Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rock and Roll Philosophy According to "Jet"

Music as many of you know has always been therapeutic for me. I'd rather listen to music than watch TV any day. Talk radio? No thanks, give me music. If I'm in the car by myself, on goes the radio. This is unlike my wife who enjoys the serenity and quiet of the car.

As a teen I had a kicker stereo with not two, but four, large speakers. I had (still have, actually) a decent record collection, a ton of tapes and eventually CD's. My wife will attest that my thirst for music hasn't subsided much over the years. Oh sure, there were some "lull years" when the kids were young and before I had my iPod, but those were short lived, and I still found ways to get my music fix.

About 3 years ago Donna got me my iPod Nano for Christmas and it renewed my love for all things music. I transferred all my CD's to .mp3's and loaded up my 'pod to the max.

Well, in the mundanity (is that a word?) of walking the dog today I had my iPod on and Paul McCartney's song Jet came on. I have some trigger or switch in my head that transported me back in time to 1973 the instant this song came on. Along with that change in place come feelings of serenity, simplicity and happiness.

I thought to myself why is this? Why this need to go back to that time? Why do I get these good feelings from a song that's over 35 years old? Was I happier then? (Perhaps, but perhaps not.)

I'll tell you what Jet means to me. It means sitting on the front porch on our house on Portland Ave. It means 7th grade's coming soon. It means Vietnam is becoming a bigger boondoggle than ever and Nixon's looking more and more guilty with every passing day.

Again, was I happy and care free then? No. Why then does the song evoke that emotion? I think its in part because we all like to romanticize the past much more than it was. I know that's why I tend to listen to older music with great fondness. It's not that I'm not happy now, it's just that I always tend to think I was happier in the past than I really was.

When people ask you when were you happiest in your life, I would have to say today. OK, maybe yesterday. Because, if you're not happy to be here now, you've got it all wrong. Call this a revelation of a 49 year old, but that's how I feel. That's how I'm forcing myself to feel.

Ultimately I think I'll be happiest when I'm retired. All day to do nothing but what I want, right? That's the definition of happiness, right? Now the truth is, I'll probably have some ailment or another at any given time that will keep me from doing some of the things I want to do.

So there's that.

Then, there's the whole money thing. I'm incapable of splurging for much of anything now, when I'm making a decent living. Do I think that that will change when I'm retired and making 66% of what I make now? Not likely.

So there's that too.

Time passes faster when you're old, or at least seems to, so your days will fly by and I'll never likely get everything done in the days or weeks of retirement that I'd like to anyways.

So yeah, there's that.

There will probably be cats, dogs, lawns, grandchildren, houses, cars and other personal belongings that will need fixing, care or comforting more frequently than expected. So that fishing that I was going to do more of in retirement, well, it's not a slam dunk either.

And that too.

My point is that the past isn't what I make it out to have been. The future likely won't be what I make it out to be. That leaves me in the present, which I'm determined to be the happiest time of my life. See how that works? I'm glad I talked this through, because now it all makes sense to me.

But getting back to Jet. I've always had a problem with understanding lyrics in songs. I get what I think the singer said in my head and it sticks for years. In the song Jet here's what I think Paul is saying:

"And jet, I thought the Major was a real lady, sufferin' jet."

When in actuallity the words are:

And jet, I thought the Major was a lady suffragette.

Close, but not quite, Jim.

Another line I interpreted as:

"Our maker, won't jet to always love you"


Which the actual lyrics read like:
"Ah, matter, want jet to always love me"

Not only got the words wrong, but the subject (me, not you) there.

So this is what I struggle with. It's pretty hilarious and frankly I think most people suffer from this affliction. I'm sure you can think of one song that you got the lyrics wrong to in your lifetime. I think of Frank Drebbin in Naked Gun when he's singing the National Anthem and he messes up the line:

"lots of bombs in the air.."

or

"...that we still had a flag"

Good stuff.

Blogging off for now...

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