Sunday, May 18, 2008

Under The Sun

There are some songs that just seem to define your life. "Under the Sun" is one of those for me. I first heard it years ago on Southside Johnny's excellent At Least We Got Shoes album. But it really came to life in places like my beloved Stone Pony, where Bobby Bandiera's beautifully evocative tenor pierced my heart. It's a song that has always seemed to resonate for me, though when I first heard it I never knew why. I guess it's only now that I really understand how accurately it presaged my own life. And I think, also, that it has always gotten to me because although it's sung to a woman, it's clearly written with the kind of self-knowledge that only a woman could have. That it was co-written by the multi-talented Patti Scialfa, then, is no great surprise. But let's not leave out Mr. Bandiera, whose own vast talents, long undersung, finally seem to have been acknowledged by the music world at large. (It's about time.)

But back to the song. I don't listen to it often even though it's one of my favorites--not just by the Jukes, but by anybody--because it takes me back to my misspent youth, to the sweaty, beer-soaked summers spent inside the Stone Pony. To a time when anything seemed possible. I'm older now, and a lot of the dreams I had then have faded. Time passes, people move on. We grow up and priorities change. But those times will always live in my memory as some of the best of my life, and no one can take them from me.

Both Patti and Bobby have gone on to bigger and better things, but in my opinion this song still ranks with their best work, and in my mind's eye, I can still see them as they were then, standing in the middle of the Stone Pony stage, leaning in to share the mic and singing this incredible lyric that still rings so true for me. If you're lucky, you can catch Southside performing this song every once in a while, too, but it's usually by request only. Maybe singing it reminds him of those days, too...

Under The Sun
(B. Bandiera/P. Scialfa)

Queen of sorrow ain't that your name
In a world of darkness with no one to blame
You watch from a distance and wonder how come
Some people walk so easily under the sun

Tell me darlin' what are you thinking of
When you give your loyalty to strangers
And betray the ones you love
Is it because of all those strangers
They help you go on hiding from
Your loss of faith to your rightful place
Under the sun

Once you walked so proud to a rebel drum
But all your victories were too hard won
And all the precious gifts of the land
Fell through your tired hands

Queen of sorrow ain't that your name
What's born in anger ends in shame
Trust me darlin' we shall overcome
Take my hand and face your rightful place
Under the sun

Bandiera Songs BMI/Rumble Doll ASCAP

No comments:

Post a Comment