One of my favorite songs off of “Songs for the End of the World” is “One Way Street.”
I think one of the reasons is the opening lines:
“From a window, I’m looking down at a one-way street, All the cars, they’re all pushing in one direction, And the faceless people moving ahead in that same direction.”
It reminds me of one particular scene that has occurred a few times in my life: looking out the window from a high floor in a New York high-rise building and being mesmerized by the traffic below. Seeing all the cars and trying to fathom the idea that there were so many people in one place at the same time; it was hypnotizing to watch. It’s an image I’ve carried in my head for years as a way to put things into perspective so when I heard the song, it reminded me of that.
And then the next few lines:
“Every one of those people searching your eyes for a real connection, Yeah, I’m just like you, looking for meaning to feel complete, Hope and praying its true that love is never a one-way street.”
This made me think about how many people RS must come in contact with in a year – even at one show on any given night. So many people who know so much about him and feel a deep connection with him. And yet he can’t possibly reciprocate in the same way. Although perhaps his touring schedule reflects his willingness to try. I’m not aware of any other performer who does so many meet-and-greets, book signings, concerts (including intimate Stripped Down shows), fan cruises and getaways, etc. (Not that I’m an expert on this sort of thing, but I’m just basing it on the number of photos I see of him posing with fans.)
So, RS if you are actually reading this blog, can you give a little sign that you saw it? It doesn’t need to be much. Just a little indication. A casual obscure reference in one of your many interviews, a hint in a photograph or, if you are so inspired, a song about it on your next album. (OK, that might be pushing it). I would be ever so grateful. I will be looking for a sign.
(Hopefully this post doesn’t sound too stalker-ish or creepy. It’s just that I know that at next month’s show – in a little over two weeks! – it’s unlikely that I’ll actually come into contact with him but I just want him to know what an inspiration he has been. And even if I do have a chance to meet him, I will likely be unable to find the right words to say. I am guessing that RS is probably a bit too busy to have time to stumble upon sites like this but one can dream, right?)
Update from Dec. 26, 2015: I just found this image online when I was searching for something else. I’d never seen it before (easy to do, there are thousands of RS pics online) but it made me think of this song so I thought I’d add it here).