Sunday, May 27, 2018

When we were kids

Driving around the suburbs of Washington, D.C. and into the district last week, I grew nostalgic for the music I loved during my era I lived in town. So I cued up my Slickee Boys playlist, struck again by this great, lesser-known song which first appeared on Here To Stay, a hard-to-find, German-release compilation in the early 80s. (The band re-recorded it for 1985’s Uh Oh...No Breaks!) I came late to the original version, years after I’d left the area, but it’s become one of my favorites. The insistent, driving arrangement beats like a teenager's heart, and the lyrics perfectly evoke adolescence and its heady blend of innocence and cockiness, mystery and disappointments, oft-ignored limits and dimly-understood facts. Mark Noone (center) always had direct access to the world as felt by kids and near-adults; here he and the band really capture that overwhelming sense. And it rocks.

Kids

Everything our parents told us
Every way they tried to mold us
We were all so pliable when we were kids
Running in the street at night
We were cute when we used to fight
No one thought we were dangerous when we were kids
Being good as loonies can be
We got away with stealing candy
We got away with murder when we were kids
We believed in what we were taught
Believed in God, believe it or not
All we believed was wrong when we were kids

Go to teach at Sunday school
Stoned lifeguards at the pool
We didn’t know minds could be altered when we were kids
How to drink and how to drive
How to keep yourself alive
We never had to pay rent when we were kids
We gave ‘em hell at the liquor store
What is this thing between my legs for?
We couldn’t know enough when we were kids
Getting drunk, stay out all night
Or settle down and marry Mr. Right
We couldn’t wait to grow up when we were kids

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