Friday, September 9, 2022

Come Sail Away

Driving to the eye doctor yesterday, I heard Styx's "Come Sail Away" on the radio -- a song I have not heard (in its entirety, anyway) for decades.

Made me remember that "Babe" was the ubiquitous song during my freshman year in college. Seemed like every morning at breakfast in the cafeteria, "Babe" was playing. Every morning for months.

Which made me remember that when I was taking driver's ed in high school it seemed like every time we went out driving the only songs on the radio were James Taylor's "Handy Man" and Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville."

(Which makes it pretty obvious how old I am.)

Then I was thinking that "Come Sail Away" was our class song when I was a senior in High School; but then I remembered that that's not correct, our song was "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas. Since "Come Sail Away" came out in August 1977 it must have been nominated, but somehow didn't win. Had I known either of those two songs back then I certainly would have voted for "Come Sail Away."

The Class Song voting at our High School that year was actually quite contentious. I recall that there was an assembly to which all seniors were invited where there was discussion and debate following the announcement of the results. As I said, "Dust in the Wind" won, but in (presumably) very close second place was George Benson's "Everything Must Change." At the assembly, many of the Black students complained that Benson's song hadn't won due to racism; I distinctly remember one of my classmates saying that the song absolutely should have won because, indeed, everything MUST change in order for there to be equality. (I wish I could remember who it was who said that, but I knew then and know now that he was right.)

People got angry and things got out of hand. There was a lot of talk about Black Music and White Music, and never the twain shall meet.

I wish I could remember exactly what happened next. I'm thinking that there was some kind of committee of students appointed to try to work things out, and that I was on said committee. I KNOW that I publicly said something like: What are you talking about, Black Music and White Music? Music has no color! And that drew at least metaphorical applause from both sides, and I think things calmed down.

I remember vaguely, also, the Vice Principal calling me into his office to get my take on the whole situation. But that may not have actually happened. (I should have blogged about all of this back then, except they didn't have blogs in 1978.)


Coda: I also heard, during yesterday's drive, "Blinded by the Light" and something by the Supremes and some other stuff ... but the song still running through my head, the one my subconscious apparently liked best, was "More Than a Woman" by the Bee Gees. 

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