I just came in from a walk. While I was out I was listening to Broken English on my iphone. I have a deep and abiding affection for Marianne Faithful. The Ballad of Lucy Jordan has been one of my favorite songs for years and today I found myself singing along and replaying it over and over as I thought about just how different my life could have been.
For those of you unfamiliar with it:
The Ballad of Lucy Jordan
The morning sun touched lightly on the eyes of Lucy JordanIn a white suburban bedroom in a white suburban townAs she lay there ‘neath the covers dreaming of a thousand loversTil the world turned to orange and the room went spinning round.
At the age of thirty-seven she realized she’d neverRide through Paris in a sports car with the warm wind in her hair.So she let the phone keep ringing and she sat there softly singingLittle nursery rhymes she’d memorized in her daddy’s easy chair.
Her husband, he’s off to work and the kids are off to school.And there are, oh, so many ways for her to spend the day.She could clean the house for hours or rearrange the flowersOr run naked through the shady street screaming all the way.
At the age of thirty-seven she realized she’d neverRide through Paris in a sports car with the warm wind in her hairSo she let the phone keep ringing as she sat there softly singingPretty nursery rhymes she’d memorized in her daddy’s easy chair.
The evening sun touched gently on the eyes of Lucy JordanOn the roof top where she climbed when all the laughter grew too loudAnd she bowed and curtsied to the man who reached and offered her his hand,And he led her down to the long white car that waited past the crowd.
At the age of thirty-seven she knew she’d found foreverAs she rode along through Paris with the warm wind in her hair…
I’m 38. While just about every woman I grew up with and every woman in my family has a husband and kids and lives in a white suburban house in a white suburban town, I decided I wanted a different life. I have, actually, ridden through the streets of Paris in a sports car with the wind in my hair. I was 21. The driver was a pilot I’d met in a cafe. He was sexy and romantic and very, very French. It was wintertime, though, so it was cool air blowing through my hair. I haven’t had anywhere near a thousand lovers, but I’ve had my share. And I have fewer regrets than I have fond memories.
I’ve had a pretty interesting single life, so far. There are hard days, sure. Who the hell am I trying to kid – there are hard weeks and hard months (maybe even a rough year or two). But I wouldn’t actually trade it for a life of rearranging flowers.
Tags: Paris, single, song