Posts Tagged ‘I Am I Said’

Today’s additions are again from my youth.  The first is from the musical (and film) “Paint Your Wagon“.  The lyrics are to “Wand’rin’ Star“, although I’ve always know it as “I Was Born Under A Wandering Star“.  The lyric I love in this is:  “Do you know where Hell is? Hell is in hello. Heaven’s in good-bye forever, It’s time for me to go…
I guess the line meant a lot to me because I always felt friends and places come and go, and, when I start to get comfortable, I start looking for change.  I believe that’s why I ultimately have found the information technology field so interesting as a career – because it’s constant change.
What makes the musical really interesting (to me) though was the message it placed on the value of women in the Old West.  The film shows two men coming to an “understanding” on marrying a single woman.  In the end, one moves away because he feels the other two belong together.  It always struck me as a story of love and friendship.  He “loves” her as well as his friend, but he knows in his own heart of hearts that she will be happier with his friend.  He also realizes the town they are living in is becoming settled and he needs to move on to someplace “less”.
It has always struck me this was a very un-PC (politically correct) movie and I’ve wondered why it was just viewed as entertainment.  It seemed to say something about the power of women in the west.  As it happens (I believe), the West was NOT really the first place for women to gain the right to vote.  I understand, the earliest place in the US to allow women voting was actually New Jersey back in the 1770’s.  Of course, there was a qualification – they had to be propertied and worth at least $250 – a fairly princely sum back in those days.  Women subsequently lost the right when the state laws were changed to stop blacks from voting – the law was changed to allow only white males to vote.
Another interesting bit of trivia is that Wyoming is generally considered the first state to allow women to vote and hold elected office.  I’m not really sure if this is true because I understand this was passed while Wyoming was a territory and not a state.  Anyway, maybe some good reader will look this up and let me know…
The second lyrics are another shout out against the darkness:  “I Am, I Said“.  I always felt this song made Neil Diamond the petulant counter to Bob Dylan (“Like A Rolling Stone“) or a similar story to Paul Simon (“I Am A Rock“).  My favorite phrase is:  “Did you ever read about a frog, who dreamed of becoming a king – and then became one“.  It’s almost like a song referring to a fairy tale to create its imagery.

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