This post is about “Graceland,” by Paul Simon.
I knew many of the songs from this album long before I moved to Nashville. I did, after all, grow up in a home that had records. I am not proud to admit that the first music I ever purchased with my allowance was “Conga” by The Miami Sound Machine. On a record. But anyway. Now that you know I am older than the very core of the earth, let’s get back to Paul Simon.
When I lived in Nashville, there was a certain musician who was rising to fame who attended my church. And I distinctly remember one day, somehow ending up at a table at Joe’s Crab Shack with him sitting immediately to my left. He was cute. Every girl wanted to get noticed by this guy.
I could barely concentrate. I could barely eat. But I heard this:
“Graceland is probably one of the most important albums in my life.”
Or something to that effect. Of course I made a mental note to go buy Graceland and memorize it so that the next time we had a conversation, I would be able to get all mooney-eyed and say, “oh, wow, me too.”
That never happened. Life happened. I got busy, I got distracted, and before I knew it, over three years had flown by and I was packing to move back to New York.
So much has happened since that day at lunch. I kind of forgot to be obsessed with every almost-rock star that I came across. And, somewhere along the way, Graceland, in its entirety, made it into my iTunes library. When I listen to this album (usually all the way through, at least once), I feel home. I remember pain, disappointment, tears, feeling “blown apart” and having nothing to cover me up. But I also remember hugs, being received, belonging, and taking crazy risks and being alright.
When I listen to Graceland, I am positive, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I will actually make it.
Well, Mat Kearney, I never got around to it in Nashville, but I’ll tell you now: “oh, wow, me too.”