Friday Lyrics - The Idiot

Friday Lyrics:

Sometimes the right song can cheer me up just by thinking about it. During my first tour overseas, at the worst times, when the work wasn't going well and my mistakes were piling up, and the people I wanted to impress were thinking I was a fool and I was inclining to agree, so that southern Iraq was seeming less like a grand opportunity and more like a flat, muddy, buggy piece of ground...this song brought my spirits up again:

I often take these night-shift walks when the foreman's not around.
I turn my back on the cooling stacks and make for open ground.
For out beyond the tank-farm vents, where the gas-flare makes no sound,
I forget the stink and I always think back to that eastern town.

I remember back six years ago this western life I chose,
And every day the news would say, "Some factory's going to close."
Well, I could've stayed to take the dole, but I'm not one of those.
I get nothing free and that makes me -- an idiot, I suppose.

So I bid farewell to that eastern town I nevermore will see.
But work I must, so I eat this dust and breathe refinery.
Oh, I miss the green and the woods and streams, and I don't like cowboy clothes,
But I like being free and that makes me -- an idiot, I suppose.

In the notes to the album, the songwriter is careful to explain that he doesn't necessarily agree with the sentiments expressed in all his songs, but that they're the real voices of people he met in western Canada. An artist who can go beyond himself, to feel and write something like this, is someone I can admire. His lyrics aren't especially clever or innovative (as you can see from the rest of the album), but he has got imagination in the best sense of the word, and that counts for much.

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