Thursday, July 10, 2008

Will You Take That Train?

Another summer, another outdoor Justin Roberts concert on a glorious sunny evening in the middle of the sweetest little college town you'll ever see. Last night's library benefit was as fun as always, and as soul-nourishing. I went exhausted from a nonstop day of action with the girls and I came home happy; tired, yes, but filled up with a sense of blessing. Which is always how I feel after this annual concert.

Words sort of fail me this year, but other diehard Justin Roberts fans know what it must have been like: the catchy songs, the sweet lyrics, the mosh pit full of kids, everyone singing along and bouncing and dancing and smiling. And other families in my particular town know what it's like here: the lush green of the park and the sun glaring and then fading; the way, when you're a young family here, it seems that every single other family you know is at this show. It's overwhelming, the goodwill and cheer and friendliness, the common love affair we're all having with young children and babies and summer and music.

Justin performed a lot of songs from his new CD, Pop Fly, which my family had not yet heard before last night, so we didn't get to sing along to as many songs as usual, or fully appreciate each lyric. But I could tell they were gems, and all day today the girls and I have been listening to our newly-purchased copy of the disc on "repeat". Genevieve loves the title track, and requests it by saying "Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba!" and pointing at the CD player. I love it too; I can't stop laughing at the adorable lyrics that so accurately capture what little kids are like when they play team sports: "Coach has put me in the outfield/Do I even need to mention?/It's my job to catch the ball and more important pay attention/To the pitcher or the batter is it the former or the latter?/Does it even really matter?" It reminds me of when my nephew used to play T-ball. The tune is so catchy I've been singing it all day--and that's not a bad thing.

Julia already has most of the lyrics memorized to the awesome "Henrietta's Hair," with its sweet jangly R.E.M.-esque guitar and mandolin and its clever Bob Dylan reference. (Justin always throws in some stuff for the grown-ups. Check it; it's great.) I challenge anyone to listen to this song without smiling and dancing.

But best of all, when you're a sentimental mama watching the days whip by like train-cars on a track, was the lullaby with which Justin ended his show. There's nothing like a little poem about living each day to its fullest ("Will you take that train?/Will you take it 'round?/Will you get back up when you've fallen down?") to remind a person to embrace life, with all its meltdowns and messes.

See you next year.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

It was a great concert, all right! He is getting better and better every year - which is amazing since he is fantastic every year, too. Here are a few pictures of the girls dancing.