Sunday, June 30, 2013

An '80s Song With A Story

Howard Jones' "No One Is To Blame" (1985)

This song has a story. When I was in high school, I was a nonconformist and a bit of a loner. I had my friends, all fellow nonconformists, and we sometimes went out together and did our own individualistic thing. But I tended to avoid school dances and events. I just didn't fit in so well, and I felt better being away from there, and either by myself doing my own thing, or being with my oddball friends enjoying ourselves in our own oddball way.

On one rare occasion, I went to this high school dance just for the heck of it, just to see if I could actually get some enjoyment out of it. I spent my brief time there wandering around, not fitting in. I remember I met a friend I knew, a semi-outsider himself, and we chatted briefly. After wandering around a little more, I just decided to leave. I got in my car, and turned on the radio, and as I was pulling out of the school parking lot, this song came on. It just melded perfectly with the way I felt, and I remember it comforted me just to have this song that someone wrote that so perfectly expressed my mood. Music can be comforting like that, especially during your teen years.

But there's also the positive side. "Things Can Only Get Better," (1985) also by Howard Jones. I remember this song as well, and its sentiments are just as central to my teen years as the one above.

A thousand skeptic hands wont keep us from the things we planned

This was a common feeling I had growing up in the '80s: that the future could be bright, and that my response to adversity was to keep looking forward.

Howard Jones, a songwriter for all seasons.