Some time ago, I posted the first in an irregular series of songs I think describe me, or at least the me I think I am anyway. Here’s another one. I’ve made my adoration of the Replacements well known; I’ve stated that I think Paul Westerberg is the true voice of my generation. So it makes perfect sense that I would see myself in his songs.
I consider myself a creative, artistic person. I also know I don’t fit into the box labeled “middle class female” very well. I’m an oddball. I like being alone, and I abhor most of the things the majority of people claim to enjoy (physical activity, cilantro, and the smell of vanilla candles are just a few examples). I didn’t get married or have children. I went to college for an education, not a degree. I don’t drive. If I was rich I’d be allowed to be eccentric, but since I’m not rich I’m just a weirdo. A misfit.
Which makes the Replacements’ “Achin’ to Be” an ideal song for me. Of course, it’s also the ideal song for every creative, artistic misfit girl out there. And while I do see myself in that song, if I’m totally honest, I think I live more in the world of “Merry Go Round.”
It’s not just that the title features a homophone of my name, although I freely admit to being drawn to songs with my name in them. There’s just more of me in the feeling and tone of this song. It’s the chorus that really gets me: “Merry go round in dreams. Writes them down, it seems that when she sleeps she’s free. Merry go round in dreams.” I do feel free in my dreams; I imagine most people do. And I write down dreams, just like I write down random thoughts and song lyrics and ideas. I try to turn all of it into poems and stories–not always successfully but I try. There’s also an edge to this song that “Achin’ to Be” doesn’t have. That song is more melancholy. “Merry Go Round” is kind of pissed off. Kind of like me. I’m angry. A lot. And you can hear that in this song. You can also here an isolation, like the characters of the song aren’t just lonely, they are genuinely left out. I’ve felt left out most of my life. I’m not just a misfit; I’m an outsider. People forget about me. People don’t tell me things on a regular basis. I’m not physically invisible, but I might as well be. Some of that is my own doing, some of it isn’t. And I can feel the pain of being excluded in this song. But I also feel the empowerment of defiance here. Sure, these characters are left out. But they decided that if the rest of the world can’t be bothered to see them, then the rest of the world can go jump in a lake. “But the trouble doll hears your heart pound, and your feet they say goodbye to the ground.” There is something to be said for marching to the beat of your own accordion. While I sometimes get frustrated and feel lonely, I don’t feel dishonest. That’s important to me. And it’s one of the reasons why I love this song so much.