Monday, April 06, 2009

Music Monday/Lyric Lundi

The year we lived in England, I was homesick for about five minutes (okay, more like the first month or so), and then I just threw myself into it (well, with the exception of school work. Everyone else was prepping for their O levels, which I wasn't going to have to take, so I, who had always been an extremely diligent and hard-working student, slacked off quite a bit). We had so much freedom and so much fun while living there, that when we came back to the States I spent my remaining three years of high school being quite homesick for this place we hadn't even lived for a full year.

We listened to all kinds of great music that year and were introduced to many bands/singers who had not yet become well-known in the U.S. (at least not in our part of the U.S.), like Ian Dury (our introduction to "Top of the Pops," at our cousins' house, the first Thursday we were living there, was Blondie doing "Heart of Glass" and Ian Dury doing "Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick"), The Boomtown Rats, The Clash, and The Police. We hadn't brought too much of our own music from home with us, our parents having limited us to something like four albums each (yes, LPs), because of luggage and weight constraints. I don't know if I brought the Paul Simon album with me that had this song, or if I bought it while in England. All I know is that I would listen to it when worried about our imminent move back to the U.S. Somehow (despite the fact I'd never laid eyes on the Statue of Liberty at that point in my life), the song gave me hope.

As an American living in England, I was far away from home, but I didn't feel like I was. However, I did feel I was going to have to return to a place where I often felt forsaken. Maybe I knew I was going to be homesick for England. Maybe I knew that back in America I would be "so far away from home." Somehow, though, I just really took to that notion of the Statue of Liberty floating out to sea, and my soul smiling down reassuringly, and it helped me realize it was okay to go back home to America, home of that statue and confused folks arriving on the Mayflower. I'd be fine (and I was).

An American Tune
by Paul Simon

Many's the time I've been mistaken
And many times confused
Yes, and often felt forsaken
And certainly misused
But I'm all right, I'm all right
I'm just weary to my bones
Still, you don’t expect to be
Bright and bon vivant
So far away from home, so far away from home

And I don't know a soul who's not been battered
I don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered
or driven to its knees
But it's all right, it's all right
We've lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the road
we're traveling on
I wonder what went wrong
I can't help it, I wonder what went wrong

And I dreamed I was dying
And I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly
And I dreamed I was flying
And high above my eyes could clearly see
The Statue of Liberty
Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying

We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the ages most uncertain hour
and sing an American tune
But it's all right, it's all right
You can't be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow's going to be another working day
And I'm trying to get some rest
That's all I'm trying to get some rest

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