You know there ain't no street like home
To make you feel so all alone
Plenty of folk to tell you what to do
But they don't speak the same language as you
They wanna have me here
Have me and hold me near
Hold me down fasten and tie
But the cars are all flashing me
Bright lights are passing me
I feel life passing me by
The fuss is buzzing in my head
My father argued and my mother begged
It's not their words ain't tugging at me
But gotta stretch them break them get myself free
Gotta gotta gettaway
Gotta gotta gettaway
I'm leaving home
-Stiff Little Fingers "Gotta Getaway"
I loved this song when I first heard it in college. The Stiff Little Fingers were so raw and the lyrics really said a lot to me.
I was listening to this song a few months ago and I thought it summed up my adolescence extremely well. Jake Burns seemed to be singing my own adolescence to me. It was sort of astounding to look back on it actually.
An explanation may be in order - I grew up in a little town (20k people) in Wisconsin. Yep, pure corn and cow country. Nothing much to it. We were not far from some bigger towns (100K or so people), but my little suburban wasteland was its own special sort of place. All green grass and picket fences. The sort of place I wouldn't mind raising my kids.
WOW! How I have changed.
To a rebellious, angsty, angry adolescent, those perfect lawns were like iron bars. That quiet town held nothing of interest to me. You couldn't skateboard anywhere because it was illegal (except in our own yards...). Nothing to do, no where to go. That is the way I felt anyway. It is certainly not entirely true.
So, this song says a lot about me. I worked 3 jobs through college at one point, just so I wouldn't have to ask my parents for money. Make it on my own - do things my way.
I had great parents, actually. They didn't meddle in my life too much. Kept quiet about the girls I dated, even though they hated them. (and rightly so I later came to find out.) Kept me out of trouble the best they could. Were understanding of my teenager-ness mostly. Made sure I valued my education and encouraged me to live up to my potential. Hell, they even encouraged me to go away to college. To get away. They didn't want me going to the small liberal arts school in our town. "Go and explore," they said. The rest of my family, though. Boy oh boy. "Why would you want to go to school in that big city?"
It wasn't my parents. It was the town. Where everyone knew me or knew of me. In fact, I got into much better schools than the one I chose to go to. Why did I go there? Well I told everyone that I liked it best and it had a physics program. One of the main driving forces, however, was that I knew of not a single soul from my high school going there! And you know what - I don't regret it one bit.