"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."
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.