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"....But perfection is consuming, ......

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There are so many artistic, poetic, passionate, fiery lines tucked inside nearly everyone of Eric's self-penned lyrics!

Take for instance, this verse from "Run Away:"

"Trades were made for promises

Of a timeless memory

And I knew but still refused to comprehend

The fantasy more glamorous

Then she could ever be

Was the course of least resistance

In the end"

I mean, is that absolutely stunning, or what?

Bernie

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Kirk   

SSLD--I don't think you were on board when we were discussing "Boats"; do you think it is a song of hope, or not?--Kirk.

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Eric has said many times that he thinks it's the sadest song he ever heard and he finds no hope in it. I hope I'm right Eric. I hate quoting you, but we have had this debate many time before. Bernie?

June LuvLove

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If Eric Carmen: Marathon Man wasn't completely sold out and copies weren't hard to find (even at upwards of $300 from rare book dealers), I'd probably tell you the chapter and page number and suggest you go buy a copy. But under the circumstances…

- - - -

"When I wrote that song, I thought it was the most depressing song ever written in the history of the world. I wrote it with a great deal of cynicism. Since then, I’ve met countless numbers of people who thought it was a positive song. That just flipped me out completely.

“I’d say, ‘How could you think that ‘Boats Against The Current’ was a positive song?’ They’d say, ‘Well, tomorrow, we’ll run a little bit faster tomorrow.’ They saw it without the cynical side. It totally befuddled me that it just went right by people. If they were optimists, they saw it as a negative song. If they were pessimists, they saw the song as positive. It’s held true with almost everyone that I ever met that had an opinion on that song one way or the other. It never even dawned on me that people could take it any other way than the way I’d written it.

“The line, ‘boats against the current’ is taken from the second to the last paragraph of The Great Gatsby.

“At the time I wrote the song I said, ‘This is the most depressing, sarcastic, cynical song I ever wrote.’ It’s about people moving forward in time and desperately trying to feel things that they once felt before. It’s a song to hang yourself by.”

- - - -

Bernie

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"Sometimes we write what we are meant to write?" You know, I think you might just have something there. Looking back, I wrote and recorded "Boats" during a very difficult time in my life. I've stated before that the lyric and music just kind of came to me in my sleep. It really was one of those songs that just wrote itself. I think maybe I saw only the sad way of reading that lyric because of where I was at the time. And it may just be that my diehard optimism pushed it's pointy little head right through that sad lyric to give the song that little ray of hope. ec

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Well, it has been covered. Olivia Newton John and Patti LaBelle both did versions of Boats. And Mel Torme did a beautiful version on the Merv Griffin Show. But it's a bit esoteric to be a "hit" song. Hopefully, someone will do it justice someday. ec

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James   

I remember buying Olivia's album just to hear her version. I thought she'd do a good job from precedent but if I recall, her version was to choppy...it's been a long time since I've heard it.

For what it's worth, "Boats Against The Current" is my favorite song of all time...and I even like the version with the girls singing background vocals....the original is pristine and hands down better...but I like listening to both. For me, those background vocals are stunningly good...

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James   

....and I reckon the guy that wrote "Boats Against The Current" still has at least one more in him that will beat it...

wink

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"Boats," without hesitation, is my TOP song of all-time. Not just Raspberries or Eric solo, but throw in every other masterpiece that makes lists—from "Hey Jude" to "Good Vibrations"—and it still comes in at #1 on my list!

Bernie

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LC   

Bernie,

I'm with you on that. If your favorite song of all time is one that you've listened to more than any other, then "Boats" is it for me. (We have similar tastes --- "Hey Jude" and "Good Vibrations" would be somewhere near the top of my list, too.)

SSLD, we had a really neat thread on Boats that I'm going to try to find and "bump." It was amazing to me, because I was always one who heard the glimmer of hope. Eric, I was glad to see you check in on this thread, because you didn't post anything on the Boats thread that others here have referenced. I remember Trindy wrote a lot about the hopelessness she heard in the song, and others agreed with her. Still others heard the glimmer of hope.

I netted out at: It's kind of personal.... If you hear the hope in it, then it's there.... The glass is half full....

Anyway, I'll find that other thread, because Bernie makes this site easy to navigate.... I think I called it "Boats, the song."

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With the topic of "Boats" being discussed I thought I'd mention a little story to y'all. I was in high school at the time Dirty Dancing was out (the story is in Marathon Man). I only knew of Eric from that song and "MMLC", both that I loved. For my spring choral concert my senior year I did a vocal solo in chorus where I portrayed Huck Finn. I had suspenders on with a white t-shirt, straw hat, jeans pulled up to my knees and barefeet. After the skit, there was a female solo vocalist I was accompanying immediately after that I was unaware of. They called her name and I'm freaking backstage as she walks on stage in this gorgeous dress and I walk out to the baby grand piano dressed in this ridiculous getup. The song? Olivia Newton-John's version of "Boats" which I had no idea Eric wrote. I remember loving the song when I first learned it. And then immediately after that song, I performed a duet of my first real original song (still in ridiculous get-up). You can go to www.myspace.com/paulsidotimusic to hear a recorded version of that song called "Til We Say Goodbye".

Paul

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