Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday PSTSS: "Watching the Wheels"

Something more upbeat this week: John Lennon's single finest post-Beatles composition, from 1980's awesome (and tragic, and thus now somewhat haunted) Double Fantasy album. I adore this song, increasingly so as I close in on the age Lennon was at when he recorded it (he was 40; I'll turn 39 this year). And I especially adore the line "People asking questions / Lost in confusion / Well I tell them there's no problem / Only solutions"; some people, it seems to me, are just plain suspicious of solutions--particularly the "square," family-oriented ones which Lennon discovered in the years he spent away from the music scene--and that is half their problem (or more).

People say I'm crazy
Doing what I'm doing
Well they give me all kinds of warnings
To save me from ruin
When I say that I'm o.k. they look at me kind of strange
Surely your not happy now, you no longer play the game

People say I'm lazy
Dreaming my life away
Well they give me all kinds of advice
Designed to enlighten me
When I tell them that I'm doing fine, watching shadows on the wall
Don't you miss the big time boy, you're no longer on the ball?

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round,
I just had to let it go

People asking questions
Lost in confusion
Well I tell them there's no problem
Only solutions
Well they shake their heads and they look at me as if I've lost my mind
I tell them there's no hurry, I'm just sitting here doing time

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go
I just had to let it go

2 comments:

John B. said...

This may be my favorite Lennon song (though "Imagine" can still bring a lump to my throat). There seems to be a peace in it, a coming to terms with middle age and not a resignation to it.

"Haunted" is just right. Even after all these years, it's hard for me to even see the cover without remembering that he'd be dead almost as soon as it was released . . . and thus hard to know just how objectively I'm hearing it. It's like reading "Ode on a Grecian Urn"'s argument for art's eternity while knowing Keats is literally coughing up blood while writing it. For me, the poignancy of that knowledge is so enmeshed in my listening/reading that I find it hard to separate the two.

Also: thank you very much for the link, Russell. I'll do my best not to cause you too much regret over that.

Anonymous said...

Hear the song:
http://tinyurl.com/2cs44x