Friday’s Theme Music

Masked up and went walking yesterday. Of the ten pedestrians I encountered, one was masked. So, about eighteen percent are masked when out and about, contrary to guidance.

Our little town has a reported ten COVID-19 cases. That’s an unofficial count. The county has had fifty-two cases. Social distancing and sheltering-in-place has been practiced, but most only wear masks when in stores, because the stores demand it. So, I suspect our low count is due to our rural nature, limitations on travel, and luck. I hope it all holds.

While out exercising my legs, I realized I was humming a song and identified it as the Rush song, “Freewill” (1980). I have one friend who was a devoted Rush fan and another who can’t stand Rush because they don’t like Geddy Lee’s voice. The Rush lyrics rushed in with these memories (sorry for the pun).

A planet of playthings
We dance on the strings
Of powers we cannot perceive

The stars aren’t aligned
Or the gods are maligned
Blame is better to give than receive

[Hook]
You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that’s clear, I will choose freewill

h/t to Genius.com

These lyrics are taken in different ways by different people. (Well, words, right? That’s how it goes with words.) I’ve always thought that the song referred to thinking for yourself. I like to believe I think for myself. I wear a mask because that’s recommended; studies show it helps reduce viral transmission.

Maybe I am sheeple, as non-mask fans charge. Perhaps my twenty plus years in the military conditioned me to obey orders without question. Don’t think so, myself; I was known for challenging orders.

Then again, we select and frame the information and memories that best suit what we want to know as the facts, don’t we? We’re each in our own bubble. We try to control what comes in and goes out but there’s quite a bit beyond our control.

Nebulous? No, complicated. One thing that I’ve discovered as I’ve aged is that I’m not the person who I think I am. My window into myself is as limited as my windows into others. My body is often doing things that I don’t know, responding to chemicals in ways that science knew but I didn’t, and my brain often reacts before I think. We depend on surface impressions and isolated moments to inform our decisions. Some of them are magnified in importance – in our heads – rising on waves of emotions and intellect.

Such complicated beasts we are in a complicated world. Which takes me back to “Freewill” and Rush. You make a choice. Sometimes it seems to work, other times, it seems to flop, but a lot of times, we’re forever waiting to learn the results.

Friday’s Theme Music

Have news and events finally done it to you? Are you, like me, comfortably numb from it all?

Pink Floyd put it to music back in 1980 as part of a little-known album called The Wall. Here is “Comfortably Numb”.

I remember when this was released. In the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Randolph AFB in Universal City, Texas, I lived not far from family. One cousin was a huge Pink Floyd fan. I’d not heard of any of it but he’d already bought the album. He brought it to my house and played it for me.

Admittedly, I slightly prefer the original studio recording, but David Gilmour playing at Pompei moved me, so here you go. Enjoy the light show. (Hey, it’s Pink Floyd. Well, David Gilmour.)

Seriously, enjoy the lyrics. Enjoy the powerful guitar solos. Enjoy the band members’ interaction with one another.

Saturday’s Theme Music

We slipped out, conducting a night patrol. Basically, we’d read of rumors on the net about certain stores and their hours and how much better it was during those times. The ‘special shopping hours’ are ten to midnight, so we left at 10:11 and cruised down through the parking lots. Who was masked? How many people seemed present? Was it safe? (My wife is sharply risk adverse, as she has RA.)

While out, George Benson’s 1980 song, “Give Me the Night” filled my music stream. It started a medley of Benson songs, but I stayed with this one for the theme music. The lyrics lend to that wonderful night energy that breathes new life into you.

Whenever dark has fallen
You know the spirit of the party
Starts to come alive
Until the day is dawning
You can throw out all your blues
And hit the city lights
‘Cause there’s music in the air
And lots of lovin’ everywhere
So gimme the night
Gimme the night

You need the evening action
A place to dine, a glass of wine
A little late romance
It’s a chain reaction
You’ll see the people of the world
Coming out to dance
‘Cause there’s music in the air
And lots of lovin’ everywhere
So gimme the night
Gimme the night

So come on out tonight
And we’ll lead the others
On a ride through paradise
And if you feel all right
Then we can be lovers
‘Cause I see that starlight
Look in your eyes
Don’t you know we can fly

h/t to AZLyrics.com

Monday’s Theme Music

I had to venture out to a local store for a few things we deemed critical. As I shopped, maintaining a social distance (six feet) from others, their apparent (and maybe willful) ignorance annoyed me. The chorus of an old The Police (remember them?) song jumped into full-loop mode in my mental stream.

