I was sitting in the bar the other day after work and I noticed a few unfamiliar faces. There were a few guys, in suits, who all came in together. Turns out they were meeting one of the regulars there for a few pre-game pops before they shuffled off to a college hockey game. No big deal. At first.
They started playing pool and they started getting loud and then they started throwing money into the jukebox.
In all the months that I've been going to this bar, I have NEVER heard this jukebox being played. But they guys were having fun, so more power to them. But some of us are trying to talk. So keep it down, yeah?
Then it happened. The most popular/infamous song of all time came on. "Free Bird."
I'm pretty sure jukeboxes are built with that song already in it.
A banker, a lawyer, and an office manager were all singing the song at the top of their lungs. It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but it's true. Looking around the bar, I could see some of the old-timers mouthing the words. The song is infectious:
If I stayed here with you girl/ Things just couldn't be the same/ 'Cause I'm as free as a bird now/ And this bird, you'll can not change/ And this bird you cannot change/ And this bird you cannot change/ Lord knows, I can't change/ Lord help me, I can't change/ Lord I can't change
Some may say those are some powerful lyrics.
"Yeah, man! You can't change me... I'm a Free Bird..!"
Um, don't look now, Mister Office Manager, but you're not a teenager anymore. You're in a bar getting drunk IN A SUIT. I'm pretty sure the first time this song hit you, you weren't wearing uncomfortable dress shoes, a gray pinstripe suit and a flashy tie with matching pocket square.
Maybe I'm wrong, because I don't know you AT ALL, but I'm pretty sure I'm right.
Not that I'm one to talk.
Anytime I hear "Love is a Battlefield" I get all pumped up and I sing it out with just as much volume and passion as the guys at the bar. I love that song:
We are young, heartache to heartache we stand/ No promises, no demands love is a battlefield/ We are strong, no one can tell us we're wrong/ Searching our hearts for so long, both of us knowing/ Love is a battlefield
YES. Love is a battlefield. No one understands us. Grown-ups suck. We're full of heartache and pain and more heartache. No promises. No demands. That's me. This song is SO perfect. No one can tell me I'm wrong!
And then I notice my reflection in the window or run my fingers through my "hair" and I realize I'm not fifteen anymore. I realize I'm not the one that song is about anymore. I realize I probably don't have the right to shout those lyrics out at the top of my lungs anymore.
I guess I shouldn't get too judgmental with the suits at the bar for feeling younger or freer or cooler than they are when a song of their youth comes on. We all get like that sometimes.