Monday, June 28, 2004

Songs about people who will never know

I read a recent post on another blog about a girl, on a bus, who helped a young kid, and in doing so, without ever knowing it, helped an old kid, and when he wrote it all down, helped anyone who happened to read it. Though she never knew it, this girl on the bus started a whole chain of emotion and response. She made someone's day. Made several someone's day - all while unawares. This reminded me of a song I heard a while back. The song accompaniment is simple guitar that never changes, and the recording is scratchy and low-quality, but Jeffery Lewis' 7 minute "Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song" is one of the best and most strangely captivating musical narratives I've ever heard. I won't try to tell the story of the song - that can only be had by listening to it - but it raises the issue of people singing songs about other people without those people knowing it. The same is true of the blogger who blogs about the girl on the bus whilst she is forever unaware. It's kind of sad, really. She will never hear the effect she had, he will never be able to tell her. The admiration, the thanks...the love? Untold, but, not unrecorded. No, not unrecorded. It's put down in words, put down in song, and while perhaps never read nor heard by the one who inspired it all, it's mere existence is cause for celebration. As Lewis says (and everyone should hear the full song),

because the next time you're feeling kind of lonesome and blue,
just think that someone somewhere might be singing about you.

Check it out, off the album, The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane - Jeffrey Lewis

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