We Dream We’re the People in Songs

When I was born, they looked at me and said, “What a good boy.” Or at least that’s what I’m told; I can’t remember. There are places I remember. People and things. I remember blue skies. I remember lying awake at night. The cold, cold night. Remember yesterday.

Do you remember? Do you remember the time? Do you remember lying in bed with your covers pulled up over your head? Do you remember rock ‘n’ roll? Who are you?

As for me, I used to be a little boy: “Nobody understands except the toys in my hands!”

Wild and full of fire. A problem child. Now I’m bored and old. I want the fire back.

I messed around as a little boy; little boy made a mistake. I’m sorry, Mama. Father, please forgive me. (It must have grieved them so to think their only boy was bad.) I made a big mistake: I did too many drugs. Did you do too many drugs, too? I did too many drugs. (What’s gone wrong? I can’t see straight. How much did you give me? I reached for my hand, but it was already there. How’d I get home? Was I laughing, or was I choking?)

I did too many drugs, but there’s something I gotta say: don’t worry about me. I grew up. The child is grown. Sober. Now I’m kindler, gentler and so happy. Everything is so lovely.

Yeah, whatever.

Fell in love with a girl. She asked me to stay. I held her in my arms. We fucked up the sun, and then we fucked it down again. (It’s safe to say, don’t quote me on that. But I held her in my arms. That much is true.)

Fell in love with a girl; the most beautiful girl in the world? I love you. Being with you touches me more than I can say. Honey, now you’re my best friend. Let’s get married.

I love you, my beloved wife. I love you so much, it makes me sick. Whatever words I say, I will always love you. And if we change, well, I love you anyway.

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you…

My child arrived just the other day. I felt just like a baby until I held a baby. Baby girl, your dada loves you. You are my only daughter. Every breath that is in your lungs is a tiny little gift to me.

We’re a happy family. It’s not easy. But there’s something I gotta say: what can’t we face if we’re together? There’s nothing we can’t face. I love you, and you love me, and that’s the way it’s got to be.

In my life, I’ve been to school, and baby, I’ve been the teacher. Kids love it, but there’s something I gotta say: I’m so sick and tired of being admired. I don’t wanna be you’re hero; I got a life of my own. I don’t wanna be your hero; I don’t wanna ever let you down (If I go crazy, then will you still call me Superman?) I don’t wanna be your hero; why not be your own?

I don’t wanna be your hero; I need a hero. I’m a little boy. No, I’m a great big man. No, let’s be little boy. Please, God, help me.

I need a hero.

I used to be a little boy, now I’m a grown man with a child of my own. Everything’s so lovely.

…if everything is so lovely, then why don’t I feel lovely? Indecision clouds my vision. My life is falling to pieces. I’m tired of being alive. Don’t try to feed me. Just leave me alone. Don’t want your help. Don’t need your help. Don’t want your help. Don’t need your help. Don’t want your help. Don’t need your help.

…help me. Help. Help. Help. Help.

Someone saved my life. I’m the one. Why not be the hero? Why not be your own? It’s amazin’: with the blink of an eye, you finally see the light. It’s amazin’ when the moment arrives that you know you’ll be alright.

I get by with a little help from my friends. Do you reckon me a friend?

Who are you? I don’t care about the clothes you wear. It’s the size of your heart, not the length of your hair. A hairstyle’s not a lifestyle. Don’t make no difference to me what color that you be. Black, white or brown, it’s all the same to me. Who are you?

As for me, I’m so tired of acting tough. I never said I ever wanted to be a man. I just wanna be alive. I just wanna have something to do.

Who are you? I can tell that we are gonna be friends.

Who are you? Do you like American music? Does emotional music have quite an effect on you? Music makes the people come together. I love American music best. I love rock ‘n’ roll. You can’t stop rock ‘n’ roll. You can’t kill rock ‘n’ roll. Rock ‘n’ roll ain’t noise pollution. Rock ‘n’ roll ain’t gonna die. Rock’ n’ roll is my religion and my law.

I said it once before, but it bears repeating: I love rock ‘n’ roll.

But there’s something I gotta say: music scenes ain’t real life. Won’t get rid of the bomb. Won’t eliminate rape or bring down the bank. Any kind of real change takes more time and work than changing channels on a TV set.

(But it’s still rock ‘n’ roll to me.)

Thought I’d something more to say. My story’s nearly told.

