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Saturday, 23 June 2012

TOM PETTY - WALLS



Some days are diamonds,
Some days are rocks, 
Some doors are open, 
Some roads are blocked

He nails pretty much all of life in those four opening lines. Some days are unexplainable magic that has appeared from nowhere, and you're left marvelling at life. Other days, nothing works out, the road is blocked. 

Sundowns are golden, 
Then they fade away. 
And if I never do nothin' 
I'm coming back some day. 

Cause you've got a heart so big 
it could crush this town
And I can't hold out forever
Even walls fall down. 

You can put up all the walls you want, but nothing is ever permanent. And just listen to how he sings that line, "you've got a heart so big it could crush this town," he ain't kidding! You meet someone with a big heart and it crushes you, throws your world upside down. Petty thinks he's the man, thinks he's protected; but now he's vulnerable, his walls have fallen down. 

All around your island
There's a barricade
It keeps out the danger 
Holds in the pain

Sometimes you're happy
Sometimes you cry
Part of me is ocean 
Half of me is sky

You've got a heart so big
It can crush this town
I can't hold out forever
Even walls fall down

You put up a wall, and sure, you can keep the danger outside of yourself. But you hold in the pain! That's why people need therapy; they put up the big walls, but they can't get healed; because the wounds of life get trapped inside.

Some things are over
Some things go wrong 
Part of me you carry 
Part of me is gone

You've got a heart so big
It could crush this town
I can't hold out forever
Even walls fall down 

'Part of me is gone', that's so true. Life takes from you. It takes and takes. It takes the people we love, it takes your health. Everything is temporary. I remember being at a funeral, and a distant relative of mine was talking to me about my Grandmother, who died when I was a kid. She said to me, in a quiet moment, "Y'know, I never got over your Grandmother's death. Never did." And it's stuck with me ever since. Things end, things pass by, and parts of us get lost forever. 

And what happens when we lose those parts? We close off, put up barriers, try to stop it happening again. We can go YEARS without climbing over them. People try reach us, but the walls are solid. That is until someone cares enough. Until a heart comes along that can crumble you. 

Baby you got a heart so big
It could crush this town 
I can't hold out forever
Even walls fall down. 

This is a song about the tipping point, where you decide to live again. You allow yourself to be vulnerable. 



Care to share?

3 comments:

  1. Wow. That was.... perfectly eloquent. I think I got emotional. I have never heard this song before but I don't think that will be a true statement for long. Wow. I love your "commentary"/breakdowns on songs. Helps me see them with new eyes.

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  2. Some days are diamonds... some days are stone...

    Oh wait, that's the Dick Feller song from 1975. Bobby Bare recorded it, then John Denver in 1981.

    Taking an opening chorus line is fine, though.

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    1. I'm sure Tom Petty has earned enough points as a songwriter to use a borrowed phrase!

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