Truly classic prose stands the test of time. There are phrases that will always ring in our minds:
Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled.
Words by writers like Shakespeare, Dylan Thomas, and Robert Frost have a way of transcending generations. They are among literary giants that will be known throughout history. Into the esteemed halls of greatness, I think it's high time we place the composition team of Jagger and Richards. Yes, that Jagger and Richards.
When I was little I heard all the classic rock stations play Rolling Stones songs and they were catchy. Understanding the lyrics to Sympathy for the Devil made us history geeks feel a tad superior. Paint it Black was a thumping precursor to The Cure. But like much classic literature, true appreciation can only come with maturity and life experience. At this juncture in my life, Mick, your words speak to me. Mother's Little Helper (disturbingly) speaks to me.
As has been done with many time-honored classics like Beowulf and Hamlet, let's dissect this genius by line and measure, shall we?
Kids are different today, I hear every mother say.
Mother needs something today to calm her down.
Mick- you had me at hello.
So she buys an instant cake.
F'ing school bake sales. I hear ya, Mick. Don't forget to make sure it's peanut free
And she burns her frozen steak.
There are times things like that can reduce me to tears. Not tears for feeding burned food to my family. Suck it up, people. It's "seared." The tears come up the realization that an empty freezer means I need to waste two hours of my life at Costco tomorrow.
They just don't appreciate that you get tired.
They're so hard to satisfy, you can tranquilize your mind.
First let me say I give Mike and Keith credit for editting down to a refrain and four verses. My list of would have been a War and Peace-length bitchfest with a back beat. Beyond that, no, they will never be satisfied.
"Life's just much to hard today," I hear every mother say.
The pursuit of happiness just seems a bore.
This fascinates me, because I would not have pegged Mick as one to attend swim meets, gymnastics meets or any other competition that involves sitting for 3 hour intervals to watch your child's 30 seconds of activity. We may feel guilty admitting it, but there are indeed times when pursuing happiness and supporting our kids in their pursuit is a god-awful bore. I wonder what Mick did to whittle the hours with no Iphone or Blackberry back in the day. Did he cheer on all the kids like the good parents, since he couldn't blog with thumbs like, well, you know?
And though she's not really ill, there's a little yellow pill.
Sure there is. One-a-Day, right? Uh huh. I love that Keith Richards cameo'ed as Jack Sparrow's dad, because my little pill is skipped for a hot date with another pirate. I <3 Captain Morgan.
What a drag it is getting old.
Et tu, Mick? Mya Angelou's got nothing on these prescient words.
I hope that this proves genius is in our midst, right at our fingertips. So the next time you find yourself behind the wheel with the radio playing, be on the look out for the next flashes of timeless magic. For every inane Justin Bieber song out there, there is also pure prose that will touch your heart as it does mine. Next week, my Summer literature series continues. Join me for an analysis of the inspirational musings of a timeless American master poet: Jimmy Buffet.