Have you heard the song, "All Summer Long," yet?
I have to tell you that I listen to so many of my old tapes – yes, tapes – can you believe I still have a cassette player in my car? To tell you the truth I'm reluctant to even get a new car (mine's an '04) for fear that tape players are now obsolete. Yikes! What'll happen to all my mix tapes? Is the very existence of mix tapes at question these days? Ya know, I've been given a mix tape or two in my day from perspective beaus – or at the very least, someone wanting to sleep with me – and I've given away one or two homemade varieties myself. What will the lovelorn do? Enroll an interest-of-the-heart in Columbia House – 7 CDs for a penny? Do they even still have that? Boy – I am way off the track.
Anyway, I listen to a lot of… old… we'll go with… recordings, and even the radio stations I listen to play a lot of older music – they call 'em the classics. Hey, the stuff from the 70s is classic. So, I can't really be sure of the last time I actually heard a new release. I'm not even sure this song I've been trying to tell you about – and for those of you dedicated enough to persevere through all this babble to read about – is new, but I think it is: "All Summer Long" by Kid Rock.
What I can tell you is that I never imagined I'd be so taken with anything by Kid Rock. Sadly, this has nothing to do with his music – actually this song, which has so recently captured my attention, is the only one I know by him. I've never heard anything else he's done – and he's sold over 24 million albums (CDs ?). I couldn't get beyond all his hair, tattoos, grungy fashion style – have you see the hats, and time-frozen personal tidbits on check-out tabloids. Shallow – I know. Judgmental – I know. Superficial – I know! I'm sorry. It's just all that exterior stuff (hair, ink, hats – I know, now you're wondering, what on earth is it with her and hats?) gets in the way for me.
Anyway-------------------- This song is just so cool! There's just something about the summer of your 17th year. I think for many of us, we're like the singer – caught between adolescence and adulthood. After that summer, it's all different somehow.
I think back (Don't say, "Oh, no!" I'll be quick.) to Bob Seger's song "Night Moves." The singer in his song tells of his own summertime coming-of-age story and while reminiscing back to 1962, he muses that it's funny how the night moves, when you just don't seem to have as much to lose, strange how the night moves, with autumn closing in. I was 17 in 1982. Back then when we sang that song, we naturally changed the lyric to 1982 – we thought we were clever. None of us could possibly grasp all those lines really entailed. But I can tell you, and with absolute certainty, I get it now.
Okay, I promised I'd be quick. Back to "All Summer Long."
In this song, the singer reminisces about his summertime love – he remembers, for instance, "the way the moonlight shined upon her hair." How gentle, huh? Wouldn't you think that for guys their memories would be more like, 'she had some set of jugs on her, yuk-yuk-yuk…' but, moonlight? I guess they're not all Beavis and Butt-Head types.
He thinks back to their time together and tells us, "She'll forever hold a spot inside my soul." How tender, huh? There's just something deeper about a spot held in the soul vs. a spot held in the heart. I mean, I know heart and soul go hand-in-hand, but for a guy to fondly remember a love past and say that – "She'll forever hold a spot inside my soul," ahh… doesn't it just hit you deep down inside.
Throughout the song he tells us some of the things they did together that summer, including singing their favorite song, and he wraps up his tale by sharing, "Sometimes I'll hear that song and I'll start to sing along, and think, man, I'd love to see that girl again." How moving, huh?
I have to tell you, I never really thought guys looked back like that. I generally think most guys fit into that Beavis and Butt-Head category I touched on earlier. I must confess, I've obviously been selling them short.
So I guess a fond, nostalgic sensitivity is not a guy/girl thing. I guess it's a romantic thing. You could be Kid Rock – wanting to go back in time to see an old love. You could be Tom Petty – or any Wilbury for that matter, hoping to be remembered when a particular song is played (visit "End of the Line," the song is "Purple Haze"). You could be Bob Seger, realizing how the night moves differently when you're a little older, when you just don't seem to have as much to lose. Or, you could be you and me, regular people, who listen to the music of these romantic poets, creating the soundtracks of our lives; and maybe, every once in a while, when caught up in the busy routine of our day-to-day, we'll hear a song that will stop us in our tracks, make us take a moment and say from our hearts, "Oh, I remember the time when… hmmm… I wonder what they're doing now."
Feeling a little wistful,