Bob Lefsetz: Welcome To My World - "Little Bitty Dreams"
Not all of us can be rich and famous, not all of us can grab the brass ring.
And personally I'm sick of the wankers singing about their lifestyle, flaunting their wealth, warbling their phony, broad stroke lyrics which say little and are completely unrelatable.
That's right, I spent an hour going through the rock hits of the day and was horrified how low the bar had sunk, how there wasn't even innovation musically, never mind lyrically, bring back 10cc.
And then I switched to country, where the formula was in full swing. The songs were written by committee with the audience in mind, trying to pull a heartstring here or there or creating a beer-drinking anthem just as fulfilling as Bud Light, which is not very much. I thought of all the great country artists of yore, who told the story of their lives, couldn't one of them be covered by one of the capped tooth wonders? And then I heard "Little Bitty Dreams."
Will Hoge has made almost ten albums. His major label deal is far in the past. He's never had a hit. He doesn't look like a movie star and his voice is imperfect. But he's gotten better, isn't that what life's about?
I was enraptured from the initial picking. That's all you need, an acoustic guitar and a story to tell.
"I spent my small town Saturdays watching a big 'ol movie screen
Hoping someday I'd be up there living all my dreams"
We all have them. Dreams. A desire to go from here to there. To gain some recognition, to gain more money, to live a better life.
"And I could be a Hollywood hero, make the girls all smile and weep
Think that someday they might have a boy like me"
Acceptance. That's what we want most, even more than wealth and physical beauty. Do you like us? Do you want to hang with us? What can we do to achieve this? Do we have to reinvent ourselves, change our look?
"And I'd remember playing baseball, standing on the pitcher's mound
Thinking someday a fastball might get me out of this town
And maybe I could wear the pinstripes, be a Yankee true and proud
But all that seems a million dreams away right now"
I lived to play baseball. Every day after school. Long before parents drove you around in minivans to tournaments, before high schoolers went to Florida for spring training, I fantasized I could make it.
And then I realized I couldn't.
"Cause I met you and then I knew my big dreams were done"
What is life about? Achievement or happiness? Is family a bigger dream than career?
"And I'd settle down in the same small town and swear you were the one"
The goal is to get out, that's what I always thought, I was champing at the bit to go to the big city, to get away from the insularity. And I don't regret my choice, but there is a benefit in familiarity, living where you feel comfortable, where everybody knows your name.
"Some might call it giving up, but it don't feel that way to me
I think it's just the two of us and our little bitty dreams"
I've been on this planet for decades but it wasn't until I heard these lines that this life choice finally made sense. Maybe success is achieved in different ways, maybe stardom isn't the only way to emerge victorious.
And we hear about people giving up all the time. But maybe they know something we don't, maybe they aren't afraid of competition, they just see another way to play the game of life.
"Cause I met you and then I knew my big dreams were done
I'd settle down in the same small town and and try to raise a son
Some might call it giving up, but it don't feel that way to me
I think it's just the three of us and our little bitty dreams"
Maybe that's what it's all about. Finding someone you love and having a family. Staying together, growing something.
I couldn't stop playing "Little Bitty Dreams." It was quiet and personal, I could relate to it, it seemed like I was entering someone else's private world instead of them beating down the door to mine. My mind was set loose and my body relaxed. I was reminded what music could do.
And you can do this too. If you focus on yourself instead of us, if you follow your dream instead of ours, if you tell us what you feel instead of what we want to hear.