Sunday, October 13, 2019

#songlyricsunday Andrew Gold's LONELY BOY

Song Lyrics Sunday has a really awesome theme this week - it's about Drifters, Vagabonds, Loners and Transients.

a place where you can write about and listen to some smoking hot music - listening to music may cause uncontrolled outbursts of joy and happiness and also lead you to becoming more energetic, creative and spontaneous, so stop by for some fun. [image description] a Worm sits on a brain or weed and plays guitar - there are all sorts of instruments and a functional sign "Caution-enter at your own risk".
"Listening to music may cause uncontrolled outbursts of joy and happiness and also lead you to becoming more energetic, creative and spontaneous, so stop by for some fun".

Jim Adams made a new picture too or icon. It was so good to see the icon on Twitter. Felicia and others had it up there.

Reminded me a lot of my youth in graphic design and illustration/communication. Where every effect was the best effect and could be all layered on at once in one composition. One example of this was in February 2004 when I was designing a Small Press promotion with a dog and the dog was asking questions that people might need to know about the literary journal. And there was also a woman answering the questions. I used an application called Inspiration which is supposed to be for idea generation and outlines.

I made a much more streamlined musical subject page [this was on paper and pre-press; not the Web] some nine years before and I coloured it in on the weekend. And it did get an elephant sticker and a signature from a young lady friend with whom I worked on a puppet play three months later [it felt like years] and I used it again a year later in a smaller version in a proper music composition book such as I was drooling over back in the 1980s [November 1988 - because of cards and cakes and streamers and Doctor Who and newsagents and stamps of the stamping/scrapbooking kind and Letraset letters which were really cool in the time. Now that newsagent has not been a newsagent since 1997 and there are no newsagents in that village. It is instead a Thai restaurant which has a Bangkok garden feel].

In the 1980s I also thought bits and bytes were very cool indeed and synthesisers - finally got to see how a Roland one works in 1992 and in the late 2000s and early 2010s have made some dips into music production especially through Garage Band. They were on exercise books and lots of definitions/glossaries.

Right now in October 2019 I am learning how Catalina - MacOSX 10.15 - is working. I really love the Visual Notes structure and making new folders for each project like a blog roll. The three new apps are Apple TV; Podcasts and App Store Arcade of 100 games after which you pay a nominal monthly subscription amount. And then I realise the amount is, like, my whole pocket money for 1994.

No wonder I became a writer! Okay, the whole picture is much more complex than that. I will try to explain. There was a Home Computer Show and a lot of humanitarian and anti-poverty aspirations and inspirations. Also Fern Gully inspired me when we saw it as a class in the TV room. I had to learn how to spell bodacious and share it with the form. This was before mass multimedia though we did have classic Macs.

So this video of Lonely Boy by Andrew Gold was one of the very first videos on Music Television in 1979 - the track was made in 1976. And there was a vinyl record which spoke to me in Hunters. Hunters is a secondary market warehouse which I dropped into after a road trip. tells us there is an 8-minute video on YouTube which describes Gold's composition process and how he feels about Lonely Boy and how it fits into the album What's wrong with this picture? The album I saw was a compilation album.

And oh, the Rhino lot are so brilliant.

Noticed that Lonely Boy was also in a 2016 movie called Nice Guys. And then I think of Annastacia and Men are not nice guys.

I think we all want sometimes to be a "nice boy" or a "nice girl" or "nice" in whatever gender format/configuration you come in and find for yourself and evolve.

We want this because we don't want to be lonely or isolated.

Being a loner of course is something else.

Sometimes it is something we choose - something we take on because we can't be anyone or anything else. Sometimes it is a way of letting baggage and luggage go. [Don't forget your toothbrush - as a famous UK and Australian parlour game show used to say!]

There was a lady named Sula Wollf who wrote a really good book called Loners: the life path of unusual children. It came my way some time between 1995 and 1998.

There and these were people who were profoundly content with their aloneness.

Also - big difference - and deep similarities - between being alone and being lonely. Especially hard to understand when we are young and still beginning to form attachments and face the possibility of being abandoned like the narrator does in 1953.

