Music Makes Me Happy

The other day I was feeling really, really down.  It doesn’t matter why, I was just feeling upset and pissed off and angry at the world.  By the time I had to leave for work, I was feeling like the day had no hope.  I’d dropped Z off with the babysitter crying and screaming because he has molars erupting through his gums, I couldn’t find my phone which I had JUST used & my keys were nowhere to be found.  I was running around my house, slamming doors and screaming profanity and acting like a crazy person.  When I found my keys, on the floor of my unlocked car, I was running 30 minutes late.  If it wasn’t a huge news week (or couple weeks) because the King of Pop had died, I probably would have just called in sick….or mental.

So, I drove to work, feeling a little bit crazy, listening to XM Radio.  I’d left it on The Coffee House, which is strange because I usually stick to more up-tempo music when I’m driving home from work in the middle of the night, and I was about the change the station to something a little angrier when a new song started and it was called “The Cape”.  I’d never heard the song before, probably because it was originally written and performed by Guy Clark, who I get the impression is more old-school country and I know little about old-school country.  If he’s not old-school country, or my classification offends you, I apologize.  I just keep finding articles about him on CMT.com. 

You know when a song just grabs you?  Yeah, that’s what happened.  It was simple and brilliant and it made me want to jump off the roof of my garage and fight crime.

The Cape
(Guy Clark/Susanna Clark/Jim Janosky)
Eight years old with a floursack cape
Tied all around his neck
He climbed up on the garage
He’s figurin’ what the heck
Well, he screwed up his courage up so tight
That the whole thing come unwound
He got a runnin’ start and bless his heart
He’s headed for the ground

Well (yes) he’s one of those who knows that life
Is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold your breath
And always trust your cape

Now he’s all grown up with a floursack cape
Tied all around his dreams
And he’s full of spit and vinegar
And he’s bustin’ at the seams
Well, he licked his finger and he checked the wind
It’s gonna be do or die
He wasn’t scared of nothin’ boys
He was pretty sure he could fly

Well (yes) he’s one of those who knows that life
Is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold your breath
And always trust your cape

Now he’s old and gray with a floursack cape
Tied all around his head
He’s still jumpin’ off the garage
And will be till he’s dead
All these years the people said
He was actin’ like a kid
He did not know he could not fly
So he did

Well (yes) he’s one of those who knows that life
Is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold your breath
And always trust your cape
Well (yes) he’s one of those who knows that life
Is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold your breath
And always trust your cape

 If, for some bizarre reason, reading the lyrics didn’t make you giddy, this video surely will…

The version that I heard on XM actually wasn’t Guy Clark, although his version is very good and reminds me of visiting with someone’s grandpa, it was Eric Bibb.   If you haven’t heard Eric Bibb before, go check him out…he’s a great bluesman with some cool European influences.  I got to work and looked him up, wondering why I hadn’t known about him before.  Imagine my surprise when I learned that this mystery musician is actually the guy who sings one of my favorite songs on one of Amelia’s favorite CDs.  

I bought Putumayo’s World Playground when Amelia was 1 and in the last three years it has had a 99% success rate in getting her to stop crying.  It also has the benefit of not being full of freakishly annoying “Kids Music”.  The album features traditional and contemporary songs from around the world…various genres, various languages.  I originally bought it because I noticed that it had a version of Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds” performed by Cedella Marley (Bob’s daughter).  It’s a great album.  The kids love it.  Eric Bibb’s ‘Just Keep Going On’ is the “United States” song.   It’s funny, I always pictured a weathered old man singing.  Not so much.

(I couldn’t find video of ‘Just Keep Going On’, but this seemed pretty similar)

 

I wonder what I’ll find tomorrow……

 

 

 

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