Dorothy moves to click her ruby shoes
right in tune with "Dark Side of the Moon".
Someone, someone could tell me
where I belong.
Be calm, be brave. It'll be okay.
An ex-boyfriend of mine taught me this song. He taught me to listen to every word of it, though I already knew and loved the amazing album it comes from, Keep It Together. This was right around the time that he decided our happily ever after wasn't actually very happy, and that he'd prefer just the after, thank you very much. This song is about change, and that's what he needed. Change was coming for me whether I wanted it or not. He told me that with a song.
Years later I taught this same song to a different boyfriend, after we had broken each other's hearts several times over. He had also listened to this Guster album dozens of times before we even met. And now he finally understood it. It's never too late to start again, even if it's as far away from each other as we can manage. I said as much to him, with this song.
No more messing around and living underground
and New Year's resolutions.
By this time next year I won't be here.
I turn on MTV, the volume's down.
Lips move. They say
it'll be okay.
And both of those situations turned out okay in the end. More than okay. But I had learned to turn to "Come Downstairs and Say Hello" whenever a big crisis or a turning point came in my life. Despite past circumstances, this song has become my anthem of hope. I have listened to this song on repeat when I didn't think I would ever be happy again. I have leaned on it when I've had nothing else left. I have sang it at the top of my lungs while I drove down the freeway at 90 miles an hour with tears streaming down my face, reminding myself with the fiercest determination that the only place to go is forward.
Over the years this has become one of my favorite songs, and I like to hear it right after the New Year. "Come Downstairs and Say Hello" makes me dream of all the things I can do to make myself and my life better a year from now. And it sets all my hopes for the year alight. Wake up and run like hell towards what you want. This song tells me that every time I listen to it.
This is the time of year when a lot of us make promises to ourselves about all of the new things we're going to try, and all of the terrible old shit we're going to let go of. So I wanted to tell you about this song, because there is so much sympathy, mercy and consolation in it. It has an endless supply of affection and encouragement. This song has played its part in several goodbyes. Now it's time I used it to say a warm and marvelous hello.
To tell you the truth I said it before,
tomorrow I start in a new direction.
I know I've been half-asleep.
I'm never doing that again.
I look straight at what's coming ahead
and soon it's going to change in a new direction.
Every night as I'm falling asleep
these words repeated in my head.