Monday, April 12, 2010

John Mellencamp.

Holy crap do I love me some John Mellencamp. With or without the Cougar, don't matter to me baby, I. LOVE. HIM. The Best That I Could Do: 1978-1988 is one of the best greatest hits albums I own, although it suffers the common greatest-hits-album affliction of being rock solid at the beginning and then tapering off in awesomeness in the last few tracks. But regardless, when I say that I love John Mellencamp, what I actually probably mean is that I really, really, really love Pink Houses and Small Town. Like a lot, and also way more than Jack & Diane. Small Town probably because I'm from a small town, which sounds lame, but there you have it. But Pink Houses...okay, listen. I think Pink Houses is one of the best songs written in my lifetime. Seriously.

There is something about listening to these songs that immediately puts me at ease, that makes me also feel really American, but in the good way, that invisible, personal way where Tea Party-ers don't exist and you have random golden moments of thinking, "I am lucky and happy to be here," moments that make all the unpatriotic labeling hurtful. Randomly hearing one of these songs on the radio makes me feel either like I am Home, or like I am on the wide open road, which is convenient and telling since wanting to be in those two places simultaneously has been the crux of my psychological & emotional life since I was in middle school. This conflict--wanting the comfort of home, finding where your home is, versus wanting to constantly explore and be free, the dream of the West and the endless frontier--is really just the crux of the American Dream, not just my own head. Which might be why listening to Pink Houses makes me feel American in addition to happy-peaceful-comforted. Holy crap, all these things are suddenly coming together in my mind as I'm writing this. You're a genius, John Mellencamp. A freaking genius.

'Cause they told when I was younger, sayin'
"Boy, you're gonna be president,"
but just like everything else
those old crazy dreams
just kinda came and went
Oh, but ain't that America
for you and me
Ain't that America, something to see, baby
Ain't that America, home of the free
Little pink houses, for you and me.

1 comment:

  1. Damn Jill! Nice post.

    I've always been a big Mellencamp fan too. Although I agree that the "home-is-where-the-heart-is-slash-explore" thing is part of the essence of the American Dream, I am not so sure it is much of a "conflict." I look at it as two damn good things that just need to be balanced (sort of a yin and yang thing).

    Hope that makes sense!

    Also, I love your tagline "A list to remind me of why life is awesome." Good for you and stay awesome!