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"The Kid"

On our way back from Charleston last weekend, we listened to the CD,  Cry, Cry, Cry by Dar Williams, Lucy Kaplansky and Richard Shindell. My favorite song on it is a song we heard Lucy Kaplansky sing at a concert at the Arts Center in Carrboro, NC last winter.

It always amazes me when someone can captivate an audience alone on stage with only a guitar. Lucy Kaplansky does that (as did Dar Williams at the Festival for the Eno in Durham, NC a few years ago). Her CD’s are beautifully arranged, but her songs are just as absorbing when she’s singing them on a small stage with her guitar.

Anyway, my favorite song from that CD is “The Kid,” written by Buddy Mondlock. I fell in love with the song when she sang it, and fell in love with it again when I heard the arrangement on the CD (which I bought at the concert). “The Kid” seems to be a fairly simple song, musically, but the words and the harmonies are beautiful. Lucy Kaplansky has this way of singing where she tilts her head to the side – and it looks like she’s just thinking aloud, which goes perfectly with this song. It’s a pensive dreamy one, which ends:

"I’m the kid who has this habit of dreaming
Sometimes gets me in trouble too.
But the truth is I could no more stop dreaming
Than I could make it all come true."

I’ve listened to the CD a lot this week (my daughter: “Mommy, you’ve listened to that FOUR times today!”). I know the words and the melody, but I’m trying to learn the harmony (sung by Dar Williams). It’s not always far from the melody, and it’s very subtle in where it diverges. It’s a dreamy and contemplative song – perfect for the fall.



"I'm the kid who, always looked out the window / failing tests in geography..." I was the kid who always paid attention. This song so perfectly captures the sad isolation, though, and the deep joy, of the daydreamer. Reality is never enough, and the kid has no fear of dreams. I envy the kid being able to follow the dreams (even if not to act on them) even with the socially unacceptable consequences. I wish I were that loyal to my dreams.

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