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Music of life February 5, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Music.
Tags: , , , , ,

There are some songs that change the way we think. There are songs that make us sob, and songs that never fail to get us dancing. We can wiggle to a tune, sing to a tune, sway to a tune or cry to tune, and the best of them never get old.

Those who know me are aware of my strange love for meaningful songs – which, all to frequently means my love for sad songs. I feel that music can be akin to poetry – and if it makes me cry, then it is doing it’s job. I am not saying that happy song’s have no soul – some of them have altered me just as thoroughly as the tear-jerkers. But sad songs, it seems, just have more of that mystical and indefinable quality – oomph.

Hallelujah (the Jeff Buckley version) is one such example – the truest, darkest and most heartwrenchingly honest portrayal of love I have ever heard. Another is Eve by Bell X1 – my well over-played university song, that can still bring a tear to my eye. I think Fields of Gold (the Eva Cassidy version), and I remember all too many embarrassing public situation where this tune has crippled my calm demeanor and broken through my defences.

The song that grabbed my heart on the radio today is another old favourite – a haunting plea to life, faith and love to give a chance to someone who started from nothing, someone for whom life has brought challenges more than her share.

Fast car, by Tracy Chapman:

You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere

Anyplace is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we’ll make something
But me myself I got nothing to prove

You got a fast car
And I got a plan to get us out of here
I been working at the convenience store
Managed to save just a little bit of money
We won’t have to drive too far
Just ‘cross the border and into the city
You and I can both get jobs
And finally see what it means to be living

You see my old man’s got a problem
He live with the bottle that’s the way it is
He says his body’s too old for working
I say his body’s too young to look like his
My mama went off and left him
She wanted more from life than he could give
I said somebody’s got to take care of him
So I quit school and that’s what I did

You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so we can fly away
We gotta make a decision
We leave tonight or live and die this way

I remember we were driving driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
And I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
And we go cruising to entertain ourselves
You still ain’t got a job
And I work in a market as a checkout girl
I know things will get better
You’ll find work and I’ll get promoted
We’ll move out of the shelter
Buy a big house and live in the suburbs
You got a fast car
And I got a job that pays all our bills
You stay out drinking late at the bar
See more of your friends than you do of your kids
I’d always hoped for better
Thought maybe together you and me would find it
I got no plans I ain’t going nowhere
So take your fast car and keep on driving

You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so you can fly away
You gotta make a decision
You leave tonight or live and die this way


1. nectarfizz - February 12, 2009

I love this song too! I have it on my MP3 player!

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