I have an unabashed love for Blue Rodeo. They are one of the quintessential Canadian bands, part of my life as much as the Smiths and the Clash are. They write perfect little roots-influenced, country-twinged songs. Their best album, Five Days in July, can stand with any other Alt country album an American can produce. And of all the songs on Five Days in July, my favourite is the beautiful and haunting “5 Days in May”.
It’s a song about connection and love in an era of increasing immediacy (the song dates from 1993). Inspired by a road crew member’s habit of writing his wife’s name in the sand of every beach where the band would stay. lyricist Jim Cuddy creates a lovely and wistful story of being unprepared for that hit of love. Sometimes you “find the face you’ve seen a thousand times”. Sometimes you surprise the naysayers. Sometimes it doesn’t happen. Sometimes you walk away. But when you know, you know. “I know my past you were there in everything I’ve done, you are the one” Cuddy sings to end each chorus, as pedal steel and piano surge up in minor key, swirling around brushed drums and an elegant bass line. It’s a beautiful song.
This will be my last post for a long while. I decided to step away and pull myself together, but I though I would leave everyone with a New Year’s Eve gift of one more song. I chose this one because of where my mind is in my personal life at the moment. Blue Rodeo evokes home and beauty, which is what I want to evoke for myself at this moment.
Thanks for reading, everyone. I’ll be back one day. I promise.
Have a happy 2017. Pray nuclear war doesn’t happen.