Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Beyond the Yellow Brick Road

**Retrieved from Friendster blog**

For the past month or so, I've been obsessed with the song GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD by Elton John. I always have some song or another stuck in my head, and I have a song for every situation and the annoying habit of actually singing them out loud. But sometimes I get one song stuck in my head fairly consistently for a period of time (and then have the annoying habit of singing that one song out loud incessantly), and lately it's been GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD. It started on a road trip up to Boston one weekend in mid-September. For some reason the song was stuck in my head, and I looked frantically in my iPod for it, sure that I had it in there somewhere, but didn't. Then I was in Finnerty's the following Monday night, and it played on the jukebox. Two days later, it played on my Yahoo station while at work. Stuck in my head again. I decided I had to buy the CD. But then a week or so later I went to Amy's "goodbye and take my stuff" party, and she was giving away tons of CDs, including an old Elton John's Greatest Hits CD that I immediately snatched up, and sure enough, there the song was. I listened to it incessantly for a couple of days, then went up to Boston yet again and complained to my friends that the song had been stuck in my head for days (I wonder why), and then while at brunch in Jamaica Plain on Sunday morning, guess what song comes on yet again...

So, it made me think--was it truly just coincidence that this song kept popping into my life this past month, or is it always popping up, and I've only just recently become conscious of it/ have been looking for it? It reminded me of a moment back in college when I was studying vocab for the GRE, and learned the word "avuncular" for the first time. For those of you who don't know, avuncular means "like an uncle." At the time I thought, god, what a silly word, who would ever use it? And then I heard it used twice that week, once by my professor in a lecture, once on the radio, and I read it in print once as well. In one week. I was amazed. And I've since seen it used quite often (although not as often as that first week), which made me realize that that word has always been out there, I'd just ignored it before because I hadn't known what it meant. And that made me wonder, how much else is out there that I'm simply overlooking or ignoring?

Another example is those "Obey Giant" stickers that are everywhere (you know, those black and white graphic stickers of the face of Andre the Giant, designed by a RISD grad:www.obeygiant.com). Before I knew what they were, they were simply just another bit of graffiti to ignore, but now I notice them everywhere.

All of this just reinforces my desire to learn more, be more aware, more observant, experience more, because the more you know (isn't that a Saturday morning cartoon jingle?), the more the layers of life make sense. Maybe you feel like you're just going along, on a plateau, kinda stagnant, but then all of a sudden you learn something that launches you up to the next level. It's exciting, isn't it?
And now, so you can all share in my joy, here are the lyrics to GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD:

When are you gonna come down
When are you going to land
I should have stayed on the farm
I should have listened to my old man

You know you can't hold me forever
I didn't sign up with you
I'm not a present for your friends to open
This boy's too young to be singing the blues

So goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl
You can't plant me in your penthouse
I'm going back to my plough

Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh I've finally decided my future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road

What do you think you'll do then
I bet that'll shoot down your plane
It'll take you a couple of vodka and tonics
To set you on your feet again

Maybe you'll get a replacement
There's plenty like me to be found
Mongrels who ain't got a penny
Sniffing for tidbits like you on the ground

-Music by Elton John
-Lyrics by Bernie Taupin

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