So I wrote here last week about finding out about the new album from Dar Williams and downloading it from ITunes. Imagine my surprise when I found out there were two covers on it—“Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” and “Comfortably Numb”—that are way nostalgic for me. “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” reminds me of college, but “Comfortably Numb” (and just about any Pink Floyd song) brings me shreiking back to high school within seconds. What can I say: I saw Pink Floyd (the revamped, non Roger Waters version) in concert TWICE my senior year, and my senior quote was from a song on Dark Side Of the Moon. Yeah, so, do with that what you will. I am cringing ever so slightly as I write this, but you can’t undo the past, it is what it is. Or was what it was. Or whatever.
Because Pink Floyd reminds me so much of my past, I went through a period (still kind of ongoing) where I’d flip the channel whenever I heard any of their music, anywhere. I was just kind of over it, listened out, as it were. Plus my high school memories are not all good, and now that I’m somewhat well adjusted (that’s a flexible term) I don’t really want to spend more time than I have to dwelling over when I was kind of depressed and thus drawn to depressing music. Maybe that’s why my current cell phone ringer is a song by the Partridge Family: I’m making up for lost time. Again, do with it what you will.
So when I popped in the Dar CD and “Comfortably Numb” came on, my first reflex was to skip over it. But this is DAR, and I love her, so I figured I’d give it a chance. I have to say, it’s strange. And not in a bad way. The song sounds so different: not nearly as creepy, or haunted, almost sweet in parts. It made me wonder if it had changed, or I had, or if maybe this version is somewhere in between, like taking something from your past and bringing it, or what you can of it, into your present and future. I don’t know. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, or am trying to learn, it’s that the past isn’t really past at all: as much as you want to leave it behind, and all the songs too, you really can’t. So maybe this is the best compromise. A new version of an old favorite, different and still the same. Hmmmm.
Oh, and that’s just a LITTLE too deep for a Wednesday. So I’ll end with this: America’s Next Top Model. Starting tonight. Resistance is futile, people. Don’t even try.