Like Something From A Dream

Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! ~Psalms 27:14

Oh baby don’t it feel like heaven right now
Don’t it feel like something from a dream
Yeah I’ve never known nothing quite like this
Don’t it feel like tonight might never be again
We know better than to try and pretend
Baby no one could’a ever told me ’bout this
I said yeah yeah

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “good things come to those who wait”. And, I guess old sayings become old sayings because…well, because they pretty much hold true over time. But that sure doesn’t make it easier for us. We want what we want, when we want it. Meaning, in most cases, right now. Patience is just not a virtue that many of us possess.

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

And, it doesn’t get any easier as we get older. It’s true that most of us exhibit more patience as we grow up, but deep inside, we’re still just like a bunch of five year olds. It doesn’t matter what the subject or object of our desires is: money, fame, success, material things or even love. Once we’ve caught the bug, we’re done for. We simply can’t stop thinking and fidgeting and obsessing over it.

Well yeah i might have chased a couple women around
All it ever got me was down
Then there were those that made me feel good
But never as good as I’m feeling right now
Baby you’re the only one that’s ever known how
To make me wanna live like I wanna live now
I said yeah yeah

And, our walk with God is no different. I pray every day for the wisdom to know His will for my life and for the strength to live it. But I sure do wish He would hurry along with it and clue me in. Lord knows I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life, blindly stumbling towards what I supposed might be the right choices. But do we ever stop and think that maybe there’s a reason the right course is not set before us all along. Maybe there’s a reason we need to learn to be patient? Perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned here. Especially when it come to matters of the heart.

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you get one more yard
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

Many of us feel like we’ll never find that special someone. That perfect match that complements us, that completes us, that fulfills and loves us unconditionally. Or, as it’s commonly referred to in today’s vernacular, our soulmate. I think the lesson is sort of like one many parents impart to their children: the lesson being that the reason you aren’t given a certain thing at a certain time – that time being right now – is because you are not truly ready to appreciate it.  You’re not ready to truly value and cherish and take care of it the way you should.  Maybe, it’s only when we are ready to fully give our love, that we are ready to fully receive it from someone else.

Oh don’t let it kill you baby, don’t let it get to you
Don’t let it kill you baby, don’t let it get to you
I’ll be your bleedin’ heart, I’ll be your cryin’ fool
Don’t let this go too far
Don’t let it get to you

Tom Petty knows a little bit about waiting. He got to meet Elvis Presley in 1961 on the film set for the movie Follow That Dream and knew right away that he wanted to be a musician and singer. A few years later, when he saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, that just solidified it in his mind. As Tom said in an interview on NPR, “I really saw in The Beatles that here’s something I could do. I knew I could do it.”

But, it wasn’t until he had paid his dues in the garage bands around Gainesville, Florida for many years, including stints in the Epics and Mudcrutch, that Petty finally found his way into the band that ultimately became Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. In 1976, the band released their eponymous debut with minor success, but their first hit single, “Breakdown” came only after it was re-released in 1977 and finally reached #40 on the hit charts after the band finished a tour opening for Nils Lofgren in 1978.

“The Waiting” was the lead single from Petty’s 1981 album, Hard Promises. According to a Songfacts interview with Tom, he said: “That was a song that took a long time to write.  Roger McGuinn (The Byrds) swears he told me the line – about the waiting being the hardest part – but I think I got the idea from something Janis Joplin said on television. I had the chorus very quickly, but I had a very difficult time piecing together the rest of the song. It’s about waiting for your dreams and not knowing if they will come true. I’ve always felt it was an optimistic song.”

I’ve always loved this song and it has long been one of my favorites, coming out at a time in my life when I was just starting to learn what yearning for love really was – and how truly hard waiting for it can be.

And now, even at this point in my life, I still find a lot of joy and hope in the message. Not that I’ve gotten any more patient. I still don’t like it.  The waiting, that is.

