Bouncing Soles for the Bouncing Souls

Whenever a concert approaches, I’ll admit it…I go into “concert fashion mode.” Much like the girly teenage girl choosing what to wear for a normal school day, I sift through my closet, praying it won’t be a “fat day.” But I was never that fashionable girl. I was the girl whose mother once inquired, “Are you still gonna wear those concert tees when you’re a woman?”

The truth is, I never thought I made much of a lady, nor did I care. I was quite content with rock tees and ripped-out knee jeans. Now that I am an adult I realize that it’s natural to “grow up” but you have to keep celebrating the things that keep you happy, and in turn, young at heart. Music, for me, will always do this. And music should always be celebrated. As a result, certain fashions will automatically bring you to the element. For example, corduroy and my Docs always put me there. I might be braving the snow but in my head I’m imagining Eddie cruising across the stage in his boots.

Does everyone think that combat boots are sexy with a knee-length, frilly black skirt? Probably not, but I do. In fact, I feel sexier in these than I would cashmere sweaters (and yes, I did just hear the song in my head. Do you hear the guitar riffs? Thanks, Jimmy Page) or heels. Heels and I don’t really get along. It’s like a giraffe on stilts, really. Damn my eternal clumsiness.

Somewhere in the reserves of my mind, I remembered that my long-desired-for 20-eyelet, charcoal black Dr. Martens sport the motto: “with bouncing soles.” I smile at the irony of wearing them to a Bouncing Souls show (this Friday in Jermyn, PA).

And, as expected, rather than dote on fashion, I’d favor talking about music. When was the first time you heard the Bouncing Souls? I had a college roommate, heavily into punk, who introduced me. (Thanks, Coll!) We’d swing our hips to the vacuum on a hungover Saturday afternoon, not well enough to jump and shout “Ole”, but okay enough to sway to the lilting chorus of “Fight to Live.” What a great song that is, and I hope they play it. It would be a fantastic opener! Check out the lyrics:

“Tonight we’re alone and the music is right tonight
do you feel good do you feel alright tonight?
i’m out on the streets tonight
i’m with a few friends so it feels alright
shoutin out loud to the song doesn’t do it
they say to sing and i say screw it
same old places, not much to dream about
is there anything left to fight about?
fight to live is the only fight i’ve got left to live
hey hey (x3)
well i’ve never been the same since that first show
i closed my eyes and let myself go
to a place where i’m never alone or scared
somehow i had a reason to care
i’d get so lost in it (x4)
live to fight, fight to live (x2)
tonight we’re alone and the music is right tonight
do you feel good do you feel alright tonight? (x2)
i’m on the train and i got my headphones
people all around, but i’m good all alone
i won’t worry where i need to be
wherever i am, that’s the place to be
go go
(wherever i am that’s the place to be)
go go (x3)
tonight we’re alone and the music is right tonight
do you feel good do you feel alright tonight (x2)
we feel good we feel alright tonight.”

Or, better yet, check out the song:

On a more recent note, about a year ago, my (conservative) colleague’s phone rang with the chorus to “Ole.” My eyes got big and I went into-full-excited-about-music mode. “Wow! You have a Bouncing Souls ringtone!” She gave me a puzzled look.

“They play this at the Penguins games.”

“Yeah, it’s the Bouncing Souls! (losing some excitement)”

“Oh.”

Why is it so hard to find people as energized about music as I am? I grew up in a household where Mom would sing to the vacuum attachment or twirl me in the grocery store aisle. I wouldn’t have it anyway. Bounce on, musical soul. Going to the Bouncing Souls in my bouncing soles. It’s okay to grow up but you should never forsake the styles and things that make you feel truly alive.

Be well and bounce on,

Rachael

P.S. Speaking of fashion, tell me this song doesn’t make you smile, even if only a little:

(It kinda makes me want some cherry red Docs.)

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This is not a blog about Billy Joel…

…well, not really. I recently heard “We Didn’t Start the Fire” on the radio and it filled me with a warmth that brought me straight back to my eight-year-old days of eating too many Oreos, wearing royal purple sweat suits (hey, it was still the 80s, okay?) and, yes, being a radio monger. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t like this song, and if you don’t, do me a favor and don’t tell me, okay?

“We Didn’t Start the Fire” is a genius piece of musical history. This song premiered in the days where you wouldn’t run to a computer and download it. Oh no, you had to sit, cassette tape in hand, and wait for the Top Eight at Eight on your local radio station. Along with misheard lyrics, I will admit my sin. As a little girl, I was always puzzled by the supposed lyrics, “Though we did ignite it but we tried to fight it.” Later, I thought he said, “Though we didn’t mind it but we tried to fight it.” Will the real lyrics put their matchbooks away and please stand up? “No we didn’t light it but we tried to fight it.” Yes, I know my versions don’t really make sense, especially not the first one, but hey, I was young and boppin’ my head to the tune, unaware of how politically loaded the number was as well.

These days, thinking about some of my 80s favorites, this one burns up the list. (Too much? Oh, I’m sorry.) I think also on a silly goal I have of something to do before I die. I want to memorize and recite/perform R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I feel fine).” Only, no, Michael Stipe, it isn’t “time I had some time alone.” I’ve had plenty of that, though I do congratulate you on a unique background lyric toward the latter half of the song. Anyway, “We Didn’t Start the Fire” reminds me of “It’s the End…” because of the listing technique. Either of these songs could’ve totally flopped in a recitation, but these musical geniuses have added them to our top 100 favorites because of their ability to put them to driving and memorable beats, as well as picking out hook words and personalities to catch and keep our attention.

Take a look at the video and lyrics. Tell me what you think! A piece of genius whose flames should be fanned for generations to come? What are some other excellent songs you know that reference fire? Share them here!

Be well and rock on,

Rachael

“We Didn’t Start The Fire” by Billy Joel

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

Rosenbergs, H-Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, “The King and I”, and “The Catcher in the Rye”

Eisenhower, vaccine, England’s got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye

CHORUS
We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Josef Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc

Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dacron
Dien Bien Phu Falls, Rock Around the Clock

Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland

Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Khrushchev
Princess Grace, Peyton Place, Trouble in the Suez

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Zhou Enlai, Bridge On The River Kwai

Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California Baseball,
Starkweather homicide, Children of Thalidomide

Buddy Holly, Ben Hur, Space Monkey, Mafia
Hula Hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go

U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Hemingway, Eichmann, Stranger in a Strange Land,
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion

Lawrence of Arabia, British Beatlemania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson

Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British Politician sex
J.F.K. blown away, what else do I have to say

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock

Begin, Reagan, Palestine, Terror on the airline
Ayatollah’s in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan

Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal suicide
Foreign debts, homeless Vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz

Hypodermics on the shores, China’s under martial law
Rock and Roller cola wars, I can’t take it anymore

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning since the world’s been turning.
We didn’t start the fire
But when we are gone
It will still burn on, and on, and on, and on…

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire