Saturday, June 07, 2014

What Lies in the Hearts of Old Men?

"If you're a writer, you know that the stories don't come to you--you have to go
 looking for them. The old men in the lobby: that's where the stories were."
Tom Waits

Lately I've had old men on my mind. Since I'm an old woman, you might think there are some last-gasp hormones at work here, but that isn't the case. I've been thinking about old men because my iPod shuffle recently randomized and played a cluster of songs by, for and about old men, and I quite liked them. The songs, that is. I suppose I might like the subjects of the songs, too, if I met them in real life. They're a deep-thinking lot for sure, their stories poured out poignantly for all the world to hear.

Most of the old men I know personally would rather die than talk meaningfully about their loves or their regrets. They'll talk at length about golf or football or fishing, and they'll preach about politics as though they alone have figured out the solutions to the world's problems. They might even tell a true story about something they experienced, but they won't say how they felt about it. A man who can talk about his feelings is a rarity down here in good ol' boy country.

Anyway, it's time for a Saturday Song Selection, and I think I might dedicate a string of upcoming Saturdays to some of these old-man songs. The first one is a pretty, pretty tune about a man who finds himself feeling alone and useless. My take on it is that he enjoyed all the perks of being a musician--sowed all his wild oats--then he burned all his bridges, and now he wishes he'd done things differently. I feel sad for him but, to be honest, he's a bit of a downer. He's such a pessimistic sort that I can't imagine any widows in his neighborhood trekking up his driveway with a red velvet or apple cake and hoping to spend a little time with him. If he wants company, he's gonna have to stop feeling so sorry for himself and sing a different tune.

Still, I give him points for being open about his feelings.

The song is "Old Violin" by Johnny Paycheck.
Thanks to Renee Brown for posting this video on YouTube.
Click here to read the lyrics.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments might be the very best thing about blogging. I love it when you care enough to share your thoughts here, so go ahead and say what's on your mind.