I remember when I read Ramona the Brave and the thing which really moved me was Ramona's Mum talking about how love is not like a cup of sugar. Reflecting on that excerpt and my reactions nearly 30 years later: It is more like Parkinson's law - "Love expands to fill the time for its completion" and when it gets fuller and fuller and fuller - I think I saw love then as like a balloon full of rice or sand - such as might be in a sensory room in 2019 - in a Montessori-type setting for children and seniors together or another intergenerational gathering.

When I was a geographer we talked a lot about resources - finite and infinite - and about phenomena - especially the global variety. There was fishing and overfishing and there was the Aswam Dam in Egypt and Israel. There were so many aspiring geographers who did not even know that Africa was a continent - and that Europe isn't. It's a peninsula extending from Asia.

Further, my writerly self in 2001 had the whole Britain is an eighth continent thing going on - as in, I was against it.

For so long [1950s-1970s] the public servant class/civil servant class called Europe the Continent in their missives and memoranda of misunderstanding and especially in their cocktail parties. By the time yours truly began seriously to think of Europe that usage was more or less depreciated and pretentious. I know that after I read Europe by Norman Davies in December 2001 and Europe: a history by Tony Judt in March 2005 - magisterial texts both of them.

Christian Davies made a wonderful intervention in the London Review of Books. Let us say that if I had been privy to the "fake news" about a "concentration camp" in Warsaw in the Second World War - yes, there was a building; yes, it was temporary ... and ... In 1995 we did not refer to "fake news" or "alternative facts" when we discussed the 50th anniversary of the Second World War. We called that sort of thing "pettifogging" and it was a thing you tried not to do - especially when it came to ghettos and concentration camps.

Danusha Goska who wrote Bieganski and Save Send Delete puts it clearly in the headline: Decent people reject anti-Semitic conspiracy theories

Anyway - Polish parliamentary election tonight / tomorrow morning. And there is a lot of "respect yourself in the morning" in the air / being able and willing to do so.

There are a lot of "watermelon rainbow radish" issues going on - in case you think this is word salad; watermelon radishes are delicious right now. And the rainbow is a coded reference to all the people outside the heterosexist hegemony at the moment.

Ramona had an elder sister in her life - Beezus or Beatrice - and she eventually had a younger brother Algy who was a bit like a rat. I always wondered how Algy grew up with his formidable sisters.

Patrick Melrose has been much on my mind last week and this week - I love the way people have adapted Edward St Albyn for their own purposes and played with the five books. Patrick, of course, was a VERY "lonely boy" and he fills his loneliness with self-harm; self-injury; self-abnegation and of course indulgence in all the substances of dependence that were current from 1967 to 2003. He is very versatile in that regard!

Written By

Lonely Boy
Andrew Gold

[Verse 1]
He was born on a summer day, 1951
And with a slap of a hand, he had landed as an only son
His mother and father said, "What a lovely boy
We'll teach him what we learned, ah, yes, just what we learned
We'll dress him up warmly, and we'll send him to school
It'll teach him how to fight, to be nobody's fool"

Oh, oh, what a lonely boy
Oh, what a lonely boy
Oh, what a lonely boy

[Verse 2]
In the summer of '53, his mother brought him a sister
And she told him, "We must attend to her needs
She's so much younger than you"
Well, he ran down the hall and he cried
Oh, how could his parents have lied?
When they said he was their only son
He thought he was their only one

Oh, oh, what a lonely boy
Oh, what a lonely boy
Oh, what a lonely boy

Goodbye Mama
Goodbye you
Goodbye Papa
I'm pushing on through

[Verse 3]
He left home on a winter day, 1969
And he hoped to find all the love he had lost in that earlier time

Well, his sister grew up, and she married a man
He gave her a son, ah, yes, a lovely son
They dressed him up warmly, they sent him to school
It taught him how to fight, to be nobody's fool

Oh, oh, what a lonely boy
Oh, what a lonely boy
Oh, what a lonely boy

Whoa-whoa-whoa, oh, what a lonely boy
Oh, what a lonely boy
Oh, what a lonely boy

Some wonderful instruments in this lot for example handclaps and bells of the sleigh variety. That transition from summer to winter.

