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Just Trying To Get By


This summer has been crazy busy. Between swimming, writing, working on extra projects, being a Mom, and complaining about Republicans, I've barely had a moment to myself. That's why, I'm chagrined to admit, I only got a chance to listen to the Dave Matthews Band's Warehouse 8 CD yesterday. I have so much DMB on my ipod, that I mistakenly thought that I could stand to wait a little while before giving the new tracks a whirl. But before I knew it, a little while turned into a few months, which is pretty hilarious, considering how I checked the mailbox as if I was waiting on an acceptance letter to Harvard beforehand.

At any rate, now that I'm up to speed, I have to report that my mind has been blown once again by this band. I am loving all of the tracks, but "Crazy Easy," just might be my favorite. If you've been reading my articles, you may have noticed that I focus heavily on lyrics, because they tend to hit me the hardest. Although I love the sweet sounds of the saxophone, flute, violin, guitars, drums, and other instruments, for me, it's always been the lyrics that cut right to my core.

It's no wonder that this, 7/16/2004 version of "Crazy Easy," from Hartford, Connecticut, is considered probably the best variation, lyrically, of the song. The verses are completely different from earlier cuts, where themes seems to center around love affairs gone awry. It amazes me how Dave can take the same song, and make it mean so many different things. A closer look at all of the "Crazy Easy" alternates would probably uncover many underlying motifs that I haven't mentioned here.

But on this particular night, the phrases that Dave sings are wonderfully true, whole, and compassionate. The song starts like this:

Oh said the man

sittin' at the bar

lookin' rough to the man next to him

Saying, "Brother could you spare a dime?

Do you have the time?

Maybe you could buy me a drink

Things ain't rollin' so well..."

"Oh, get out my face"

you know that's what he said

and he turned his back on the boy, little soul

But don't you know the table could be turned

and he could be the one

standing there beggin' for work

This idea that any one of us could, at some point in our lives, be the one who needs help is not only true, but, I think, the key to having a more compassionate view of the world. Many people seem to think that they are where they are in life because of hard work, and while that may be true to an extent, it is certainly not the whole picture. For people who are born into low socioeconomic class families, it is next to impossible in this country to succeed. Yes, it happens, but, very rarely. Nobody really knows why one person is born into wealth while another is born into poverty. Some believe it has to do with deeds from a past life, while others, myself included, believe that it's related to a pact that our soul makes on his or her path to enlightenment. Either way, we would all do well to remember that good times may be the gold, but how we treat others during their rocky times is a much more accurate measure of our own worth, than the numbers in our bank accounts. Because in the end, it all adds up to nothing.  

Hayley Bauman, Psy.D.