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Row, Row, Row Your Boat...


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James said:

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.


Yep, cool -- I didn't fathom it either. I was pretty sure I was alone in being a Boats-aholic back then. If we had gone to the same college together, heck, we could have gone on a pilgrimage to see EC in concert (I think he played some dates after Boats, but I could be wrong). And we could have traded bootleg Raspberries cassette tapes. And almost as important... maybe I could have witnessed your early harem-building exercises. Just a thought.... :)

PS: Actually, I was incoming frosh in '77, not graduating... which made everything seem way more eye-widening.

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I was incoming frosh 1977 too. I meant I was a 1977 high school graduate as it appears you were also, LC.

And Eric did tour "Boats..." during our first semester freshman year. He came around my parts - what an ordeal it was for me to get to that concert!

I was at TCU in Ft. Worth...without a car. Eric Carmen was opening for Hall & Oates in Dallas (about 30 miles away from Ft. Worth). It was still just weeks into the first semester so I was still in the process of making friends, and didn't know anyone with a car.

So I went around the dorm, chatted dudes up, seeing who had a car and who would be willing to attend a Hall & Oates concert - tickets and gas on me. While Hall & Oates were big then, it was hard to find anyone that admitted they liked Hall & Oates, or would take the time to see them in concert. You guys remember.

But I did it! I finally found a guy - a total stranger but a good guy. We went. I had a blast.

I'm sure I would not have gone to that trouble for any other artist.


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I've told this before here, but what the heck...

I also played the heck out of "Boats..." my freshman year. I played it so much my roommate got to know (and love) it almost as much as me.

My roommate was an amibitious guy. His dream was to get into West Point. He was originally turned down by West Point but he wasn't quitting. He was at TCU to prepare for his next attempt to get in there. He took a bunch of hard courses (Russian etc.) to put him in the best position to be accepted when he tried again. He was driven and lived for this one goal.

Anyway, "I Think I Found Myself" became kind of this guy's anthem. His motivation song. He played it and sang it all the time!

I hooked one at least!..



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  • 8 years later...
On 9/2/2010 at 4:41 PM, Kirk said:

"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?

 In my humble opinion…  The rhetorical question that closes Kirk’s post is the bottom line here. I don’t know if the debate ever really ends… The answer depends on who is listening, and what they have experienced.

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On 9/1/2010 at 4:35 AM, Duane said:

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"...

This is my favorite post that l ever wrote here. Eight years later, l still agree with it. Eric Carmen will always be my favorite singer/songwriter because of BATC. Boats will always be my favorite song. Time stood still the first time l heard it... l'll never be able to describe it better than that. If this is really the end of this site...and if Bernie shuts down the boards, it will be the end of the site to me...l'm so glad l got to spend time with you people. Thanks for the memories!

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Opening Boats Against The Current with Row Row Row Your Boat might seem so simple...not a big deal for some. From the very first time I heard it, I thought it was brilliant. To take such a simple tune and turn it into a beautiful melodic intro was unbelievably exquisite. I have often wondered how may other plain uncomplicated tunes that we may have heard our entire lives could be transformed into something so beautiful.

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  • 2 years later...

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