think he's saying like....don't just be a part of the world, but like, move it...right? Do something with your life?
And like...if there's a bustle in your hedgerow...
Well, I think that's like a secret message, dude.

Only now do we realize that Robert Plant was nothing more than a pretentious Lord of the Rings fan who just liked to get high and throw random words together. But I suppose a stoned teenager could find meaning in anything.

We spent hours upon hours in Mary's basement, with the posters and the lights and the Doors. Jim Morrison spoke to all of us. He called to us. He preached to us with his words. "The blue bus is callin' us, The blue bus is callin' us, driver, where you taking us"

You know what the blue bus means, right?
Oh yea, the blue bus. That's like...a metaphor.
I think it can mean so many things.
That's the thing about Jim, his lyrics are like...for everyone. You can make them your own.

Again, random words strung together to look like existentialist poetry. Nothing, however, would be so embarassing in later years as realizing how much importance we placed in Genesis lyrics.

The squonk is of a very retiring disposition and due to its ugliness, weeps constantly.
It is easy prey for hunters who simply follow a tear-stained trail.
When cornered it will dissolve itself into tears. True or False?

What? How could I honestly have ever thought that those lyrics meant something? How could I have placed so much value in Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel? No wonder I wrote really shitty poetry at that age.

I'm happy to say I got over my obsessions at an early age. Once punk rock hit the scene, I was all about simplicity and head bashing in my lyrics. It wasn't until many years later when going through my record collection that I realized what a huge ass dork I was. But I also realized it's a ritual of life. Teenagers tend to place their faith in rock stars. They feel like they are being spoken to, or spoken about, and all of life's lessons - the heartbreaks, the sadness, the loneliness of being a dorky teenager - can be found in Linkin Park lyrics.

I just hope that ten, fifteen years from now the kid down the block will be going through his old cd collection and he'll come across a Limp Bizkit cd and think "all for the nookie?? What the hell were we thinking??"

Comments

LL Cool J 1989: Tina got a big ole butt.

What does that mean?

Baby's got back.

When I was a teenager, I played a game of hacky sack over Jim Morrison's grave.

Which one? There's the one for show purposes and the one for the stoners to stub their joints out on which is basically a headstone at the head of a large sandpit.

Neither of them are there anymore last I heard, the show one was dismantled and the coffin was moved off elsewhere.

Ohhhhhh. I had forgotten about Squonk. I loved that song, too. I believe I thought it was .. poignant.

Most likely the show one if they were indeed different.

It was November, 1987, and I was in Paris as part of a high school drama troupe performing at the American School of Paris. It was the last day of our visit to that awful city (home never looked so good as it did on the return from Paris) when we took in some sightseeing. Because of, er, issues that some members of our troupe had, it was decided by the director, Mr. Smith, that we all needed to travel and sightsee together. Four members of our troupe were girls that felt a particular teenaged kinship with Jim, so we were obligated to do the cemetery thing. The director was o.k. with this, since Bernhardt (sp?) is interred in the same hallowed ground.

It was rather sad really. Basically all you needed to do was follow the graffiti to the grave, which had a huge bust of Morrison at the head. The nose of the bust had been broken off at some point, and several of us reflected on the 'lucky' individual that posessed Jim's nose. We suspected that this was the source of much bong-centric conversation for someone. The grave itself was covered with broken wine bottles and much candle wax. It was decided that we should have a moment of silence. This is more or less what was running through my head during this moment of remembrance.:

This is stupid. How did we ever get roped into this?

It's too bad that whatzername has that dorky boyfriend she's devoted to. I could really...

What's this? Steve is pulling out his hacky sack! The miscreant! He doesn't really intend to... Oh dear, he actually kicked the hacky over Morrison's grave. And it's headed this way. It's coming right at me! Do I do the right thing and let it hit me and ignore it, or do I kick it? How do you kick a hacky? I've never kicked a hacky before. What if I screw up? Kick it or ignore it? Ignore it or ...

So, I kicked it. It went back to Steve (phew) and not off into space like I had feared. The derision that Steve and I suffered for this was completely uncalled for. I suspect that if there's an afterlife, Jim Morrison was laughing his ass off there.

I guess I'll stop usurping Michele's blog now. After all, I have one of my own that I'm somewhat neglecting...

Chad, did you by chance go to ASL?

Michele: You were right, the "blue bus" is indeed a deep, obscure metaphor. However, it's also the main method of public transit in the Venice, CA area. Santa Monica buses are called "the Big Blue Bus," and those words are actually painted on the side of each one nowadays. He was a tricky one, was Jim...

Now I'm really embarassed...I still have all those Genesis albums and I still listen to them!
Ack!

Glace,

after reading (and thoroughly enjoying)your site yesterday, I'm not at all surprised you've asked.

No, I did not attend ASL.

I am a product of the now-defunct Frankfurt American High School, Class of '88. Eagles ueber Alles!

see us Ozsters have the magnificent DAAS and Barry Crocker to explain to us that the lady who knows was the great, the wonderful, the magnificent Shirley Bassey
http://www.klte.hu/~sigerb/stair18.ra

Chad: Whew! If you had turned out to be the Chad I was thinking of-- a junior at ASL in '87, VP of the student body, long-blond-haired hippiesh looking guy, involved in drama --I would have had to confess the incredibly intense crush I had on you back then, even though I sincerely doubt you ever even knew my last name.

But since you're not him, I won't have to bring that up. Boy, that coulda been awkward.

P.S. Sorry about your school going bust. :/

Welcome to Friends Reunited at asmallvictory.net

Chad, Glace...that will be 20 bucks each.

Glace: No, I was Chad -- a junior at FHS in '86-'87, ran for VP of the student body and lost (I garnered a total of count 'em, six whole votes), brown hair that I took random clumps out of with a pair of sewing shears to... I dunno why. It would be fair to say that my junior year (well, past my impromptu haircut incident) there were no crushes on me. Oh, and I sure hope your Chad was treated kinder by time than I was.

Michele: LOL, I'm unemployed, I ain't got twenty bucks. But, hey, it was fun almost being someone somebody had a crush on. Somehow, that almost makes my day! If I find twenty bucks, I'll be sure to send it to you. Now all you have to do is get the nerve to give your mailing address to someone that calls himself 'Absolute Weirdo'.