Monday, April 22, 2013
A Gate Made Of Gold
So, I've been playing this horrible game called SongPop on my phone. You know the one. I'm completely addicted to it. I've exhausted all the usual categories (for me, that's 80s collection, 90s alternative, Indie Rock and Classic Rap), so now I'm just buying every category and trying it. (Well, except Ke$ha.) I started playing the 80s Country category and realized I knew most of the songs. Even the ones I didn't know know, I knew, you know? I'd guess someone and it would be right, every time! But, I did grow up in Texas with a dad who blasted Alabama and Oak Ridge Boys in his truck so I guess some of that stuff was bound to stick.
Up there is a video of George Strait singing "Ocean Front Property." I'd forgotten about this tune entirely until SongPop made me remember it this weekend. Memories came flooding back. I was so young when I first heard this tune, that I took good ole' George at his word. The lyrics are "I've got some ocean front property in Arizona/From my front porch you can see the sea/I've got some ocean front property in Arizona/If you buy that, I'll throw the Golden Gate in free." Pretty straight (Ha, Strait. Sorry.) forward, right? The dude's obviously being totally sarcastic and kinda mean. OK, but I was young. Didn't really have a grasp on sarcasm or geography or national landmarks. I thought the guy was really gonna sell his place by the sea in ARIZONA and if you bought it, he'd give you a nice GATE MADE OF GOLD because that's the kind of swell guy he was. When we finally got around to American geography in Junior High, I just stared at Arizona on the map thinking, that can't be right!
So, yeah, I got my information about life from song lyrics. Of course I did. That's how I knew that we were living in a material world, Kenny Rogers had 400 children AND a crop in the field and if you really hated someone, you should call them a vegetable like Michael Jackson. Shamon, y'all.
When I was twelve, I was in a play called Snoopy! The Musical. We had to sing a song called Edgar Allan Poe. Those lyrics will be stuck in my brain for the rest of my life. The gag is that every time Charlie Brown guesses anything, it's wrong. Which is fine except that by the time I got old enough to learn about Poe, all the lyrics were blurred together, I could no longer remember what Charlie sang and what Linus sang (the correct answers) so I ended up writing that Edgar Allan Poe wrote "Columbia The Gem Of The Ocean" on a test. Yeah, that's a SONG. Written by some dead dude who is sooooo not the author of "The Fall Of The House Of Usher." Since then, I've read a lot of Poe and I'm sufficiently embarrassed.
This is the danger of being a lyric person. You love them, you remember them and then sometimes they mislead you, they bite you in the ass. But, you can't help what you're drawn to. I'm drawn to words. Even when they're WRONG. (I'm looking at you, George Strait.)