I was living in Chicago when Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins’ album, Rabbit Fur Coat, came into my life. My friend Andrea gave it to me for my birthday, and I played it until the CD became worn and eventually lost in one of the many moves I’ve made. That CD may have disappeared into the ether, and chaos, of change, but the album itself never left me. It is one of my all-time favorite albums, full of songwriting brilliance, songs that read like short stories, beautiful harmonies by the Watson Twins, fronted by Jenny’s emotionally complex voice.
I go through phases of saying that different songs are my favorite. Always a sign of a good album, and artist, is when that happens to me. This week, right now, today, my favorite RFC song is this one – “Happy” – track 4 off of RFC. I love the hopefulness in the song that is slow dancing with the jadedness. There is a feeling of Los Angeles in this song, the hope and the jadedness that exists all at the same time in this city.
“Happy” by Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
from the album, Rabbit Fur Coat (2006)
Song of the Day
“They warn you about killers,
and thieves in the night.
I worry about cancer,
and living right
But my mama never warned me about my own
Or, the pitfalls of control,
how it locks you in your grave,
looking for someone to be saved,
and not restrained.
So I could be happy.”
I’ve wrestled with my own self-destructive tendencies, the ones that dress up in control issues and coping skills, and take a toll on me, slowly, methodically, persistently. And, I’ve looked at happiness with wonder, and with doubt, not quite sure that it was ever something to call my own. Now I sit back and feel it, breathe it in, enjoying the way it feels in my skin. To be happy.
I so want it to be a shared feeling, a small celebration. But that want feels like an unrequited wish now and I try every day for it not to take the joy from me, the lack of shared happiness. I know all the reasons. I understand them more than anyone believes. I get it and I breathe in and around and through it, telling myself over and over that I need to be patient. That I can’t expect it to be any different. And I tell myself to hang on tight to my own sense of happiness.
But, some days its really hard. Some days it feels really sad and lonely.