Saturday, April 8, 2017

Songs and Circumstances

Over the course of my life, there have been a number of times where I've been listening to music and the lyrics have proven strangely appropriate to the circumstances. Almost eerily so. A few in particular stand out.

For example, I was taking a vacation out west, including a few days at the Grand Canyon. One day I'm driving along from the campground near Grand Canyon Village over to the east side of the park, to visit the Desert View Watchtower. I was playing on the stereo at the time, and just as I pulled into the parking lot at Desert View it advanced to the next song, "All Along the Watchtower."

A year or two back I was driving along here in greater Cincinnati listening to a classic rock station. I came to the intersection I needed to turn left onto, but the light was red. As the left turn signal on the traffic light turned green, the street sign for the road registered. I was turning onto state route 747. The song that was playing: Steve Miller Band's "Jet Airliner."

Last night, I went out to eat in Northern Kentucky (the 51st state?). Afterwards, I was driving back home via I-75 well after dark. A bit south of Ohio River, several miles south of Cincinnati, the highway descends several hundred feet toward the river valley through a wide bit of curving excavation known as The Cut in the Hill. As a northbound car descends the grade a wonderful view of the Cincinnati skyline comes into view. Last night was fairly clear, so the city stood out brilliantly, the tall buildings fairly glowing against the backdrop of the night sky. The song that was playing was The Doors' "L.A. Woman," with its lyrics of "city of light" and "city of night" and "driving down your freeways."

(Not included are the number of times "Route 66" came up on my mix while driving down old historic route 66, since I had several covers in the mix and was taking a Route 66 trip.)

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