“Fred Jones, Part 2” :: Ben Folds :: My Top 5

Top 5

“Fred Jones, Part 2” :: Ben Folds :: My Top 5

Fred Jones, Part 2 (live) :: Ben Folds

Ben Folds, My Top 5

1. Rockin’ the Suburbs is one of those albums that makes my heart swell when I listen to it. I’m always re-discovering the album and the songs within it. I just get it, all of it, so deeply. I can’t always explain what each song means to me, but I know that sometimes I just need to hear them.

2. I know this song is about a man being laid off after years at a company, and how forgotten he is, but sometimes I listen to it and all I feel it, and see it, as death, and how the living just keeps going on without you, and how maybe you were never ready to go, but now it’s time, ready or not. It reminds me of that scene at the end of Ghost World when Enid gets on the bus that never comes to that stop anymore and goes away, whether she was ready, or not. That scene always symbolized death to me, as well.

3. I wish Ben Folds would write a book of short stories. Hell, I wish Ben Folds would co-write a book of short stories with me.

4. I saw Ben play live with Tori Amos on the Lotta Pianos tour. He was incredible. I hope to see him play again someday soon.

5. When I was a teenager, I think about 15 years of age, my Mom and I were walking out to the car together in our driveway. Across the street, from us, we saw this man. At first glance, he looked like a rather ordinary business man: 3-piece suit, neat and tidy hair, freshly shaven face, non-descript briefcase. It wasn’t until we noticed his feet that it became obvious that something was not right. He was barefoot. There was this moment of recognition when we noticed, and I think he noticed us noticing. It was silent for a second and then he said, “what do you want from me? Want me to do a soft shoe? What?” His voice was indignant, pained, angry, hurt. At the time I didn’t understand at all. I think I laughed, most likely due to nervousness and not getting it. I think about it now, though, and I do get it, especially after being laid off from jobs as many times as I have. The responsibilities and all the things that people want from you, well they don’t fall away, even if you are falling apart. This song reminds me of that man.

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