Listening to the album 14 Songs by Paul Westerberg always takes me right back to my first apartment. Small one bedroom, upstairs, no air conditioning so in the summer it was almost unbearable. We used the ironing board that folded out of one of the walls in the kitchen as a table sometimes, drinking coffee and eating toast, or frozen waffles. We were playing house and playing at love. We had no clue of what any of it was supposed to be, and we did so much of it wrong. But, every so often, a song – like “Things” – will remind me of moments when we played right in that small upstairs apartment with the ironing board table and no cool air ever.
14 Songs was the first solo album from Paul Westerberg, former lead of The Replacements. The album features Ian McLagan, former keyboardist for the Faces – a band Westerberg cites as both a favorite and an inspiration to his own music. (from Wikipedia)
The albums title – 14 Songs – is said to be a reference to Nine Stories, by J.D. Salinger – the only Salinger I actually like.
“Things” was my first listen favorite, back in 1993, and still remains one of my go-to’s when listening to Paul, or the Replacements.
“Things” by Paul Westerberg
Song of the Day
“Things” by Paul Westerberg – from the album, 14 Songs (1993)
“Things I`m bound to tell you,
like that dress looks great on ya.
I could use some breathing room,
but I`m still in love with you.
Things I`d never tell you,
down the line someday –
You`ll be a song I sing,
a thing I give away.”
Paul had this to say about “Things”:
“’Things’ is one of the songs I had to coax myself into putting on the album. I didn’t want any of that confessional stuff. But I was in the car one day with (Replacements guitarist) Slim Dunlop. He said he had a song, but he didn’t want to put it on his record because it told too much. And I was going, ‘Man, that’s the one you gotta put on the record.’ And as soon as the words came out of my mouth, I knew I had to do the same thing.” (source: Man Without Ties)
To me, “Things” encapsulates in the span of a little over three minutes the start, middle, and end of a relationship – especially the kind of relationships you have when you are young. Or maybe that last bit is my memories attaching themselves to the meaning, seeing as I was in my early twenties in 1993, and was in a relationship that would start, middle, and end with the span of a little over three years.
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