If you teach or coach, you spend a lot of time counseling, advising, and just plain talking with kids. More than a few times, while searching for wisdom on-the-fly, I’ve found myself spouting off rock lyrics. I can’t help it. They just come to me.
Some mystify the kids. Some are offered for my own amusement. (Hey, as Jimmy Buffet sang, “If we weren’t all crazy, we’d all go insane.”…. but I’m getting ahead of myself.) And a few even turn out to be meaningful to the kids. (Or all of the above.)
Anyway, while I could probably turn this into a pretty long post, I’ll limit myself this time around to a Top-10 hits list (in chronological order):
1. “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need.” – The Rolling Stones. From “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Off Let It Bleed (1969).
2. “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone.” – Joni Mitchell. From “Big Yellow Taxi.” Off Ladies of the Canyon (1970).
3. To a kid who’d rather be attending another school: “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.” by Stephen Stills. From “Love the One You’re With.” Off Stephen Stills (1970).
4. “A wink is as good as a nod… to a blind horse.” (This mystifies both the receiver and myself.) – Faces (featuring Rod Stewart). Title of their 1971 album.
5. “I hate to tell you son, but that train don’t stop here anymore.” – The Band. From “Mystery Train.” Off Moondog Matinee (1973).
6. To a kid sleeping in class: “Are you with me Dr. Wu?… (Pause)… Or are you merely just a shadow of the man that I once knew?” (This rarely fails to evoke priceless looks of confusion.) – Steely Dan. From “Dr. Wu.” Off Katy Lied (1975).
7. When an obligation has slipped my mind: “I hope that it’s only amnesia. Believe me, I’m sick but not insane.” – Pousette-Dart Band. From “Amnesia.” Off Amnesia (1977).
8. “It may be the devil; it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” – Bob Dylan. From “Serve Somebody.” Off Slow Train Coming (1979).
9. “You gotta learn to live with what you can’t rise above.” – Bruce Springsteen. From “Tunnel of Love.” Off Tunnel of Love (1987).
10. Sometimes helpful in FLC’s and Family Weekends: “I don’t like half the folks I love.” – Paul Thorn. From “I Don’t Like Half the Folks I Love.” Off Pimps and Preachers (2010).
BONUS: “Keee-id… (pause)… Have you rehabilitated yourself?” – Arlo Guthrie. From “Alice’s Restaurant.” Off Alice’s Restaurant (1967).
I showed you mine. Show me yours and we’ll add Volume #2 together.