Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #114 - Seven Songs: "The Wood Song"

Long Lake, Traverse City, 1971
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #114 - Seven Songs: "The Wood Song"

Hi Mom,

Time for another song because I am really doing this seven songs in seven days thing. Today's song is about a boat, and see? We're in a boat. Yeah. That was planned.

All these songs this week were ones I played as I drove out to see you as you were dying. In fact, one day, I made a larger loop out around Gull Lake and past the old house just to get in more time with this music, that day I was heavy on Erykah Badu, who, though wonderful, is not making this list of seven, which is a shame. In fact, I am a bit ashamed of how "white" my list is, even though the next one will feature Mary J. Blige, though it did not originally. But it can't be helped. It is what it is.

Today's song is "The Wood Song" by the Indigo Girls from their 1994 album Swamp Ophelia. Here's two versions, live and in studio (the second is near the end of the post).

"The Wood Song" - The Indigo Girls - live
Toronto Pride, 2007



Like all of these songs in my selection, this song has seen me through tough times, which I think is the point of the song. This song helped me to persevere.

As I read the lyrics, this song I see that it is about a group of friends ("my friends and I have had a hard time"). One one level, as the song has many possible interpretations and can fit so many situations, I have always felt that this song is about being gay in America and how difficult that has been up to 1992-4-ish when it was written. Maybe that's too simplistic and only my association because I know the sexual identity of the two women in the Indigo Girls, and yet, I always think about that situation when I hear the song and more besides.

The song speaks of a change ("bruising our brains hard up against change all the old dogs and the magician") that's been resisted but now they ("my friends") are all together for the journey.

I have text from the Internet that I will share, but I think some miss the point of the point. The song mentions a point ("the prize is always worth the rocky ride but the wood is tired and the wood is old and we'll make it fine if the weather holds but if the weather holds then we'll have missed the point that's where i need to go"). One chap claimed it was a literal point in the story of Noah's Ark that is invoked by the song. True, the song uses Noah's Ark as a metaphor, but it's not ABOUT Noah's Ark (if even...). The point is the process. If the good weather holds, then there are no storms. In storms, we grow, so if we don't have storms we will miss the process that helps us to grow and change and evolve, hence: "the prize is always worth the rocky ride." It's just a tough ride, the wood is tired and old. I feel that way a lot. But we must go into the storm. It's the only way to evolve. After all, there's the other side of the storm, the change, the better world, but we only reach it going through the storm. If we stay put, we don't change, then there is no storm and thus no "prize" as there has been no "rocky ride."

Keep reading. The song basically re-iterates what I just shared in analysis. No one gets to miss the storm, they sing.

But the song is about love, courage, going on, keeping on, weathering storms, and, well, LIFE.

I am so thankful to have had the Indigo Girls in my life for nearly 30 years. Thank you Emily and Amy for such great joy.
"The Wood Song" by The Indigo Girls - lyrics
the thin horizon of a plan is almost clear my friends and I have had a hard time bruising our brains hard up against change all the old dogs and the magician now I see we're in the boat in two by twos only the heart that we have for a tool we could use and the very close quarters are hard to get used to love weighs the hull down with its weight but the wood is tired and the wood is old and we'll make it fine if the weather holds but if the weather holds then we'll have missed the point that's were i need to go no way construction of this tricky plan was built by other than a greater hand with a love that passes all our understanding watching closely over the journey yeah but what it takes to cross the great divide seems more than all the courage i can muster up inside but we get to have some answers when we reach the other side the prize is always worth the rocky ride but the wood is tired and the wood is old and we'll make it fine if the weather holds but if the weather holds then we'll have missed the point that's where i need to go sometimes i ask to sneak a closer look skip to the final chapter of the book and maybe steer us clear from some of the pain that it took to get us where we are this far but the question drowns in its futility and even i have got to laugh at me cause no one gets to miss the storm of what will be just holding on for the ride the wood is tired the wood is old and we'll make it fine if the weather holds but if the weather holds then we'll have missed the point that's where i need to go


Stuff by others.


"My boss recently gave a speech about commitment and weathering the storm, at the end of the year banquet. He used a favorite Indigo Girls ballad called "The Wood Song" to illustrate his point.

"As it so happens, this particular song has greater meaning to me than meets they eye. Now I believe that everything takes place for a reason...good and bad... painful and joyful. And so I leave you with the lyrics of this beautiful song to tie together the strings and even find the missing link of how it might bring wonder into our own life."

above from - http://ginkogal.blogspot.com/2008/05/new-england-life.html


from the you tube page with this video

namahe27 6 years ago:  I really like this song; especially now, as I am struggling finding the right thing to do. I dont seem to have the courage that it takes to go this way and instead of being with the one I love I rather play safe and might make a big mistake just because I am too concerned what other people would think. When I told my love that I just cant do it, she asked me to listen to this song.

kolipokinho 6 years ago  in reply to namahe27:  It's the story of Noah's ark, as seen from the perspective of an animal on board. "Now see we're in the boat in two by twos" gives it away.  "Wood" here refers to the wood that the ark is made of.  The old dogs are probably Noah's pets (or family, I don't know...) and the Magician I'm guessing, is Noah.  If the weather holds, and the flood continues, they would have missed the Point, which is probably Mount Ararat, where the ark ends up. At least that's how I understand the song.

kywomanlml 4 years ago:  I played this song to my mom in November of 1995 to help her understand why I was marrying my now husband. She was concerned our road would not be easy together. It hasn't been easy. But, years and years later, we're still weathering the storms of life and continuously learning to enjoy the ride.

Anne Mooney 9 months ago:  if one looks up the word harmony in the dictionary, it should have but one defenition: indigo girls. they've seen me through some horrible times in my life, for 25 years now. damn! that's a long ass time.

And this whole blog entry (which I will not reprint without permission here)

http://optimisticvoices.blogspot.com/2007/10/wood-song-indigo-girls.html

And - from - http://www.wbur.org/npr/9009196/two-decades-later-indigo-girls-voices-still-strong

I was wondering how difficult it is to maintain an interest in performing songs that have been around for 20 years. Do they begin to take on different meanings as time passes or is it difficult to keep an interest? I'm getting married next month and I lobbied the priest to allow me to walk down the aisle to a secular song - yours - "The Wood Song." "The Wood Song" has meant different, very precious things to me over the years, especially in my relationship. Do the meanings change for you as well? Thanks.

Ms. SALIERS: That's a good question. They do change sometimes. Sometimes I write a song and I think I'm writing it about somebody else or other people, and then I realize that I'm writing it about me. Or depending on what I'm going through in life, you know.




"The Wood Song" - The Indigo Girls



Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 116 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1510.28 - 19:32
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