Oh, right, it’s day 3 of this wretched 25 days of song. This one is supposed to be a song that reminds one of a parent(s). There were a lot I could have chosen, like “Cats in the Cradle”, except my parents weren’t totally absent from my life and that song is quite possibly the worst song ever, ever, ever known to man. There’s also “Butterfly Kisses” if you want to vomit or “Daddy’s Hands” if you want a song about how your dad beat the crap out of you with love.
Then I remembered the song “A Battle of New Orleans”. This is a really old song, from the 50’s, but that’s okay because it’s about something even older, the War of 1812. I think of my father when I hear this song because he is a huge history buff, as am I. The man can name all our presidents, in order, with their vice presidents, and the men who ran against them.
Our country has a short history, but we make it count. If all you’ve ever seen of American history is a textbook, you are most unfortunate. I’m not sure how they do it, but somehow textbook writers manage to suck all the interesting parts out of history and leave you with mind numbingly boring facts. But if you get a good teacher, history comes alive. It did with my father, who was my first teacher.
One thing America loves more than anything is the tale of the underdog defeating the much larger force. The British had a huge trained, disciplined fighting force whereas we had a small group of random angry guys. Of course, the British were already divided what with also fighting Napolean in France at the same time, but nevermind that. We beat ’em! Not because we were all that skilled or honorable, but specifically because we were devious little upstarts, which the British probably should have remembered from the Revolutionary War.
But wait, this is supposed to be about my father. Well, one other thing we liked to do together besides talk history was sing. Neither of us was a particularly good singer, but we liked it anyway. And this song, “The Battle of New Orleans”, exemplifies both in a catchy song about actual history. Though they might have made up the part about using an alligator butt as a cannon.
In order to make it more appealing to some of you with intense dislike of country music or history, I have left you a video acting out the song through lego people. You’re welcome.
So how much of this challenge is left . . . oh crap.
Right, so, today I’m supposed to find a song that reminds me of my most recent ex-boyfriend. I’ve been married for 16 years. All in a row and to the same man and everything. So it’s been a while since I’ve had an ex-boyfriend. And since I married at 22, I didn’t exactly have a lot of boyfriends. I had one, to be exact, unless you count that guy I made out with a few times in high school that wanted to blow up the government. For a while I wondered if I would see him on the news and be like, whoa, that terrorist dude – we totally made out.
But back to the one boyfriend. He was 6’4″, blond hair, blue eyes – perfect Nazi material. Except he was a knight in shining armor. Kind of. We met when I was on vacation visiting my best friend, summer of ’97, and it was one of those “we saw each other across a crowded room oh wow this is so cliche but we both thought the other was hawt” kind of moments. He and my friend were in this organization called the SCA or Society of Creative Anachronisms. That’s a fancy way of saying people who like to dress up in medieval costumes and drink. It was way cool.
So you can see why this was the perfect recipe for total disaster. To say I was a daydreamer would be an understatement. I loved fantasy – stories of knights and princesses and medieval times – or at least the medieval times without the beheadings and plague and poop in the streets. So then I found myself in a literal fantasy world, with a fantasy guy, and I fell in fantasy love. Just like that.
It was intense, to say the least. It also crashed and burned fairly quickly, as most long distance relationships do, but it was a high I had never experienced before and never will again. I love my husband. He is the right one for me. But it’s not the same. He’s real. And Eric was not. At least, I never had the time to really see how real he was. We acted a fantasy, and then the fantasy ended.
So the song I would choose would be “Dreamtime” by Daryl Hall. This song was written during a brief split he had from John Oates, and was the only successful song on his album. Still probably forgotten by most. The two ended up getting back together, probably because Daryl was in dreamtime to think he had the brains to manage a career by himself.
Anyway, here are some of the lines that I think fit:
You turn a corner and you see a door
Walk on through, throw yourself on the floor
Oh, when you’re looking up, it’s no surprise
Standing there is a man with movie star eyes
You think he’s gonna take care of you
The man with the plan that’ll see you through
And I say there ain’t no way
‘Cause I know he’s a lie
You’re living in dreamtime, baby (you want to run away)
It’s time to wake up, ooh
You’re living on dreamtime, baby (you want to run away)
It’s time to shape up, shape up
And so I did wake up. And came crashing down. I thought I would never, ever love again. Until I found my husband. And married him a year after I broke up with my first true love. It hasn’t been sunshine and roses. It has been hard as hell. But he isn’t a lie, and I’m no longer sleeping.
I’ve left the video here for you. Yeah, it’s cheesy 80s, but it has some beautiful imagery. There’s also a bit of Alice in Wonderland thrown in there (imagine that!). The violin solo at the end is my very favorite part. Enjoy.