Monday, June 3, 2013

"Surrender, surrender but don't give yourself away."

When a pop/rock song is good, a pop/rock song is good. For me, the band Cheap Trick has a few of the best pop/rock tunes of all time. But, it's pop/rock. It ain't no musical revelation. Still, the other day...

[insert wiggly sit-com memory transition]

...I was driving, trying to figure out why in the name of Zeus's elbow I had just sat through an entire Judas Priest song (conclusion: same thing that drives us to "rubberneck" at car accidents) when the "Surrender" by Cheap Trick came on. I have always liked that song, so I cranked it.

When the chorus started, this time, it occurred to me: the song contains the perfect advice for teenagers (who were, after all, the target audience). I'm not sure if Zander and Neilson were aware how perfect their advice was, or if they were just trying to fit words to music and got lucky. (Trust me, it happens.) I'm also not sure how a band with a drummer named Bun E. Carlos can ever manage to be profound (just kidding, I love Bun E.), but derned if they didn't. You know the chorus, right?

Mommy's alright
Daddy's alright
They just seem a little weird.
But don't give yourself away. 

Anyway, when this came on, I guess my philosophical mind was tuned in. (Must have been the Priest.) I had a "holy cow" moment: It's the perfect advice for kids.

Sure, your parents are a little weird (it's a different generation thing) but they are okay. Fact is, you need to do what they say, because they are your parents -- "surrender" -- but that doesn't mean you have to give up who you are (or, alternately, that you have to give up all of your little secrets). You are you and they are who they are and you can co-exist without closing off and without betraying yourself. It's okay to keep a little something hidden up your sleeve.

I just see it as such a refreshing breath -- such a cool change from the run-of-the-mill, boring  rock and roll defiance pose.

Talk about being late to the party. Alas, ideas come when they come.

Here's the song, for you young ones. (Try to ignore the obvious fact that the recording is clearly not of the live performance depicted. People were a little more gullible back then, I guess...)

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