Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mr. Tambourine Man

Let's, as always, start the morning with a song.

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

I love this song, and to this day I have no idea what it means. And I'm not the only one. Hunter Thompson, in a memo to Rolling Stone publisher, Jann Wenner, about his manuscript, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, said trying to figure out Fear and Loathing was like trying to figure out the meaning of Tambourine Man.

But I imagine a Tambourine Man, like the Pied Piper or a Catcher in the Rye, protecting me and leading me away to some place better.

Maybe this should be my travelin' song. It can't be Leaving Normal, by the Junkies, so says Sue, because I still can't play Normal on the guitar. Goddamn Michael Timmins, anyway, and his fancy strumming in the opening. "How can it be your travelin' song if you can't play it?" she asked. Good point.

Your travelin' song is the one that exemplifies your spirit on the road, and the one that is finally sung at your funeral, where either Sue or I will sit in The Chair and hold the other's hand for the last time. Like my spirit sign tattooed on my shoulder.

I play it, as Lori McKenna might say, in the key of capo on the third fret. I heard her make that joke once in concert, and that's like I play. I play chords sometimes that I don't even know the name of. I just found them and they sound good where they are and that's good enough for me. Someday I'll learn their names, maybe, or maybe not. I don't get too uptight about that. I keep remembering that Stevie Ray Vaughan couldn't read music, and shit, look how he played.

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin' ship,
My senses have been stripped, my hands can't feel to grip,
My toes too numb to step, wait only for my boot heels
To be wanderin'.
I'm ready to go anywhere, I'm ready for to fade
Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way,
I promise to go under it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Tambourine Man = his drug dealer

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