Saturday, 26 March 2011

T'was in the darkest depths of Mordor I met a girl so fair...

70's Pick of the Week

“Ramble On”, Led Zeppelin, 1969

Gollum slipped away with Liv Tyler,..uhhhh....I mean Arwen, Elrond’s daughter.  What was going on in this song besides a bit of blatant hero worship of the magical J.R.R. Tolkien, and his beloved ‘Lord of the Rings’?

A long, long time ago...I can still remember how that music used to make me smile1-
At work I gave everybody on the team a blank cassette tape and asked them to put a song on it that represented their presence within our work group. The idea was that I would then take all the songs, make a compilation tape and distribute it back to everyone. This collection then would be like our groups ‘Greatest Hits”.

It was quite an interesting experiment and the resultant collection really did bring out the personalities within our work group. It ended up with such classics as: BTO’s ‘Takin’ Care of Business’, ACDCs ”Thunderstruck”, Bobbie McFarron’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy”, Fred Said, “Too Sexy” and Sheryl Crow’s, “Change Will Do You Good”, and other greats.

The one song that really struck me though was “Ramble On” that one of the guys chose.
It was a great choice and a nice off-set to the transparent and rather sel- evident songs the others had submitted.

“Ramble On” is about change and about loss. It is about how life changes whether we like it or not. It is about the unpredictability of life. It is about how we deal with it, our mistakes included, and how sometimes we have to be the agent of change.  The song goes: “...time I was on my way, thanks to you.  I’m much obliged it was such a pleasant stay, but now it is time for me to go”.  Very literal, o.k. but just a song selection...right?

I played the tape over and over seeking the truth in each person’s song.  It did occur to me that he really may be leaving.  In fact he did leave not long after the “Greatest Hits” were made. I found out that he also was struggling with some serious family problems that he revealed to no one. That part I missed. It was right there in the song, all I had to do was listen!

He and Led Zeppelin reminded me to be a bit more sensitive and kind to people as we are very fragile creatures after all. Thank God we have music to help us on our way.  

1 Quoting, Don Maclean, ‘American Pie’, 1971 

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