Wednesday, June 09, 2010

What's A Sister Golden Hair To Do?

The band America has come up in several conversations in the past week. Just a few minutes ago I was on hold and heard Sister Golden Hair. America has written unforgettably, catchy songs. The music is always first. The lyrics had me perplexed. I spent many an hour with their liner notes pondering over the meaning of the lyrics.

I loved America. I had 1st row center seats at the Nassau Coliseum to see them and I took some very blurry photos. A girl I went to high school with was a scalper and scored the tickets.

Sister Golden Hair was the #1 hit from Hearts, which I played over and over until it had indelible scratches on it. Surprisingly this album is not available on CD in the US and if you want to buy it on iTunes it's an EP of three songs. Dissect Sister Golden Hair's lyrics and it sounds like Gerry Beckley wants to have his cake and eat it too, but I could be misinterpreting. America's lyrics, no matter who wrote them were always a challenge to decipher.

The song starts off with him feeling a little depressed on Sunday so he got himself undressed (which many people thought he was saying got himself on grass) and decides that Monday will be the day. He's not ready to commit to being married, but he thinks that he and the woman could be friends. Unwritten meaning: he'd like them to be friends with benefits. The story unfolds. He's been thinking about Sister Golden Hair (she has a name!) surprise. Does that mean he's surprised that he's thinking about her or that she's a surprise? He says he can't live without her and she should be able to see it in his eyes, although he's been too too hard to find. Hard to look someone in the eye if they are not around. After all his avoidance, she's still on his mind. Here's where it gets even more confusing, He wants her to meet him in the middle, in the air (I bet she's an angel). Could she love him a little just to show she cared? After asking all of this from her he says he tried to fake it and doesn't mind saying that he just can't make it. The music can't be anymore upbeat. Maybe that was his convoluted Dear John musical letter to someone. Would love to know if there was a person who was the inspiration. I bet she wasn't that into him in the first place. Regardless of the lyrics, it is a great song, which I'm sure was helped by a timeless George Martin production.

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