There are certain songs that just resonate with you. Whether that song recreates a moment in time or is just one that you really like, these songs are the songs that helped create the person you are and were a constant companion in the journey called life.

Today we continue exploring those songs in my life and what they mean to me.   This is Those Certain Songs.

Today’s song: This Year

The Song:

Title: This Year

Artist: The Mountain Goats

Album: The Sunset Tree

The Lyrics:

I broke free on a Saturday morning
I put the pedal to the floor
headed north on mills avenue
and listened to the engine roar

my broken house behind me
and good things ahead
a girl named Cathy
wants a little of my time
six cylinders underneath the hood
crashing and kicking
listen to the engine whine

I am going to make it through this year
if it kills me
I am going to make it through this year
if it kills me

I played video games in a drunken haze
I was seventeen years young
hurt my knuckles punching the machines
the taste of scotch rich on my tongue

and then Cathy showed up
and we hung out
trading swigs from a bottle
all bitter and clean
locking eyes
holding hands
twin high maintenance machines

I am going to make it through this year
if it kills me
I am going to make it through this year
if it kills me

I drove home in the California dusk
I could feel the alcohol inside of me hum
pictured the look on my stepfather’s face
ready for the bad things to come
I down shifted
as I pulled into the driveway
the motor screaming out
stuck in second gear
the scene ends badly
as you might imagine
in a cavalcade of anger and fear

there will be feasting and dancing
in Jerusalem next year

I am going to make it through this year
if it kills me
I am going to make it through this year
if it kills me

What it means to me:

Have you ever had a day, a week, a month, or even a year that you felt would eventually end in your death?  A time so hard that you could not imagine anything being worse?  Sure you have, everyone has hard times and, it is getting past those times that really help build the person you will be in the future.

I remember the first time I heard this song.  I was an assistant manager at the time for a chain that no longer exists. Several of us assistance were helping one of the stores in our district and my hotel roommate discovered I had never heard of the band.  Immediately he presented me with a library of some of the most incredible music from a band I would have completely missed otherwise. Needless to say, I was hooked and, since then have come to appreciate this band and they remain in my rotation.  The irony is, this song pretty much represented my feelings at that time.   I was in a career I was having doubts about, having had to make a major move and a major pay cut in order to survive, I did not know how I was going to be able to care for my young wife and our dog.  I had just applied for a new position within the same company and was beginning to doubt that I was going to get the job. This song immediately resonated with my feelings of desperation and determination that I had to find a way to make it through.  The chorus, ‘I am going to make it through this year if it kills me’ became my mantra, one that was both a call to action and a reminder that I might not make it through despite my best efforts and that was okay.  In the end, I got the job, in fact I got the offer not a day after being introduced to this very band. That single moment was an incredible turning point in my life and one that I look back on with a sense of wonder. To me, this song reminds me that things do get better, but it might take a few sacrifices along the way.

The lesson here, don’t give up. It may not seem like it but, You are going to make it through whatever you are going through, even if it kills you. I know that sounds morbid as hell but it is a simple and true thing.  Death is inevitable, but so is life.  Or in the words of another of my favorite songs, Life is what happens when your busy making other plans.   

Late to the Game 3/7/2020


Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed  Those Certain Songs.  If you would like to read more about music you can find my Music Reviews Here.

Additionally, I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and also check out some retro tv goodness with the ongoing series Retro TV Reviews. 

As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these movies as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow us if you like the blog!

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