Enjoy the original video from Tom and the Heartbreakers here:

And check out Linda Ronstadt’s beautifully sung version here:

Nothing In The Way

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He has redeemed my soul from going to the pit, and my life shall see the light. ~ Job 33:28

I’ve wandered around with nothing more than time on my hands
I was lost in the night with no sight of you
And at times it was so blue and lonely
Heading for the light

As Joe Walsh said on the recent History Of The Eagles documentary, “As you live your life, it appears to be anarchy and chaos, and random events, non-related events, smashing into each other and causing this situation or that situation, and then, this happens, and it’s overwhelming, and it just looks like what in the world is going on. And later, when you look back at it, it looks like a finely crafted novel.”

And so it goes for most of us. We know we are always and forever searching; for what only heaven knows. And we don’t really know where we are heading. Or what we are going to be. But He does.

Been close to the edge, hanging by my fingernails
I’ve rolled and I’ve tumbled through the roses and the thorns
And I couldn’t see the sign that warned me, I’m
Heading for the light

And sometimes it surely does feel as if we are just barely hanging on. Perilously close to the abyss and the jagged, rocky bottom below. Straining so hard to keep from tumbling down, the sweat and blood can pour down into our eyes and obscure our vision. It’s so easy to lose your way in this world.

The only thing any of us can do is to “keep on keeping on”, as my old Pop used to say. Just keep on heading for the light.

Ooh – I didn’t see that big black cloud hanging over me
And when the rain came down I was nearly drowned
I didn’t know the mess I was in
My shoes are wearing out from walking down this same highway

I’m pretty sure that George Harrison didn’t really have a plan to put this stalwart group of seasoned pickers together into an actual band, but somewhere along the way the light came on. I know it did for me the first time I dropped the needle on The Traveling Wilbury’s debut album.

And just like the perfect hindsight Joe Walsh spoke of, at the end, it really did look – and sound – like a finely crafted novel.

I don’t see nothing new but I feel a lot of change
And I get the strangest feeling, as I’m
Heading for the light

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As most everyone knows by now, The Traveling Wilbury’s (Tom Petty, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne) really came together almost purely by happenstance.

In 1987, George Harrison had pulled together a group of his “mates” (Orbison, Dylan and Lynne) to record a song to be used as the “B” side for the single “This Is Love” off his latest album, Cloud Nine. When the song they recorded, “Handle With Care”, was first submitted to Warner Brothers execs Mo Ostin and Lenny Waronker, both immediately knew it was far too good a song to be used as a throwaway “B” side. They urged George to run with it as the lead for a new album project. The rest, as they say, is – solid gold – history.

Ooh – my hands were tired
Jokers and fools on either side
But still I kept on till the worst had gone
Now I see the hole I was in
My shoes are wearing out from walking down this same highway

A few interesting tidbits about the Wilbury’s:

  • Tom Petty got involved purely by chance: George had left a guitar he needed for the recording session at Tom’s house and when he went to retrieve it, Petty decided to tag along to the session with him.
  • The name “Traveling Wilburys” came from a reference to some of Jeff and George’s recording errors while working on Cloud Nine. They said they would fix them by burying them in the final mixing. Thus “we’ll bury” them became “Wilbury”. George initially added “Trembling” to the name, but Jeff suggested “Traveling” instead and everyone liked that better.
  • They recorded two albums – Traveling Wilbury’s Vol. 1 and Traveling Wibury’s Vol. 3. George named them this way purposely as a sly acknowledgement of a well known bootleg that had been produced in between the two.

I see the sun ahead, I ain’t never looking back
All the dreams are coming true as I think of you
Now there’s nothing in the way to stop me
Heading for the light

Unfortunately, these two albums were all she wrote for the Wilbury’s. Roy Orbison died before the second album was completed in 1988 and George followed soon after in 2001. The band paid tribute to Roy in the video for the song “End Of The Line” by placing his guitar in a rocking chair and showing his photo.

Bob, Jeff and Tom are all still rocking and I have no doubts that both George and Roy definitely found their way at the end…with both of them surely heading for the light.

And the one that started it all:

Sources for this post include:

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traveling_Wilburys

Traveling Wilburys website: http://www.travelingwilburys.com/