Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Better than Oxygen

I intentionally try to vary my mediums of influence, but music wins out time and time again. And again, it's Willy Mason's lyrics that are having an extended visit in this household. These days Brett and I play his songs as we're getting ready for the day or for a meal. Olivia sings her versions as she plays with her cars under our dining room table.
Maybe he's a seasonal association for us. We thrived during the autumns on Martha's Vineyard. But it's also this talk of "crisis," the election, the mood, the "heavy" that's bringing me back to his words. Now it's his song, Oxygen, perhaps best heard outside, under the trees next to Seth's Pond where Tom and Warren rig a killer sound system. But I'm sure something significant can still be conveyed if you just listen to it on your laptop. I've added a visual this time, which I'm quite certain was shot entirely on Martha's Vineyard.

"Oxygen" by Willy Mason

I wanna be better than oxygen
So you can breathe when you're drowning and weak in the knees
I wanna speak louder than Ritalin
For all the children who think that they've got a disease
I wanna be cooler than t.v.
For all the kids that are wondering what they are going to be
We can be stronger than bombs
If you're singing along and you know that you really believe
We can be richer than industry
As long as we know that there's things that we don't really need
We can speak louder than ignorance
Cause we speak in silence every time our eyes meet.

On and on, and on it goes
The world it just keeps spinning
Until i'm dizzy, time to breathe
So close my eyes and start again anew.

I wanna see through all the lies of society
To the reality, happiness is at stake
I wanna hold up my head with dignity
Proud of a life where to give means more than to take
I wan't to live beyond the modern mentality
Where paper is all that you're really taught to create
Do you remember the forgotten America?
Justice, equality, freedom to every race?
Just need to get past all the lies and hypocrisy
Make up and hair to the truth behind every face
That look around to all the people you see,
How many of them are happy and free?
I know it sounds like a dream
But it's the only thing that can get me to sleep at night
I know it's hard to believe
But it's easy to see that something here isn't right
I know the future looks dark
But it's there that the kids of today must carry the light.

If i'm afraid to catch a dream
I weave your baskets and i'll float them down the river stream
Each one i weave with words i speak to carry love to your relief.

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