- original music and arrangements -

Three Songs - Youthful Optimism

Youthful EnthusiamWe enter the world with a sense of youthful optimism: bursting with enthusiasm, full of energy and a filled with a curious wonder of what lies ahead.

Who doesn’t recall on occasion a certain wild and crazy moment in your past that kept you smiling for days? Who doesn’t recall a nearly death-defying risk you took: the terror you felt beforehand and the incredible sense of accomplishment afterwards?!

These are often the best times of your life and certainly the foundation of these experiences melded you—for better or worse—into what you are today.

Youthful optimism is a joyous feeling and the three songs listed below poignantly capture that passion and rebellious sense of adventure that carried each one of us forward in our formative years . All three are great tunes on their own, but listened to as a trilogy, their varied outlook offers a "richer tapestry of enlightenment." Perhaps these songs will help you tap once more into that small child in you that you once were and renew your passion and enthusiasm for life. ENJOY!

John Mayer - No Such Thing

John MayerA powerful paean for teenage rebellion, No Such Thing is not only a triumphant “battle cry” against conformity and peer group expectations, it portends unhappiness and mediocrity if you don’t go out and take risks.

“...and all of our parents, they're getting older
I wonder if they've wished for anything better
While in their memories... tiny tragedies

Man, those are strong words but they are balanced against his conviction that “something's better on the other side” and if you live life to the fullest you will NEVER, EVER look back with regret.


Zac Brown Band - Free

CampfireA hippie’s dream: living in a van and traveling the country wild and free. As a child of the 60s, who hasn’t shared that dream? It's a glorious moment to be out sleeping under the stars at night with your love of your life next to you. “The world is your oyster!” :-)

Zac is not only a wonderful songwriter but his band sings some glorious 3 and 4 part harmonies together (watch out Eagles!) and that helps bring the sense that this solitary existence that he sings about is really a communal universally shared experience.

Winding your way across the vast expanse of America: enjoying the prairies, the forests, the rivers, the canyons and the seashores —what an inspiring adventure—what a vibrant and passionate love song as well. It is certainly fitting that of all of people, it was my son (who has been a wild a crazy adventurer) who introduced me to Zac Brown. Free is really a timeless masterpiece and I am surprised it never gained the widespread recognition and popularity is so rightly deserved.


John Cougar Mellencamp - Jack and Diane

John CougarFinally Jack and Diane. This was super popular song in the early eighties and actually spins a twist on the unbridled passion of youthful optimism. A High School couple in love—growing up in the heartland— experience the usual small town teenage rites of passage yet seemingly only half-heartedly yearn for something more to their life.

The truth is, they really are content with their routine—and as the undercurrent of the song reveals—as a matter of fact—they may be happier in the long run as a result.

Mellencamp explained: "Most people don't ever reach their goals, but that's cool, too. Failure's a part of what you're all about anyway. Coming to terms with failed expectations is what counts."


-- Oct 30th, 2015 --