Finally getting Homecoming recorded was a landmark for me. It’s a rare event for me to actually finish a song, and then to actually like the song after it’s done is almost unprecedented.
At the time I wrote the song I had just gone to a big high school reunion, the first reunion of any type I’d ever attended. I’d also just gotten onto Facebook, and was all of a sudden back in contact with all sorts of people from my past, many of whom I hadn’t had any contact at all for a decade or even two.
One thing I remember very strongly from the reunion was sitting with friends talking about events from all those years ago, when all of a sudden someone mentioned a particular teacher, and it was like something was unlocked in my brain. All at once I could picture the man in my head: his haircut, his suit (I’m sure he had more than one, but I remember one specifically) his voice and his mannerisms. Up until that point, I didn’t even knew I’d forgotten him, I had absolutely no recollection at all up until that moment and then, all of a sudden, it was back.
The flood of nostalgia from reconnecting with all of these old friends got me thinking: to what extent do the “good old days” still exist? Certainly, you can’t go home again, but it’s not exactly gone, either. there still seems to be a clear difference between things that have come and gone and things that never existed at all.
I have to say, though, that memory is a pretty bad place to put the past for safekeeping, at least if my own memory is any gauge. Everything each of us has ever done and every conversation we’ve ever had is now in the past, and over time memories seem to dim, until you have to wonder if they’ll disappear completely. And then, what becomes of the past itself?
That’s the concept behind the song: it’s not so much a desire to return to the past as it is the need to know that it still exists, somewhere. Why is that important? I really don’t know. But not having an answer doesn’t mean I can’t ask the question.
Come out to see me with The Nerve on Friday (10/15) at McKenzie’s Brew House (the one in Glen Mills).