Friday, September 16, 2011

White Stripes -- "The Same Boy You've Always Known" (2001)

I hope you know a strong man
Who can lend you a hand
Lowering my casket

Something just hit me.  I'm going to end up doing TEN Cape Cod-related posts featuring White Stripes songs.  (Don't worry -- not all of them are going to be about my bike rides.  I only rode on nine of the days I was there.)

One of Shakespeare's characters asked, "Can one desire too much of a good thing?"  Obviously, 2 or 3 lines would answer that question with a loud "NO!"

Don't worry -- I'm going to mix it up.  I won't do more than two White Stripes posts consecutively just in case some of you disagree with me (and with Shakespeare) and think that you can have too much of a good thing.  (Because White Stripes songs are most definitely a good thing.)  Also, I've got lots of interesting Cape Cod pictures and videos to distract you.

One reason I'm posting about this many White Stripes songs is that the band that currently ranks numero uno in terms of 2 or 3 lines posts is . . . (gasp!) . . . Grand Funk Railroad?  And while I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the Closer to Home album, there's a problem here -- when I go to the regular meetings of the cool music bloggers, the other guys make fun of 2 or 3 lines.  

One of them is really mean, and he hurts my feelings.  And when I tell him to STOP IT, he calls me a loser and yells "BABY WANT A BOTTLE?" even though I wasn't really crying!

Anyhoo, as mentioned in an earlier 2 or 3 lines, there was a spur line that branched off the main Cape Cod Railroad and terminated in Chatham, which is a picture-postcard town at the extreme southeastern tip of the Cape -- in other words, at the "elbow" of the Cape.

Here's a map of Cape Cod and the islands that you will help you get oriented.  Once you've located Chatham, scroll down and continue reading:

The Chatham spur line was the last part of the Cape Cod Rail Trail to be opened, and there are some stretches where you're riding on streets, not on a dedicated hiking-biking trail.  But if you don't get lost, you eventually come to the old Chatham railroad station, which is now a nice little museum.

Here's an old pic of the Chatham train station:

Here's what it looks like today:

This old Missouri Pacific Railroad dining car service plate was on display at the museum.  (The Missouri Pacific never got within a thousand miles of Cape Cod, but the museum's holdings weren't strictly local in nature.)  This plate depicted the  capital buildings of all the states served by the Missouri Pacific:

After looking around the railroad station, I rode to the Chatham fish pier.  A good number of fishing boats are based in Chatham.  Here are a few of them at anchor:

 These 42-foot Coast Guard "Special Purpose Near Shore Lifeboats" (which were launched in 2008) are the only two of their kind -- they were designed especially for the shallow waters and constantly changing sandbars around Chatham.  Click here if you want to learn more about them.

Quite a few people were buying fish and shellfish at the pier when I was there.  Here's a photo of some lucky bastard's lobsters being weighed:

The "Same Boy You've Always Known" is on White Blood Cells, which was the third White Stripes studio album.  Musically, it's very simple -- Meg on drums and Jack on guitar and organ -- but very satisfying.

I don't have anything insightful to say about what the lyrics mean, but I don't think it's a very happy song.  Songs where the singer refers to his casket rarely are.  Also, the singer may be the same boy she's always known, but I don't think she's the same girl -- wherein lies the problem.

The only possible connection between this song and Chatham or Cape Cod are these lines:

The coldest blue ocean water cannot stop 
My heart and mind from burning

But that's not why I chose it for this post.  I didn't have a particular reason for choosing it for this post.

Here are the final two lines of the song:

If there's anything good about me,
I'm the only one who knows

On that less-than-cheery note, 2 or 3 lines presents "The Same Boy You've Always Known" -- and takes this opportunity to wish happy birthday to a boy I've always known: my older son turns 28 (!) on Monday.

Click here to download this song from Amazon:

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