We got good news from Mom’s doctor today, which sort of overshadows all the crap going on in the world for me right now. Her tumor is gone! As we Ubered home, the driver had a classic rock station playing. The first song I heard was Billy Joel’s “Still Rock & Roll to Me,” which I will probably always associate with good things from now on. But the next song was even more appropriate.
There’s a sunniness to this song that’s kind of hard to deny. Yeah, it’s about a hardworking busker, probably in the London Underground since Dire Straits are an English band, “down in the tunnels trying to make it pay” and probably not succeeding all that well. Let’s face it, if Johnny were a real dude, he’d probably be one step from homeless and living on Top Ramen, even if “he got the action, he got the motion, yeah, the boy can play.” But there he is, day after day, playing awesome oldies for bored commuters and students. Getting run off by the cops every so often because there’s probably no way this guy could pay for any kind of permits to play on the streets. (I have no idea if that’s even a necessity; I know virtually nothing about being a street musician.) He plays because he loves the music, because he wants music to be his life no matter what. He might not be winning yet, but you know someday he’s gonna get his shot.
The video has always been kind of perfect, too. Now, I’m almost positive that no one in Dire Straits actually gives a flip about American sports. The choice to intersperse clips of athletes failing pretty spectacularly at their jobs in between clips of the band playing was probably made by some nameless exec in some anonymous record company office. But it works. It’s a song about trying to succeed and I for one enjoy watching a good blooper reel. Especially at the end when they show the good plays, the home runs and touchdowns and dunks. It might be a rough life, but eventually you’re gonna get it right.
That’s why this song made me smile today. It’s been a hard few months; Mom’s treatment was pretty brutal. And we’re not entirely out of the woods yet; we still have more scans and a lot more waiting for the final verdict. But I think maybe there’s a light at the end of this particular tunnel, and that makes me feel good. (I’ll bet it makes Mom feel a million times better.) And even if things get bad again, this song is a good reminder that maybe, just maybe things will get better again. “And after all the violence and double talk, there’s just a song in all the trouble and the strife. You do the walk, yeah, you do the walk of life.”