My store is getting painted tonight and tomorrow night, and somebody has to stay here while the painting is done. That somebody is me. When I got tired of being productive, I sat down to drowsily browse the internet and listen to music on Mel’s computer while the painters continued. Around 2 a.m. I was reading up on the difference between Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky when a song caught my attention. It was “The Motorcycle Song” by Arlo Guthrie, a great American folk musician who you’ve probably never heard of. The song goes like this:
I don’t want a pickle,
Just want to ride on my motorsickle,
And I don’t want a tickle,
I’d rather ride on my motorsickle,
And I don’t want to die,
I just want to ride on my motorcy… cle
He goes on to explain to the live audience how he came to write the song. He claims that he was riding his motorcycle on a mountain road one day while playing his acoustic guitar. He lost control of the motorcycle and began to fall down the mountain. He pulled out his pen to write this song in his last remaining seconds before death.
Arlo, a man after my own heart, sings protest songs against social injustice. He recorded a cult classic called “Alice’s Restaurant,” which tells the true story of how he was turned down for military service during the Vietnam War because of a littering conviction. The recorded song is about 18 minutes long (but it is much longer when played in concert), and has become a Thanksgiving tradition on many radio stations.
“Alice’s Restaurant” and “The Motorcycle Song” are both great songs that you should check out.
Vaya con Dios, amigos.