Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Where Did Your Friends Go? (#BOTB results)
As I've grown older I've seen old friendships become more distant even though those friends have never been forgotten. In my case this distancing is due to a great extent by my geographical location across the country from where those friends mostly live. However it's also due to my own negligence in staying in touch with telephone calls or other means of communication and not going to visit them when I do go back to Tennessee for a visit.
In fairness to myself, my Tennessee visits are usually relatively short and I spend most of my time with family members. I examined this phenomena of growing apart from friends in my recent Soundtrack of My Life post at my Wrote By Rote blog so I won't delve too deeply about this in my current post, but the gist is that as we all do get older we might have more family issues, work obligations, health complications, and so on.
Possibly if I lived back in Tennessee I'd see those friends on a regular basis, but then again whenever I talk to old friends they often will say that they don't see any old friends either. I was surprised and happy to receive comments on my "Dragon" post as well as my Wrote By Rote post from my long time friend Jackie Covington back in the Maryville area and he basically said the same thing about seeing our friends from the past. Maybe one day a bunch of us can get together again.
BATTLE OF THE BANDS!
In my current Battle of the Bands round I used two different songs that address the topic of looking back on the past. My song picks in this round of battle were "People Are Crazy" by Billy Currington and "January 23-30, 1978" by Steve Forbert. Both good songs that most voters liked and the closeness of the outcome attests to that.
I think I clearly hinted at my favorite of the two songs, especially if you read the Wrote By Rote post. But my pick of Steve Forbert's wonderful bit of song memoir was on the losing side of this contest. It was a pretty close one though.
As for my take on the songs, "People Are Crazy" is a classic formula country song with a pleasant but cliched melody. Even though a bit contrived, the story is a lot of fun. The dialogue makes the song come across almost like a play. Several voters mentioned that they thought Currington has a nice voice. The chorus hook of "God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy" is memorable. This is a catchy country tune and I like it a lot.
Between the two songs, the one I might sing around the house would be "People Are Crazy." If one were made into a movie, "People Are Crazy" might be the more entertaining story. However, if one were going to be turned into a literary work I think Forbert's story would be more to my liking. The lyrics contain some nice imagery and description. To me there is more a depth of an unseen story and a subtlety of the story told in the song. It's a simple story, but one very similar to my own.
Melody-wise I much prefer Forbert's song. There is a sense of melancholy behind the bright delivery of the marvelous lyrics that I guess I'd call bittersweet in a way. The backing vocals are a nice touch as is the folkish harmonica. The part that strikes me most is that closing line of "It's often said that life is strange, but compared to what?" I hear that and I get all philosophical deep in thought. Forbert's hook needs only be said once in order for it to have impact. This is one of the most perfectly constructed songs according to my standards of judgement.
Final Vote Tally:
Steve Forbert 11 votes
Billy Currington 15 votes
Next Battle Saturday October 1st
I've got another Battle of the Bands contest coming up on October 1st which is a Saturday. I don't aim to get overly political before the U.S presidential election, but my next three battles will be somewhat inspired by the election. I might get a bit tongue-in-cheek for a couple songs or I might just be observational. I don't want to scare anyone off since I know politics can upset folks. So don't worry--it will still be Battle of the Bands and I hope they will be battles you can have some fun with.
Of friendships, how long have your longest lasted? Have you lost touch with many of your friends from your past? Do you continue to make many new friends (excluding the virtual ones that you might never meet in person)?