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Row, Row, Row Your Boat...


bahoodore

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Kirk said:

As long as we're on a 'boats' kick, I don't remember reading this review before.

Kirk, you find the most interesting stuff (not to mention the "Marathon Man" book :wub:)!

I think you'd be a great asset to the research team, if Ken and Bernie ever complete an updated edition of "Marathon Man"!

Interesting article, but I thought the last thoughts were totally unnecessary to the relevance of the review of the "Boats Against The Current" album.

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bahoodore said:

as long as we're on this ....here is my version of boats

Andy...I just love, love, love your voice...always have since the first time I heard you sing. I swear, I could "bathe" in it if given the chance.

However, the time I bathed "with" Bernie's book, it got all wet. Not a good thing. :D

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Quoting Elle:

"Kirk, you find the most interesting stuff (not to mention the "Marathon Man" book )!

I think you'd be a great asset to the research team, if Ken and Bernie ever complete an updated edition of "Marathon Man"!

Interesting article, but I thought the last thoughts were totally unnecessary to the relevance of the review of the "Boats Against The Current" album."

It seems that even the most complimentary of reviewers find it necessary to throw in a little dirt (even irrelevant dirt). Part of the job description, I suppose.

Bernie and Ken make a great writing team- they compliment each other superbly...I'm still waiting for the phone to ring :lol:

Actually, there's a couple of stories by Eric in Marathon Man that came from a question I posed to him, or a concert memory I sprung on him, so I'm in there- just no writers credit :lol::(:lol:

If you ever get a chance to read Patrick Becker's last work on Eric and the 'berries (and I think Bernie auctioned one off recently), I have about 50 pages of contributions in that one :blink: O.k., so I have a lot of stuff!! :)

Anyway, thanks for the vote of confidence, Elle. I guess you could say I was a big fan, huh?

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Elle's right Kirk! I hope you know what you do add to this board.

*I guess you could say I was a big fan, huh? *

Was? ;)

Actually, I truly love how the guys on this board make it special in their own way. Esp. when it comes to speaking about the songs or the albums or the shows.

And that "Bro-mance" you guys have going on every time Eric posts. Why, it's priceless! really, it is!

I hope NONE of you stop!

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Eric Carmen said:

No, I wrote the whole song at home. I liked the juxtaposition of the innocence of RRRYB and the last line being "Life is but a dream"......against the world weary, grown up BATC lyric.

I've said it many times and I'll say it again, "Boats Against The Current is my favorite song...ever"...it has been since the first time I heard it over 30 years ago. When I popped that bargain-bin Eric Carmen 8-track in, I didn't know what to expect. I was just hoping it had a few good songs on it and wasn't a total waste of my time and money. When the RRRYB intro started filling the interior of my 65 Mustang Fastback, time stood still...that song moved me like no other song before or since. It still moves me now...for reasons that I don't fully understand. I don't know exactly why BATC is my favorite song...I just know that it is. I love a lot of great music, I couldn't begin to decide what my second favorite song of all time is...but I never have to think about what my favorite song is...it will always be BATC. Even though he has a library of great music that I love dearly, Eric Carmen will always be my favorite singer/songwriter because of Boats.

It amazes me that I never get tired of BATC...I listen to it almost every day...most days multiple times. That whole album is comfort food for my soul...I find peace listening to that album. The older I get, the more I enjoy the peace. I've changed a lot over the years. That 17 year old kid that first heard BATC is long gone...he was a hopeless romantic and was for many years. Elle's great description sums up how I used to hear BATC...the innocence of "life is but a dream". I always loved the "Boats Against The Current" analogy. I always saw life as the Current we're fighting against. I saw it that we all dream of an island paradise (your paradise may be Heaven or love or fame or wealth, etc.). To get to your island paradise, you've got to fight the current (life), it's always going to be pushing you back to shore. It'll be a struggle to get there but I used to believe it would be worth it to endure. Now that I'm older and more cynical, it's easier to believe that the island paradise doesn't exist...that it's easier to quit fighting and just let the current take you wherever it's going to take you. The grumpy old man that I've become now hears the "world weary, grown up BATC lyric":

Maybe we're older
Maybe we're colder
So we disregard solutions
While we cling to our illusions once again
And we keep rememberin' when

Seasons are changin'
Reasons are changin'
But the story isn't ending
So we find ourselves pretending one more day
While the years keep slippin' away

and I still love it...sometimes it takes me back 30 years...sometimes it makes me sad...but it always moves me. What more could you ask from a song? It's beautiful...it's timeless...it's perfect...and we all know "perfection is consuming"...

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Eric...thanks for responding...