That repeat line: They dressed him up warmly; they sent him to school
It taught him how to fight, to be nobody's fool.

My other favourite Nobody's Fool song is Avril Lavigne's Nobody's Fool. And I may have written a lyric / poem around this sort of theme.

Another earworm which is going around is Against all odds - take a look at me now. Phil Collins and Mariah Carey each do an exceptional version - the one which caught me twenty years ago nearly [while seeing The King and I - the one with Jodie Foster as Anna Leonowens] I heard in a cafe/diner situation in December 1999.

The bridge in Lonely Boy - exceptionally powerful. It has a Sylvia Plath feeling "Goodbye Daddy I'm through" - did buy an Ariel this year or at least a Collected Poems.

Thinking of Ryan Michael Hunsaker and how hard it is to recoup - even to recapitulate - eighteen years of basic mistrust - either cumulative or consecutively. Or, really, any period of mistrust longer than a few weeks or months. Hunsaker is a brilliant man who broke away from behaviourism in the education system.

And that We'll teach him what we learned, ah, yes, just what we learned.

Sounds like a piece of cross-cultural and transcultural learning - fatal line in multicultural mental health.

And when he ran down the hall and cried - so many of us did not have a hall or a Hall.

Halls, of course, can serve and function as shelters for learning and for community.

Our Lonely Boy did not have that - it makes a big difference - even and especially to an abandoned two-year-old!

He probably did not even have a place for his tears that was outside of himself. That is such a vital and basic thing. For the children in North Syria who are on Kurdish land.

That whole "Jeffrey Archer and the Kurds" thing!

And you twist yourself in perceptions and justifications and conceptions.

In the face of lies - as you are facing the lies - and, even, yes, telling the lies.

And the sister growing up - that would have been later on in the 1960s.

And the kid's growing up would have been in the 1970s or 1980s.

They say, of course, "If you remember the 1970s you weren't there".

Remembering that wonderful Rebels and Revolution show at Victoria and Albert which is travelling around the world. I saw it the week before the Eurovision Song Contest at a Museum and we ate 1970s food and there were little children there. Children who engage and are engaged.

Engagee is a Sartrean word. And that gentleman wrote Words or Mots. And that was about his childhood.

[Why are all the childhoods I'm talking about here male? Couldn't I have put a feminist spin on Lonely Boy? And it's women who make all the Lonely Boys out there - and are afraid to break them and shake them - isn't it? Whether this is realistic or not...]

Between Wachtel and Dugmore - and Linda Ronstadt's backing vocals - really makes the song three-dimensional and transcendent as opposed / juxtaposing immanent.

If I were to explain The second sex's argument to a questing five-year-old, I would be very careful not to say: "Transcendent is how men think. Immanent is how women think." and I would press on how they are socialised to do this. 

Socialisation is an immanent and transcendent ongoing quest.

I hope my analysis of Lonely Boy and Gold's process has helped you.


A Unique Title For Me said...

Nice song and you are the only one to use this today. By the way Europe may look like a peninsula extending from Asia, but it is classified as a continent,

Adelaide Dupont said...

Thank you Unknown!

[That's Jim Adams, hmmm?]

I know a lot of Googlers come as "Unknown".

Thank you for the point about the continental classification.

I had hoped some musical types would pick me up on that one. #songlyricsunday .

Checking all the others and writing in when possible,


aisasami said...

Man, when you mentioned FernGully, I remember Robin Williams's rap as the bat character. That brings back so many memories.

I never heard of Andrew Gold but a great song as it is upbeat!

Adelaide Dupont said...


always good for you and us all to learn of a "new" singer.

Yeah - the music level of LONELY BOY is upbeat and not too dark. Lots of big major chords.

And the hope by the end of the song is revealing.

Oh yes - Robin Williams the bat!

Before I saw it in class; I saw FERN GULLY with my mother around the time it was released.

The Mother tree in particular and the boom box and Crys and the big bodacious guy who reminded me of Pheobus in THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME.

Did you know it was based on a story about the Queensland rainforest?

One other Andrew Gold song I like is THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND.

Saw your words on 2016 Eurovision and the awesome girl groups from the back catalogue.