February 24, 2007

carl Sitting at the bar at the FloriDema’s pizza joint tonight and enjoying my accustomary Pinot Grigio, Leah, one of the lovely young waitresses for whom (for better or for worse) I have assumed a “big brother” role, stopped by and remarked how difficult her week had been. At 20, and (equally for better or for worse) recently engaged to a young man with whom she has had an off-and-on-again relationship ever since we started getting our Friday night pizzas there, she’s always come to me for small talk and advice on various life issues. Having compassion for someone three decades younger than myself (!), I’ve always been happy to offer my opinion (for what it’s worth), and, ahem, the experience gained from the better part of five decades on this earth.

Tonight, she was mentioning how difficult it was to carve out an identity for one’s self – especially when you’re young and seriously involved in a relationship with someone else. In the middle of some ‘sage’ advice, without even thinking, really, I tossed off an off-hand comment of, “well, you need a mess of help to stand alone” (remembering a favorite Beach Boys title from their early ’70s “Carl and the Passions – So Tough” album). For whatever reason, she really liked that phrase, and, before I could tell her what kind of nonsense it was, said it was something she would think about and keep in mind.

Munching on pizza afterwards (and cursing myself for the kind of two-bit philosophy I’m all too prone to toss out without thinking), I put the CD on the player and, listening to the song, felt much better after hearing the funky wordplay of the lyrics (as written by Carl Wilson and Jack Rieley):

I need a breeze blowing softly
To keep my wind vane from standing
I need a whole lot of sunshine
To keep my sundial advancing
I need some soil ‘fore my grass will grow
I need some spark to make my candle glow

“Relief”, I cried, ain’t no shuck ‘n’ jive
I need a mess of help to stand alone

I need a spark by a fire
To stop the cold of my winter
I need a burst of your raindrops
To keep a flow in my river
I need a call ‘fore my phone will ring
I need your song ‘fore my voice will sing

Please realize that I’m not half alive
Without a mess of help to stand alone

(She don’t know me)
(She don’t know it)

I need the warmth of your smile
To heat my frostbitten sorrow
I need your hand on my shoulder
To lead todays to tomorrows
I need your strength to lock me to the track
I need your trust to bust the things I lack

“Belief”, I cried, ain’t no shuck ‘n’ jive
I need a mess of help to stand alone

(She don’t know me)
(She don’t know it)

It’s funny, I thought, how a certain turn of phrase can click with someone, perhaps take them to a place they haven’t been before, or at least think of things in a whole new different way. Whatever. I just always thought it was a good tune.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:24 | Comment (1)
1 Comment »
  1. awesome stuff…

    GoodBoys Nation – Archives ยป You Need A Mess of Help To Stand Alone…

    Trackback by awesome stuff — August 21, 2015 @ 4:38 am


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