Personal sound track.

Way back in the early 80s, around the time ‘Risky Business’ was a hit in the theaters, Wayfarer sunglasses were all the rage. I had a pair that I would generally only wear at night.  They somehow made everything easier to see, like they would act as a filter allowing me to view the world as it really was.  Sure they were dark, but it made my pupils open up and gather even more reality than was available to the naked eye.  It made me feel like I was in the movies, viewing a world that was more romantic than the one mere mortals, who couldn’t afford expensive sunglasses, could see.  I hear that some drugs also have this effect.  I wouldn’t know.  The only thing missing was a sound track.  

Years later the walkman fulfilled this desire.  No, I don’t wear wayfarers any more, it would look stupid and besides I lost mine in Egypt back in 86 and couldn’t see spending good money on looking cool when I was about to be a dad.  I never really got into the whole wearing an I-pod thing.  I see a lot of young people wearing them and I used to wonder what the appeal was.  Then at Denver International air port my lovely wife gave me an I-pod shuffle third generation.  


It’s about the size of a USB drive.  She and my two sons loaded it with music, charged it, and gave it to me as a going away present.  It was helpful on the plane trip to Frankfurt, but I haven’t given it much thought until this evening.  You will have to picture this in your mind…

I have some trouble sleeping mostly due to the fact that my activity level is greatly reduced since I arrived in Denmark.  Many nights I find myself restless and in need of a good walk.  So tonight I put on my jacket and picked up my I-pod and headed out, that a way.  It was time to walk off some energy and see the city lights in Viborg.  I plugged the earphones into my ears and turned the thing on.  

The first song that comes out is Enya, ‘Only time’ it seemed appropriate, the city is lovely and I do miss my wife terribly.  Then it’s followed up with the REM, ‘It’s the end of the world as we know it’.  Cool, nice transition.  Then after a few blocks of REM I am hit with the Clash, ‘should I stay or should I go’.  Perfect.  It starts to rain so I put on my hood and click forward a few songs to find John Cougar Mellencamp, ‘Paper in fire’.  Now things are getting down right ironic, it’s so American that I feel kind of surreal, like I am wearing Wayfarers again.  Then after a few more Mellencamp songs the Talking Heads come in to play from, arguably their best album, 77.  The song is Cities….

Think of London, a small city
It’s dark, dark in the daytime
The people sleep, sleep in the daytime
If they want to, if they want to


I’m checking them out
I’m checking them out
I got it figured out
I got it figured out
There’s good points and bad points
Find a city
Find myself a city to live in.

There are a lot of rich people in Birmingham
A lot of ghosts in a lot of houses
Look over there!…A dry ice factory
A good place to get some thinking done

Down el Paso way things get pretty spread out
People got no idea where in the world they are
They go up north and come back south
Still got no idea where in the world they are.
Did I forget to mention, to mention Memphis
Home of Elvis and the ancient greeks
Do I smell? I smell home cooking
It’s only the river, it’s only the river.

I think that now I understand the value of wearing an I-pod.  Its better than wearing sunglasses at night.  Especially if your family picks out what they think you would like to listen to.  I wonder how they knew, not the music, but the order.  It was an amazing experience.

What do you like to build for your life’s soundtrack?



2 thoughts on “Personal sound track.

  1. planetross says:

    Sometimes the songs just fit in at odd angles to where you are … or where you’d rather be.

    JCM always feels strange outside of North America (excluding Mexico) for me.
    The Talking Heads everywhere.

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