Reflections on My Youth – Inspired by Blue Rodeo’s album: “The Things We Left Behind”

Fragmented recollections
Of the things I left behind
Keep drifting into focus
And lingering in my mind
University bound
At just 17 years old
Naive and a touch rebellious
As I began exploring the world
Adventure abounded in the big city
And I found my perfect escape
Was disappearing into live music
And it became my favourite place
New emotions were felt intensely
As lessons were learned in the folly of youth
Decisions and mistakes that were made
Brought exquisite joys and painful truths
Friendships, lovers, and innocence
Were lost hand in hand
And heartache was handled by a few drinks
Listening to a live band
A carefree life, a musical party
And dancing the nights away
I was forgetting adult worries
And wanted it that way
Out on the town, with a best friend
Punk Rock was passionate fun
The nightlife was cathartic
Though I was slowly coming undone
Difficult choices and sad situations
And a calamity of consequences
Left me alone and wounded
With depressing implications
But really, I was just too young
For the complexity of the world
Feeling abandoned and confused
And more and more disillusioned
When grownup punks and rockers
Also feeling worn and blue
Countrified their rock and roll
Into something alternative and new
I was ripe for this new music
And for more sentimentality too
A hip Toronto cowboy & K D Lang
Were playing country & rockabilly
And the Cameron House bands
Were gaining popularity
Queen Street music was contagious
Its legacy, now legendary
When Blue Rodeo arrived
With their happy brand of melancholy
Their music was amazing and crazy
And I loved it from the start
It took me to the dance floor
And it took me far away
And before too long the clubs
Were overflowing with loyal fans
All captivated from the beginning
With this new Toronto band
Immersed in a catchy melody
Or the poignant lyrics of a song
The heartbroken or the hopeful
Together, we all sang along
Friendship was found amongst strangers
Listening to their tunes
Lost Together, the future anthem
For the crowd from the Old Horseshoe
And though heartache had rained down
And threatened oblivion
I felt hopeful and excited
And was coming alive again
There was magic in those nights
Crawling home under the stars
Bittersweet and nostalgic memories
That have lasted all this time
And secretly remind me
That I left a piece of my heart back there
Along with the things I left behind
Like former friends and lovers
And places I’d known in my youth
That are remembered in the instant
A favourite song is heard
These treasured sentimental reminiscences
Like all the best memories of our lives
Are captured forever and memorized
In the songs and melodies of their time
Music is my addiction
An indispensable healing thing
For it puts meaning back into life
And for me, it fixes everything