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Yeah, Yeah, Transitions

Words and Music © 2007 by Tom Smith
Released under a Creative Commons Noncommercial ShareAlike license
I got the idea of loosely theming the second iTom album under the title "Transitions" because of a road trip to a house concert in Rochester, NY. Fun trip on many levels. That weekend, a lake effect blizzard came off Lake Erie like cannon blast, burying Buffalo under two feet of snow. Everywhere else around it was untouched. I ended up taking a southern road, through an Indian reservation, a strange and nifty oasis in the mountains. I saw white and purple skies laden with snow above a gorgeous national park forest that had not completely changed the colors of its leaves. And I got to thinking about the changes in the world, and in my life, and my mom's life, and many lives around me.

And when I tried to write this song, from a half-dozen serious angles, nothing worked. I even finished a couple of songs. And then I wrote a completely different song, not bad -- not even close to bad -- but not what I wanted.

And then I woke up at 2:00 a.m. and realized what I wanted was to make fun of all these pretentious song ideas trying to stick themselves in my head. I'll be pretentious on my schedule, dammit.

As I drive through the mountains, the sky is so cold
But the leaves are still green and crimson and gold
With the sun shining down, it's so cool and bizarre
That I don't even notice when I wreck my car

My mom was a singer, a painter as well,
She lived with frustration, her art didn't sell,
But then she went west and her fortune was made,
Though only one millionth of Thomas Kinkade.

And life is change and change is good
I'm tryin' to write the songs I know I should
The ones that touch your soul but all I got
Is stuff that sounds important and is not

When I was a child, we were so darn poor
I had to beg for my first Commodore 64
All my clothing was hand-me-down, never replaced,
But I got 'em from sister, and she had good taste

I remember the first time I ever had sex,
It was down at the pound with a collie named Rex
It was really romantic, except that alarm,
And it truly prepared me for life on the farm.

And I'm trying hard to be profound
While everybody yells "Shut up, sit down"
There are so many songs about what life is,
I'll never understand the music biz.

You're s'posed to write about things that affected you intensely
The changes in your life that we as humans all can feel
But every lyric that I write is used as evidence against me
And I don't mean metaphorically, my lawyer's trying to cut a deal.

And so my life's in transition, the cycle renews,
And I think I know now why I can't write the blues.
I've gone through so much since the day I was born
And my soul is reflected in my choice of porn.

And if you're in transition, it can change your life,
It can kill with a word, it can cut like a knife,
It's a day at the beach, it's a walk in the park,
And I think that my metaphor just jumped the shark.

The more things change, the more things change,
If you've got something else goin', that's mighty strange
But if you want to get on M T V
Just set some music to your therapy.

There's lots of things that happen every day,
And everybody thinks they're doin' okay
They never see it coming till it hits,
Goin' from high on the hog to bacon bits.

And all the changes that your life goes through
Are prob'ly gonna impact most on you
And when I say "impact", it's not a trope
So cover up your head and rope-a-dope

And if you still are listening to this song,
Please have your head examined, something's wrong
I don't have much to say, and I took too long
But you suspected that part all along.

And if I had a dime for every time
I wrote another line just 'cause it rhymed
I'd have a lot more dimes than I guess I should
But then I understand that change is good

And every change you make should be done with care
Especially motor oil and underwear.
Think of transitions as life's golden cup --
Now my producer says to just shut up.

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