Where do we go from here? What’s the future of mankind? What happens when we die? How do I know? I don’t know anything. Have you ever thought about your soul? You tell me you’re a nonbeliever? A spiritualist? Well me, I’m neither. I don’t believe in an interventionist god. I’m not a slave to a god that doesn’t exist. But there’s something I gotta say: you gotta keep an open mind. It would be nice to know what happens when we die, wouldn’t it? I hope that my life’s not an open-and-shut case. There’s got to be just more to it than this. I’d like to think that when I die, I’ll get a chance another time to return and live again, reincarnate and play the game again and again and again…

I think it’s gonna rain when I die. They’ll interview my teachers, who’ll say I was one of God’s sorrier creatures. They’ll sound a funeral horn, and the sea will rage and the sky will storm. Both man and beast will mourn. They’ll bang a big old gong, and the motorcade will be ten miles long. The whole world will come together for a farewell song when I go.

I think it’s gonna rain when I die.

Songs Quoted:

Barenaked Ladies, “What A Good Boy”

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, “The Mercy Seat”

The Beatles, “In My Life”

Everclear, “Father of Mine”

The Ramones, “I Remember You”

The White Stripes, “In the Cold, Cold Night”

Skid Row, “I Remember You”

The Ramones, “Do You Remember Rock n’ Roll Radio”

Michael Jackson, “Remember the Time”

Black Sabbath, “Who Are You?”

Iron Maiden, “The Apparition”

Smashing Pumpkins, “Disarm”

Faith No More, “Zombie Eaters”

Marty Robbins, “The Master’s Call”

AC/DC, “Problem Child”

Nirvana, “Serve The Servants”

Sarah Michelle Gellar, “Walk Through the Fire”

Alice In Chains, “Real Thing”

Alice In Chains, “Angry Chair”

Eminem, “Cleaning Out My Closet”

Eminem, “Evil Deeds”

Alice In Chains, “Would?”

Violent Femmes, “American Music”

Alice In Chains, “Hate to Feel”

Ozzy Osbourne, “Perry Mason”

4 Non Blondes, “Drifting”

Linda Perry, “Fill Me Up”

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, “Stagger Lee”

Joey Ramone, “Don’t Worry About Me”

Pink Floyd, “Comfortably Numb”

Tool, “Sober.”

Suicidal Tendencies, “Lovely”

Liam Lynch, “The United States of Whatever”

The White Stripes, “Fell In Love with A Girl”

The Beatles, “Norwegian Wood”

Violent Femmes, “I Held Her in My Arms”

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, “Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere”

Nirvana, “On a Plain”

Prince, “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World”

Black Flag, “I Love You”

James Marsters, “Rest In Peace”

Guns n’ Roses, “Think About You”

The White Stripes, “Hotel Yorba”

Natalie Merchant, “My Beloved Wife”

Nirvana, “Aneurysm”

The Cure, “Lovesong”

Alice In Chains, “No Excuses”

Pink Floyd, “Time”

Harry Chapin, “Cats In the Cradle”

The White Stripes, “Broken Bricks”

Eminem, “’97 Bonnie and Clyde”

Ozzy Osbourne, “Denial”

The White Stripes, “Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground”

The Ramones, “We’re A Happy Family”

Suicidal Tendencies, “It’s Not Easy”

Sarah Michelle Gellar, “What Can’t We Face”

The Ramones, “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)”

Bon Jovi, “Lay Your Hands On Me”

Eminem, “My Dad’s Gone Crazy”

Eminem, “The Way I Am”

Ozzy Osbourne, “Hero”

3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite”

Porno For Pyros, “Packin’ .25”

Bonnie Tyler, “Holding Out For A Hero”

Alice Cooper, “Steven”

Black Sabbath, “Black Sabbath”

Faith No More, “Falling To Pieces”

Danzig, “Tired Of Being Alive”

Suicidal Tendencies, “Alone”

Faith No More, “Helpless”

Elton John, “Someone Saved My Life Tonight”

Danzig, “I’m The One”

Aerosmith, “Amazin'”

The Beatles, “With A Little Help from My Friends”

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, “The Song Of Joy”

Suicidal Tendencies, “Join the Army”

Dead Kennedys, “Chickenshit Conformist”

The White Stripes, “The Air Near My Fingers”

Sarah Michelle Gellar, “Going Through the Motions”

The Ramones, “I Just Want To Have Something to Do”

The White Stripes, “I Can Tell That We Are Going To Be Friends”

Faith No More, “Land Of Sunshine”

Madonna, “Music”

Joan Jett And The Blackhearts, “I Love Rock N’ Roll”

Twisted Sister, “You Can’t Stop Rock N’ Roll”

Ozzy Osbourne, “You Can’t Kill Rock N’ Roll”

AC/DC, “Rock N’ Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”

Billy Joel, “It’s Still Rock N’ Roll to Me”

Michelle Trachtenberg, Anthony Stewart Head et al, “Where Do We Go From Here?”

Ozzy Osbourne, “I Don’t Know”

Black Sabbath, “After Forever”

Iron Maiden, “Infinite Dreams”

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, “Into My Arms”

Marilyn Manson, “Fight Song”

Alice In Chains, “Rain When I Die”

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, “Lay Me Low”