“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

3.22.2013

let me make you a present of song: the scintilla project, day 9. a day late


really don't mind if you sit this one out . . .

what is the longest thing you know by heart (poem, speech, prayer, commercial jingle)?
why did you learn it?
the scintilla project, day 9.  a day late.

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by jethro tull.

spin me back down the years and the days of my youth . . .

it was my last year of high school and it was the summer after that last year.

it was arizona summer nights and driving through the darkness with the song, all 40 some odd minutes of it, on 8 track tapes, and singing it, all of us, always a car full of friends, singing it.  it was the soundtrack at parties remembered through smoky hazes, and the album having to be turned over to side 2 to finish the song .  i was dating someone who fancied himself a singer.

see there!  a son is born -- and we pronounce him fit to fight . . . 

it was also the year of school's out  by alice cooper, which had particular scary/gleeful meaning for those of us who'd graduated from childhood into impending real life adulthood and had decisions to make - college? time out? jobs?  easier choices for us girls - the boys i knew, now men, had little time to play.  it was college or be drafted, or join the military.  it was the last year men would  be drafted, though i'm not sure we realized that at the time.  the boys born a year earlier than me were the last to be called, and those were the boys my girlfriends and i dated, those boys and the ones even older.  most were already in college, but some were on their way to war, and some were home on leave.  it was summertime, and they came and went.

and we?  we sang and we laughed and we sprawled across the warm hoods of cars under the heat of stars and drank beer and laughed and clung fast to the last of our carefree days.  we wore jeans cut off to there and we smooched and we sang.  it was also the summer of stairway to heaven,  and we were reading or re-reading lord of the rings, and some of us fancied ourselves writers.  we sang everything out loud and we danced in the desert or in our parents' deserted living rooms.  we sang to the stones and steely dan and van morrison.  we sang to bowie and the doobie brothers and neil young.  we sang stories.

and perhaps that's why thick as a brick.  it was full of stories, and even knowing what i know now, that ian anderson wrote it as a parody, a joke, a message to critics and rock stars who took themselves too seriously, makes no difference.  anderson was a storyteller, and whether he knew it or meant it or not, in the summer of '72, when the world was a much scarier place than it is today, when you were 18 or 17 or 22, and you could see vietnam on your television every night and from the corners of your young eyes, he gave you stories you could sing.

but i am overthinking.  it was just a song.

and the poet lifts his pen while the soldier sheaths his sword . . .

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post title  & centered italics from thick as a brick

8 comments:

  1. This is why you should never take breaks from writing (being totally selfish right now but I own it.) Everything here transports me to that same summer despite not being there and God, I can almost feel the heat from the car hood under my back. So good. ♥

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    Replies
    1. ♥ back at you. i had to sit with this one a bit. more will be coming. xoxo

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  2. I started smiling as soon as I read the first line. Jethro Tull was one of the first concerts I went to with my first boyfriend. I'm not sure if I remember all the words, but I remember most of them.

    And Stereo is right. You took me there.

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  3. back in that time, the music of the 70's had such power. the ballads, you could distinguish each word. the verse over and over. sometimes yet, all these years later, when i hear it, i can sing along, word for word, and yes, it does take me back. and when i hear it on my truck radio, i sing loudly with it. GREAT write, emmatree. Great write!
    tilda

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  4. again, you make it so easy for me to say~ you are my favorite story teller.

    your way with words tears me up and leaves me wanting more.

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  5. Thank God you overthink.
    We are all the more richer for it.

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