Song of the Week – Closer to Fine, Indigo Girls

Ignored           Obscured            Restored

This being graduation season caused me to think about songs that refer to education.  I thought of these lines from “It’s Too Late” by Jim Carroll:

But it ain’t no contribution
To rely on an institution
To validate your chosen art
And to sanction your boredom
And let you play out your part

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not against obtaining a formal education.  But I’m also in favor of seeking truth, challenging the status quo, and critical thinking.  That led me to today’s SotW – “Closer to Fine” by Indigo Girls.

It is a perfectly crafted song.  It has a nice melody, a solid chorus, beautifully constructed harmony vocals, and excellent lyrics that are about searching for answers to philosophical questions and not accepting the ones that come from a single, “all-knowing” source.  (“There’s more than one answer to these questions, pointing me in a crooked line.”)

My favorite lyrics are where writer Emily Saliers takes a swipe her college education:

And I went to see a doctor of philosophy

With a poster of Rasputin and a beard down to his knee

He never did marry or see a B-grade movie

He graded my performance, he said he could see through me

I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind

Got my paper and I was free

The eponymously titled album that contained “Closer to Fine” won the 1989 Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Recording.  That year Indigo Girls were also nominated for Best New Artist but lost to – Milli Vanilli.  That’s a lesson for why we need to practice critical thinking!

Congratulations, graduates!  Now go get ‘em!

Enjoy… until next week.

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