When I used to work in Grand Rapids, I always used to listen to the classic rock station 96.9 WLAV. They had the tradition of playing The Friday Song every Friday at 5:00. The song is actually called Shanty by John Sebastian. "We're gonna lay around the shanty, mama, and put a good buzz on." It's a terrible song, but I like the idea of every Friday when the factory whistle blows letting everybody know the shift is over & the weekend is here. Sometimes I dream of a job where I only work 9:00 to 5:00, no more, no less.
Today, my Friday song is Buckets of Rain from the album Blood on the Tracks. Blood on the Tracks is a hard album to get into. It requires alot of attention, if you listen to it as background music you will never get the payoff. If you don't give it the attention it deserves, your ears won't hear it properly. However, if you do, there's a ton of aural pictures that you'll see. It's not a toe tapper or a humalong album. It's laced with sadness & pain, not an easy listen. There's alot of knockout punches, some humor, & a ton of bittersweet melancholy.
Go figure, the happiest song has the saddest title, "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go".
Flowers on the hillside, bloomin' crazy,
Crickets talkin' back and forth in rhyme,
Blue river runnin' slow and lazy,
I could stay with you forever
And never realize the time.
And then the lyric that sums up the album the best...
I'll look for you in old Honolulu,
San Francisco, Ashtabula,
Yer gonna have to leave me now, I know.
But I'll see you in the sky above,
In the tall grass, in the ones I love,
Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go.
I hated it the first time I heard it. But with most things in life, the things that mean the most to you are the things that take a while to appreciate. Every song is a roller coaster of emotions; anger, romance, sadness. Every song could be a novel, or a Woody Allen movie.
Oh yeah, Buckets of Rain. I bought this album about ten years ago, & I used to think this song was merely filler, but I keep coming back to it. The album couldn't end on a bad note, it's heavy enough as it is, but it couldn't be too happy, either, otherwise it would be disingenuous. You can take it how you want to, you can focus on the buckets of tears or you can focus on the buckets of moonbeams in your hand, but what's clear is the album fills up your buckets with both.
Buckets of Rain
Buckets of rain
Buckets of tears
Got all them buckets comin' out of my ears.
Buckets of moonbeams in my hand,
I got all the love, honey baby,
You can stand.
I been meek
And hard like an oak
I seen pretty people disappear like smoke.
Friends will arrive, friends will disappear,
If you want me, honey baby,
I'll be here.
Like your smile
And your fingertips
Like the way that you move your lips.
I like the cool way you look at me,
Everything about you is bringing me
Little red wagon
Little red bike
I ain't no monkey but I know what I like.
I like the way you love me strong and slow,
I'm takin' you with me, honey baby,
When I go.
Life is sad
Life is a bust
All ya can do is do what you must.
You do what you must do and ya do it well,
I'll do it for you, honey baby,
Can't you tell?
Copyright © 1974 Ram's Horn Music
Five Favorite Songs of the Day
Buckets of Rain-Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks
The Levee's Gonna Break-Bob Dylan, Modern Times
I heard somebody say once that the New Orleans flood was God's punishment on the sinful city. I thought it was the most hateful thing anybody could ever say.
Panties in Your Purse-The Drive By Truckers, Gangstabilly
Sinners in the Mansion of the Lord-Kevin Davis
You're a Big Girl Now-Bob Dylan, Providence, RI 1997
Happy Friday, friends, I hope your Friday song is a happy one...