Saturday, January 14, 2006

"Tenderness on the Block"

Throughout my single life I really, really had no idea what having a child was going to be like. Yeah, yeah, I know none of us really do, but I'm talking with the benefit of hindsight here. So take it from me: I knew nothing.
So when my daughter arrived I did that goofy thing that guys do when a daughter comes along - I fell totally, irretrievably and utterly in love with her. Now I can speak with authority on the reasons why girls are always Daddy's Little Princess, believe me.
When my son came along, I did exactly the same thing -- sheesh, you'd have thought I'd have learnt by then. And don't let anyone try and convince you that guys can't love their sons with the same fierce, angry passion that they do their daughters. Bullshit.
But I digress.
Soon after my daughter came along, I listened to the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album, and found myself in tears after hearing "She's Leaving Home"... I still find it hard to listen to that song today, ten years later. Because, as any fool knows, our children are only loaned to us: we'll have to watch them go one day.
Later still, I heard Shawn Colvin sing this old Warren Zevon song and, dammit, it did the same thing to me: "Mama, where's your pretty little girl tonight/Trying to run before she can walk - that's right/She's growing up/She has a young man waiting/She's growing up/She has a young man waiting/Wide eyes/She'll be street-wise/To the lies/And the jive talk/She'll find true love/And tenderness on the block."
There's something optimistic in the whole idea of having children that this song manages to express in exactly the way that "She's Leaving Home" doesn't. And for that we parents can be grateful.

1 comment:

Natsthename said...

That is my favorite Zevon song, and Shawn's vocal does add that extra dash of poignancy to an already poignant song. Absolutely worth a listen by either one! (the Subdudes backing up Shawn is just another bonus!)