Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I usually don't listen to the lyrics of the songs I listen to... I sort of listen, but I usually miss so much that most of the time I have no clue as to what the song is actually about.

For example, for the longest time, I had no idea that Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear the Reaper was about suicide. I know that Won't Get Fooled Again was Pete Townsend being mad at something... but at what, I am not sure. And I still have no idea what Simon and Garfunkel's Sounds of Silence is about... although it's been pointed out to me that the song doesn't start with "Hello Darkness, smile friend".

One song that I've liked - was John Mellancamp's Scarecrow. I like the guitar (I could almost play the solo), I liked the overall sound of it and I knew it had something to do with farms.

Well, I was listening to the song today and, for some reason (don't ask, it sometimes happens), I picked up and figured out the lyrics... and discovered it is his lament over farmers losing their farms as a result of not being able to pay off loans secured by the property.

To which I thought: why shouldn't these 'poor' farmers have lost their farms? They borrowed money and didn't pay it back. They didn't negotiate a 'no-foreclosure' clause with the bank. Had they been more successful, they weren't planning on giving the bank a big share of the profits they would have made.

Why wasn't Mellancamp mad at the farmers who borrowed money they couldn't pay back? Banks fail if they don't get repaid the loans they make - is this something Mellancamp was actually hoping would happen? Why wasn't he cursing out the farmers who had failed to put enough money aside to cover the bank payments in the event they had a bad season or two?

He may be good with a guitar, have a nice voice and be able to put together a rocking song... but he has the economic understanding of, well, a Democrat.