Paul Weller’s music has been played at least once a week for the majority of life from the age of 15. He wrote songs that reflected what was going on in my life at the time, mainly through manufactured association I admit. I guess that is the same for most people, every song on the radio is about lost love after you have experienced a break up. I can remember sitting in my first car listening the radio having been dumped by a girl, and Chicago coming over the airwaves, ‘If you leave me now, you take away the biggest part of me….’ I slammed a half ejected cassette back into the machine in my anguish to stop the dirge and by fate it repeated the radio, ‘If you leave me now, you take away the biggest part of me….’ I pressed the eject button a dozen times wanting to throw it out of the window, but it stayed put and I let it play to my tears.
Paul Weller and prior to, The Jam, (I don’t count the Style Council) have always been there as I said. So many songs fitted right in, and it was inevitable one of those songs would hold part of me. Oddly though, it is a much later song that fits well. The early stuff was more about who I was going to be, ‘I’m a Changing Man’ is more about who I am now. It is reflective without doubt, and unsurprisingly it is not me saying what a well rounded and perfect person I am, quite the opposite in fact.
‘Our time is on loan, only us to borrow’ is quite deep I admit, however, at the age I am now, two thirds of it has probably passed. I do feel I have wasted so much of my life, or I suppose I could have utilised the time better. I have certainly wasted the majority of the last 3 years dealing with depression. I watched time just run through my fingers, and gave it more time to allow me to just watch it. Life is a lot different to back then, I feel more aware of time and my own body, aware that I have a one third left and need to get a lot done!
‘But I can’t be today, I can be tomorrow’ has been the way my life has unfolded as I grew up as an adult. I had no plan, I lived each day as it came, however, I was always going forward, changing, adapting, trying to be a chameleon, but with limited success. One thing I stood by was that no matter what, I would try to be better than the person in charge of me. I gave up moaning and whinging like a lot of people around me and just ploughed on applying for jobs, getting rejected, applying and so forth. I was always going to get there, one day. I was once told by a lady I worked with when I maybe 21 or so that her work friends voted I would be the most likely to succeed in life and move on. That changed me, just those few words, that endorsement. It didn’t matter why they thought that, I was now bullet proof to rejection.
‘Yea, all I see, the more I know ~ The more I know, the less I understand’ was the label that hung around my neck in my thirties. I accelerated fast in three major elements of my life, and understood very little of emotional intelligence. I knew what I was doing, but knew nothing about myself, and in someways I still don’t. I grew up in a world of violent bullying that left me stronger, but very intolerant to those who attempted to bend others either in conversation or physical actions. Debating was never my strong point, so I focused on the physical and prepared myself for an attack that ironically never happened; I should have realised more people would converse with me than try to punch me!
‘Built on shifting sands ~ I don’t have a plan ~ I’m changing man ~ Waiting for the bang’ which summarises me well as I don’t plan as well as I used to, or maybe I never did. I am reactionary to life and never more happy when chaos reigns. It brings a calm that slows things down, calms me down, allows clarity. I have learnt to use that skill to make money in life and show others how to react in a situation. ‘Waiting for the bang!’
I am a changing man, and try to change for the better. I do not like people trying to change me as I get there in my own time. I do not like being backed into a corner as I am apprehensive about my potential reaction. Maybe that is a good thing, to be cautious about one’s reaction; it’s potentially a safety catch that stops you from possibly throwing that treasured cassette tape out of the car window! (‘ooo, ooo, now, I just want you to stay’)
I enjoyed reading this, how these songs spoke to you and have remained important during your life. Although I wonder how many readers don’t know what a cassette tape is 😂
Oh I’m sure cassette tapes are well remembered, although a come back is unlikely!
I love learning more about you through the lyrics of the song. Things that resonated with me are “Debating was never my strong point” and “I do not like people trying to change me as I get there in my own time.”
I am the same on both counts, and when someone tries to force change on me, I panic and back away, as I can’t find the words to explain the panic (no debating skills). Sometimes it’s a catch-22.
I think humans behaviours are pretty close despite most of us thinking we are truly unique. I often think I would never behave a certain way, when really I know it’s well within my range. It’s that, ‘one person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter’ type thing. We have all seen that of late.
Really interesting post HL – I learned a lot about you in a short space – often the power of music
Happy to do a Q&A May! 😁
I relate to what you’re saying about feeling like you wasted the last few years because of depression. It’s how I felt about my depression for a long time because it’s so all consuming I guess and stops you doing things that could be fun and enjoyable, especially if you see everyone else around you do all those things without any problem. I like how you’ve intertwined the lyrics throughout this post and illustrate what it means to you. It feels like you’ve given us a really personal look into your life, the path you’ve walked and are walking.
If only it were that simple! I admit the song didn’t come to me immediately but was always there lurking!
I think the tie between the two songs was wonderful. Of course now Chicago is on an endless loop in my head..haha.
I liked the part about ‘waiting for the bang’, I feel that those who thrive in chaos are always waiting for the next thing to happen. I know I often feel that way- (hence my blog being nonsensical and chaotic), it’s not necessary a bad thing. Like you said you have profited from it. I feel that living in the chaos I sometimes portray myself as fake when really I’m just misunderstood by those people who can’t keep up. Hopefully that made sense. 😉
Thanks Jae, yes that made sense! 😉