“Here’s wishing all the days ahead won’t be as bitter as the ones behind you.
Be an optimist instead, and someday happiness will find you.
Forget what happened yesterday, I know that better things are on the way.”
Dar Williams covered this song (originally by the Kinks) and when Rep. Raskin invoked her name - my Patron Saint of Gen X young adult angst - I was compelled to spend a few hours dancing down memory lane in my kitchen, revisiting the great musical influences on my life.
Remember in the beginning of quarantine when the Indigo Girls played a live streaming concert and like every single one of us cried through the whole thing? And here we are, creeping up on a full year later, still crying over music in our kitchens (just me?), wondering if we are any “Closer to Fine” or if we are just closer to March, and one full year of COVID? Somehow, the music helps - and when the news is too much (when isn’t it?), and you need something to listen to while you fold the laundry clean the kitchen walk the neighborhood take a shower so you don’t have to be alone with your thoughts of repetitive dread and extreme boredom, music is here to rescue you (just me?) once again.
Just like it did freshman year of high school, when REM’s You Are The Everything “the stars are the greatest thing you’ve ever seen” was the perfect accompaniment to waiting for the phone to ring, just like Shawn Colvin’s “I’mmmmm gonna keep my head on straight, I’m gonna keep my head on straight” can speed up the recovery of any heartbreak, and just like Alanis’ “how ‘bout how good it feels to finally forgive you” helps you know you’re ready for what’s next.
I think we’re all ready for what’s next, which is daylight and spring and vaccines (please please please), but in the meantime, music helps. Just like Dar sings, I know that Better Things are on the way.