Don’t stand, don’t stand so
Don’t stand so close to me
Don’t stand, don’t stand so
Don’t stand so close to me

h/t to Metrolyrics.com

(You prob’ly knew that was comin’, dinja?)

Yes, those lyrics from “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” (why, it’s right there in the title) from 1980 are perfect for when you’re out and others are nearby in the age of coro. Beyond that, I enjoy this song about an older male teacher and his young female student. Nice beat.

 

 

Monday’s Theme Music

I always find this song, “Dancing with Myself” by Billy Idol (1980) an exuberant, uplifting song. Sure, it’s a (mildly) cynical statement about being alone in a crowd and preferring your own company over your friends.

My version, of course, is “Writing for Myself”. You know, you write these novels and they go nowhere but storage media or a stack of paper. I was thinking it more in amusement than in dejection; well, there’s nothing to lose and nothing to prove when I’m writing for myself, oh, oh, a-oh.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

A guy who worked for me at Shaw AFB in South Carolina was a big fan of Ratt, Judas Priest, and Rush. Anniversary dates and weather impressions have kicked memories of the “I was there with <XXX> when…” variety into my stream. So I was thinking of this fellow, Bob, and wondering what happened with him. Smart guy, from Texas, but no Texan accent, he seemed like he was on a slow downward spiral. Going to college but not completing classes, and gaining weight, something we frowned on in the military.

But, thanks to Bob, I’m remembering Rush today and their song, “The Spirit of Radio” (1980). I didn’t get to Shaw until 1985, but Bob loved this song, and played it in our office on a boom box almost every morning.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

I either heard this one used in some television or movie function, or in a car going by. Suddenly, Paul Young’s 1985 cover of Hall & Oates’ song, “Every Time You Go Away”, is streaming through me. I was surprised when Young’s cover arose as a hit. I knew it from a H&O album from a few years before. People liked it on the album, with one neighbor, a big H&O fan, saying that it was her favorite song. I thought it was a little too slow on the album, and do prefer the Young version, even though it has that disco-techno sound that irritates me. I don’t know how she thought about it; I knew her when I was stationed on Okinawa. She and her husband rotated to somewhere else and disappeared from our lives. By the time the Young version was out, I’d also left Okinawa and was stationed in South Carolina.

Monday’s Theme Music

Rain arrived yesterday afternoon, bringing its evocative smells and sounds. Late in the evening, I slipped out onto the covered back patio with a pair of my feline companions to enjoy the sounds. Steady but soft, the rain imbued the night with tranquility.

Out of my thoughts and into my stream came an old Eddie Rabbit song, “I Love A Rainy Night” (1980). I came to know the song through my wife. We were living in Texas then, assigned to Randolph AFB outside of Universal City, not far from San Antonio. She enjoyed the song and frequently played it on our stereo cassette player. Hearing the song takes me right back to that year and place.

Sunday’s Theme Music

 

Two songs competed for the stream this morning. First was Billy Joel’s 1980 song, “You May Be Right”. That came straight out of my reflection in the mirror as I shaved this morning, inspired by the lyrics, “You may be right, I may be crazy.” It went on from there. Quite frankly, with my hair all wild at that point, I looked a bit loony.

But dressed, in the other room, heading out the door, into the stream came Procol Harum with “Whiter Shade of Pale” (1967). I went with the latter for my theme music today because it was one year ago tomorrow that I selected it for my theme music. That coincidence just couldn’t be ignored.

I love the enigmatic words, and the story that they hint about in the song, from the catchphrase, “Her face at first just ghostly, turned a whiter shade of pale,” to “the room was humming harder as the ceiling flew away,” and the reference to Chaucer’s, “the Miller’s Tale.”

Happy day, wherever you be, whatever you’re doing. Cheers.

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