Falling in Love

This piece was originally posted on Facebook. You can listen to the song it’s about here.

Since I didn’t get to do as many radio shows as I planned, I think I’m just gonna start recommending songs on here when the mood strikes me. Today my recommendation is Falling in Love by Randy Newman.

I first heard this song as a kid driving around with my parents in the car that still had a cassette player. My dad would play the whole album it’s from, Land of Dreams, and I came to love many other songs on it, but this was the one that caught my attention. I had a bad memory for names and titles and lyrics, though, so when I wanted to hear it again a few months or years after the first time, the only way I could think to describe it was that my dad had called it a great example of “classic three chord rock.” I didn’t understand at the time that this was the least helpful thing I could have possibly remembered, because that describes several thousand songs in the American canon, but somehow he eventually figured out what I meant and found the tape.

That cassette became a fixture of family vacation trips the whole time we had that car, and eventually the tape migrated inside and I would dance around my dad’s bedroom and rewind the tape endlessly to hear that one song again. I was quite taken with romantic stories as a child, so I think the song’s lyrics did appeal to me, but more than that, it was the bouncy instrumentation and cheerful tone that caught me. It was impossible to feel anything but joyful while listening (or dancing) to it.

I played Falling in Love again just now for the first time in years, probably, and I couldn’t help getting up to dance around my recently-reorganized room like a little kid. I felt more energy and happiness in the three minutes I was listening to it than I’ve felt at any other time in the last two weeks, as I underwent the most upsetting and disruptive thing I’ve yet to experience. If you’re also feeling upset or scared or hopeless right now, I highly recommend listening to this song. (And if you’re not a fan of Randy Newman, it’s very much not his typical thing.) It won’t change anything about the current situation, but it will probably make you feel a little better, at least for a few minutes.

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I write a mix of serious and silly pieces about music, other media, and whatever else strikes my fancy. I’m interested in how history shapes culture.

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Ely Willard

Ely Willard

I write a mix of serious and silly pieces about music, other media, and whatever else strikes my fancy. I’m interested in how history shapes culture.

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