This blog has no title…

I was listening to Elton John’s classic Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album on vinyl recently, a true blast from the past, originally purchased in about 1974 I think.  There is much that brings a smile to my face there, but it also reminded me of a song in that collection called This Song Has No Title.  Sad to say, in the intervening years I had all but forgotten this track.  Here are the words, copyright Elton and Bernie:

Tune me in to the wild side of life
I’m an innocent young child sharp as a knife
Take me to the garretts where the artists have died
Show me the courtrooms where the judges have lied
Let me drink deeply from the water and the wine
Light coloured candles in dark dreary mines
Look in the mirror and stare at myself
And wonder if that’s really me on the shelf
And each day I learn just a little bit more
I don’t know why but I do know what for
If we’re all going somewhere let’s get there soon
Oh this song’s got no title just words and a tune
Take me down alleys where the murders are done
In a vast high powered rocket to the core of the sun
Want to read books in the studies of men
Born on the breeze and die on the wind
If I was an artist who paints with his eyes
I’d study my subject and silently cry
Cry for the darkness to come down on me
For confusion to carry on turning the wheel
And each day I learn just a little bit more
I don’t know why but I do know what for
If we’re all going somewhere let’s get there soon
Oh this song’s got no title just words and a tune


Why mention this, I hear you ask?  There are many better lyrics in the scheme of things.  The answer is that the words reminded me that we are by nature curious creatures, thirsting for knowledge, but at some point over the years we seem to lose much of that inquisitive nature that was so prevalent in childhood and development and simply accept things as they are.  Perhaps creative people, writers and artists and musicians among others, retain that level of curiosity and desire much longer, and that is what marks them out.

At any rate, I see both sides within myself.  On one hand I’m into the routines of responsible adulthood rather than being a true free spirit, but on the other I never lost my wanderlust or desire to create and explore, to break through boundaries and try new challenges.  That is what makes life worth living, is it not? “I don’t know why but I do know what for.”

The other factor is that in our formative years we tend to be far less materialistic, but as we go on things and accumulating money matter far more.  Not in everyone, for sure, but certainly in many.  At some point we do start to wonder what really matters to us above all else, and for many that is people – family and children in particular: the bedrock of our existence and raison d’être, for whom we live even if the temptation is to lose the will.

I do like the good things in life, and, it has to be said, do have expensive tastes, but accumulating stuff for the hell of it produces mixed emotions: I horde things I like (books, DVDs…), as do we all, but there’s part of me that would sacrifice all I have accumulated to be able to live and love life to the full as long as health permits.  None of the stuff I have really matters, though to have a home is clearly desirable.

But as the song lyric reveals there is much more to live for and admire, and surely for life to have fulfilled you would need to have achieved and experienced as much as possible, to have learned from others and put into practice all that was good.  It seems crazy to be on this earth and not see and do as much as you can, to strive not for greatness but to have seen and done and tried things out.

But in the meantime, let’s not cry for the darkness to come down on us – just use each day to learn a little bit more.  It’ll do you good!

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