Thursday, January 7, 2016

We'll Get a Table near the Street

Every time I listen to that Brad Paisley song “Letter to Me” I full-on cry. No, I’m not kidding. Despite the fact he sings about boy things solely applicable to himself – Playboy, chewing tobacco, dating girls – I still can’t help it.

The song reminds me of where I was at age 17, how far I’ve come, why all the drama of those days just doesn’t matter anymore, and how I wish I could go back in time to remind myself that everything is going to be fine if I just chill the heck out.

Oh hell. Just typing the premise of the song has me choked up (thanks again perimenopause!)

Anyway, I’ve talked in the past about this thing that happens to me with some songs. And, as a side note, this thing that happens is the very reason I never want to know what a song is really about. All the artists can keep that to themselves, thanks. I like to feel my music. And in cases like the Paisley song, though I can’t specifically relate to the words, I can relate to the overall feeling behind the words and music.

Best way I can describe what happens? The song lyrics will remind me of a feeling I have inside, not a specific time and place.

And “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” is another one of those songs.

I don’t know anyone named Brenda or Eddie (or more appropriately, as the song goes, BrenderenEddie because those two names are really just one word). I don’t know anyone who owns a waterbed, paintings from Sears, or enjoys rosé with their meal. Nor do I know a single person who hangs out with a group of people (called the greasers) at the village green.

The lyrics and references in the song tell us it took place in 1975. A year when I was 2 years old. Hardly wishing two crazy friends well on their doomed-from-the-start marriage.

But something about that song makes me long for those two people that Billy sings about to be the romanticized version of my parents.

BrenderenEddie are two people who once loved each other so much, but just couldn’t make it together, sitting across from each other at their old favorite place to eat, years after they divorced, catching up on how both of their lives went on without the other. That they’ll never forget who they were then but how much happier they are now.

The funny thing is that I have very few Billy Joel songs I can even tolerate anymore. Let me back up for a second and explain.

After living in LINY for a couple years I was SO burned out on hearing Billy Joel every 5 minutes that I pretty much stopped listening. (Seriously, I sometimes thought about staging a Billy Joel v Mariah Carey cage match to the death just so we could get some different music on the FM stations).

Last night revived my love for the man and his music. I’ve never heard him do “Scenes” live before. And I never stay up until 11:30 at night. But when Jimmy Fallon announced that was the song Joel would close the show with, I grabbed my toothpicks to prop open my eyelids and just listened.

May I just say, holy crap! He still sounds great even after 43 years in the business (fun fact: his first single “Piano Man” was released just 130 days after I was released!).

If you’re interested in checking out last night’s performance you can check it out here.

And, in case you’re wondering, no, I didn’t cry last night. It was far too late for that much emotion.

But re-watching it this morning…

Image courtesy Microsoft clip art

• • • • • • • • • • • 
Like short fiction? Get a brand new story every month (one you won't see anywhere else!) when you sign up for my newsletter Facts & Fiction. Make 2016 better. Do it now!


Launna said...

Jenn, I have songs like that...songs that make me think of certain times and people... I have to agree with you that I don't want to know what the song means to singer... it most certainly means something different to me xox ♡

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

That's my favorite when songs can be so relatable we all feel something even if those things are different!