I was born in a small town

I know everyone has times when a song gets in your head and you can’t get rid of it. Sometimes it’s a good song and you seek out the original. Other times it’s something so horrible you want to pull your eyes out. A few years ago, I spent an all day bike ride with R. Kelly’s “Ignition” going through my head:
Now gimme that toot toot / And I’ll give you that beep beep... Sippin’ on coke and rum / I’m like so what I’m drunk / It’s the freakin’ weekend baby / I’m about to have me some fun.”
Ninety miles of that. I couldn’t shake it.

Anyway, my point, and I do have one, is that John Mellencamp’s “Small Town” has been in my head a lot lately. I think I can attribute this to a couple of reasons. Like the song says, I was born in a small town. I moved away, for good, about 10 years ago. I went from a town with a population of about 30,000, to Houston, Tex., where there are just over 2 million people. From there, I came to Miami a couple of years ago, where the population is roughly 400,000 people.

I don’t miss the small town, with its gossip and drama and its being way off the traveled path of, well, everything. I do miss the small town friendliness, though. A lot of Houston wasn’t bad, despite its size. Most people there were somewhat friendly and helpful. The first thing I noticed in Miami – and still haven’t gotten used to – is how utterly unhelpful most of the people are.

Last year some time, I went back home to see some family and friends and had occasion to go to a local credit union where I still maintain an account. I have to admit I was really taken aback when someone greeted me at the door, asked how they could help me, and actually did help me.

Don’t get me wrong. I would never move back. There are a lot of advantages to living in a large city. I just a lot of times miss that small town attitude.

So that’s why this John Mellencamp song, from his 1985 album Scarecrow, has been in my head lately. I’ve been thinking a lot about that small town attitude and what it is that makes strangers in some area friendlier than those in other areas.

While I ponder that, I’m going to post not only “Small Town,” but the title track, “Rain on the Scarecrow,” as well. The reason I picked this second song is that I love when, at about the two-minute mark, Larry Crane’s guitar explodes into feedback just before he goes into the solo. Every now and then I’ll hear a couple bars from a song that strike me just right and I’ll dig that song forever. But that’s another post.

Small Town.mp3
Rain on the Scarecrow.mp3



At 12:23 AM , Blogger chriscmanson said...

and how can you resist the fantastic drumming of Mr. Kenny Aronoff?


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