The first time I heard this song was around 1983 or so...I had fallen in love with my bass player's girlfriend...we carried on a clandestine affair...then told the guy what was going on....he went ballistic (of course)and became very despondent...threatening suicide etc...all very teenage drama...we broke up...I heard "BOATS"...She and I remained friends, he and I did not...but we reconciled a few years later....He died a few years ago (likely brought on from years of hard drug abuse)...she and I both went to his funeral...he was one of my favorite people... They didnt last much longer after the whole drama between us.... she became an award winning author.

Whenever I hear that song, it reminds me of what "could have been". Lyrically, it doesn't sound relevant to what happened between us, but to an 18 yr old it sure did....

She is still "the first love of my life" as I tell my wife...and will always hold a special place in my heart... as will this most emotional song.

bahoo

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Nice thread! I always enjoy a good "Boats Against the Current" discussion. It's like any great piece of art: worthy of "further study," as they say. Elle, what you wrote above was outstanding... and it accomplished "M.I.S.S.I.O.N. Impossible": "Boats" insight from Eric. Good job!

Also, Kirk mentioned earlier threads on "Boats" that inspired lots of input on the optimist/pessimist debate.

It was fun going back to re-read all the philosophical viewpoints on "Boats"; as ever, it's open to interpretation. In any event, I love the irony that it wasn't even written about a romantic relationship (right, Eric?). I also love that it was a song that came out of the night; if memory serves me, Eric woke up with the song in his head, almost complete. I've heard of other songs written that way, like "Yesterday," that seem to have come from nowhere. They always seem to be classics.

Anyway, it's good to be able to read new thoughts on "Boats" a full 33 years after it came out. It always reminds me of going off to college for the first time, setting up my cheap turntable in my dorm room, sitting at that little college desk to write letters, and playing Boats over and over again. It's such a haunting song and album, even now.

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LC said:

Anyway, it's good to be able to read new thoughts on "Boats" a full 33 years after it came out. It always reminds me of going off to college for the first time, setting up my cheap turntable in my dorm room, sitting at that little college desk to write letters, and playing Boats over and over again. It's such a haunting song and album, even now.

That's my story exactly! (1977 graduate too).... Back then, I would have never fathomed a guy (LC) somewhere off at another college was doing the exact same thing I was doing.

Pretty cool.

James

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LC said:

Nice thread! I always enjoy a good "Boats Against the Current" discussion. It's like any great piece of art: worthy of "further study," as they say. Elle, what you wrote above was outstanding... and it accomplished "M.I.S.S.I.O.N. Impossible": "Boats" insight from Eric. Good job!

Thanks, LC! You know it always means a lot to me when an accomplished Author/Editor such as yourself compliments me!

You know from all of my little romantic tales and posts from the past, I usually put my heart on the line when I write. And, with a timeless , priceless piece on "art" like "Boats Against The Current", writing from the heart is not a difficult thing to do!

As I've said, that's the beauty of BATC...it has so much wide-spread appeal and individual meaning to so many people.

I'm sure it often takes you, Duane, Andy, and James back in time to a different place, and makes you feel as if it was just yesterday. I only wish I had been given the gift of this song so many years ago. I know one thing, how ever many years I have left, I'll always be grateful for finally receiving, the gift of this song...and all of Eric's music.

Thanks for the links, I'm sure newer members will read with interest, other's thoughts on BATC.

Also, thanks to you LC, for all of your wonderful contributions on the "Boats Blog". It's evident how personal this song is to you.

I'm SOOO with you on that one, LC.

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"There's romance in the sunset"...I live on the west coast. All of my sunsets have been over the Pacific ocean. That carries a certain connotation for me and the meaning of this song. There have been innumerable times I've held my love and watched the sun set over the ocean.

Yet, someone on the east coast looks back over the land, pondering the trappings of civilization, the skyscrapers, etc. to view the sunset. How completely different is their interpretation of this lyric?

Or the writer of the song, living in middle America?

Is the debate ever really over?

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Wendy, I don't think you "have it wrong" at all. I think what you're reading is what Eric originally meant, that it was "time to give up." I remember him posting somewhere that he meant "tomorrow, we'll run a little bit faster..." etc, to be irony--that it wouldn't work. BATC was written, if I remember his post correctly, when he was feeling the bleakness of his situation. You got it exactly right, if my memory serves me.

So many of us said, "Wait, NO! We see it as there IS hope and there IS romance in the sunset." As I recall, Eric thought it was interesting, if not odd, that we interpreted it differently than he meant it. I always interpreted it as hopeful, or at least NOT giving up, but trying to find true love in the end.

Eric's music has such universal appeal, that it's loved whatever the individual interpretations are. Boats is one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs ever written, in my opinion.

I instantly understood and loved the "innocence" of RRRYB in the beginning, and on first hearing, remember thinking, "Oh my God, that is absolutely BRILLIANT!" And it really is.

:)--D

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