Weekend Music: In Which I Have An Epiphany


I went looking for the weekend music last night. Found this. It brought tears to my eyes. So, even though I’ve posted other versions of it here in the past, the audio quality isn’t so good, he talks way too long before he starts the song, and I am posting too many country videos lately, I’m going with it.

This one is entirely more than the sum of its parts.

This song was written almost 30 years ago, maybe longer, and Robert Earl Keen, as far as I know, is still playing it.

I first heard it in a bar in Hattiesburg Mississippi, being played by this guy. He left for the Southwest as I was finishing up my graduate degree, years ago now. The last thing he said to me was “Gene’O, use the headphones.” He said it through a microphone that he was also singing through as I left the bar. And I understand why he said that. Advice to a newbie who was trying to learn to play an electric guitar, is what it was. This happened at a place called the Keg and Barrel, just so you know.

Steve has “left the building,” as we say in these parts, and I did not know it when the song brought tears to my eyes. I found out because I went looking for his website to do him a good turn on account of that memory and the kindness he gave me back in those days.

Steve had a sweet dog. Her name was Edie.

He was good about playing requests. He knew Randy Newman front and back, and that’s no mean feat, since Randy is a pianist and Steve was a guitarist. He introduced me to a lot of music I’d never heard before. I’m grateful to have known him, even if only casually, and for a short time. I have one of his CDs, and I treasure it

“Feelin’ Good Again” a song about hope, and renewed friendships, and joy. It’s a story of a man who’s been absent from his favorite bar for a long time. He goes there. He recognizes everyone and I think they recognize him. He decides to buy a round. Realizes he didn’t cash his paycheck before he came to town. But then, miraculously, he finds enough money in his pocket to actually buy the round, and a REALLY SPECIAL PERSON appears on the scene.

It’s a beautiful story, but life doesn’t work that way.

Except when it does. Life does actually work that way sometimes. Not very often, but now and then. I’ve experienced life working in that beautiful way more than once in my short life.

“Feelin’ Good Again” is surely a song about joy, hope, and possibilities.

But it’s also about memory. And loss. It might even be an ode to wishful thinking. That’s the epiphany I had, when I stumbled upon this video and it brought tears to my eyes. It’s such a happy song, this is easy to miss. It is is about loss as much as anything else.

Despite the brightness of the chord progressions, the friendliness of the lyrics, and the comfort of the story, this is a sad song.

We’re Back in Business

We go back to mostly-everyday blogging here tomorrow with a Batman post from Jeremy. We’ll also have a post on Thursday, and another round of Feminist Friday discussion this weekend for anyone who’d like to join in.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, I’m planning to use the weekend to get far enough ahead to pick up where I left off with Mississippi’s multitude of inequality problems.

Once I write and schedule my last A to Z post, probably early week-after-next, I plan to start researching Gollum and think about a timeline for continuing the Tolkien series beginning in May.

Just so you know, both our traffic and our Facebook engagement was through the roof yesterday, and our personal, private network has given us a lot of vocal support.

I’ve set up an admin account for Sourcerer, for a couple of reasons:

  1. I’m following nearly 500 blogs with my personal WordPress account. I don’t want to unfollow a lot of people. That feed is very valuable, for several reasons. However, there are about 50 blogs I need to follow more closely, and they’re getting lost in the crowd. So, I’ll be following a those of you who engage with me regularly as Sourcerer. No one else has access to this account, so, if you get a comment from Sourcerer, you can be sure it’s from me.
  2. I load and publish posts from contributors with bylines, and sometimes it’s confusing to have that posted by “Gene’O.” So, to eliminate confusion, I’ll post contributions and updates from this account, and reserve the personal account for my own creative and analytical work.

We’re getting back to what we do best now – writing smart, funny things about pop culture, talking about inequality even when it makes people uncomfortable, and building relationships with other bloggers of good will.

Full moderation is still on. It will remain on until I have time to re-visit our comments policy (it’s on the about page).