Decisions, decisions. We’re faced with them every day. What to eat for dinner. Who to vote for. Red or white wine. Should I stay or should I go?
Many years ago, I was faced with a very difficult career decision. I had the choice of staying in a safe, comfortable writing job or taking a more challenging position where I’d either make a name for myself or be out on my ear very quickly.
That weekend, I couldn’t muster the confidence to make a final decision. Then, driving to work Monday morning, I happened to hear “Wasted On The Way” by Crosby, Stills and Nash. The lyrics gave me the mental shove I needed.
Oh, when you were young
Did you question all the answers
Did you envy all the dancers
Who had all the nerve?
Look around you now
You must go for what you wanted
Look at all my friends who did
And got what they deserved.
Unfortunately, the oldies don’t contain the answers to all of life’s mysteries. But if you listen closely, you might discover food for thought. There’s advice, social commentary, observations about life and living. Proverbs and truisms. Bright little gems you may have missed before.
So next time you’re looking for a little inspiration, common sense or unbiased guidance, don’t consult a shrink, Plato or tarot cards.
Just turn on the radio.
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.
“For What It’s Worth”
You can’t please everyone
so you’ve got to please yourself.
I took off my watch and found I had all the time in the world.
“Time for Living”
Wake up and get your education
So you can keep your family alive.
Get away from negative situations.
They will only bring you a lot of frustration.
“Only the Strong Survive”
Why in the world are we here?
Surely not to live in pain and fear.
People say believe half of what you see,
and none of what you hear.
“I Heard It Through The Grapevine”
A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.
Simon and Garfunkel
God grant me the serenity to remember who I am.
“Games People Play”
When I’m 33, I’ll quit. That’s the time when a man has to do something else. I can’t say what it will definitely be. I couldn’t bear to end up as an Elvis Presley and sing in Las Vegas with all those housewives and old ladies coming in with their handbags. It’s really sick.
-Mick Jagger, 1972
What a drag it is getting old.
“Mother’s Little Helper”
The Rolling Stones
Don’t hang on. Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky.
It slips away. And all your money won’t another minute buy.
“Dust In The Wind”
Young and beautiful,
someday your looks will be gone.
“Love Will Keep Us Together”
The Captain and Tennille
Lighten up while you still can.
“Take It Easy”
Well it seems to me that you have seen
too much in too few years.
“19th Nervous Breakdown”
The Rolling Stones
Old Cody, Junior took me over
Said “You’re gonna find the world is smoulderin.”
If you get lost come on home to Green River.
Creedence Clearwater Revival
You can spend all your time making money,
you can spend all your love making time.
“Take It To The Limit”
And you, of the tender years
Can’t know the fears
That your elders grew by.
“Teach Your Children”
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
For you know that it’s a fool
who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder.
“There’s no time to lose,” I heard her say.
Catch your dreams before they slip away.
The Rolling Stones
They while away the hours
In their ivory towers
To be covered up with flowers
In the back of a black limosene.
“Games People Play”
Don’t trust your soul
to no backwoods Southern lawyer.
“The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia”
All work and no play
has just cost me a wife.
“Take A Letter Maria”
You shouldn’t let other people get your kicks for you.
"Like a Rolling Stone"
We are but a moment’s sunlight
fading in the grass.
No matter what you do,
You’ll never get away from you.
Paul Revere and the Raiders
Where life’s river flows
No one really knows
‘Til someone’s there to show the way
To lasting love.
Without love, where would you be now?
“Long Train Running”
The Doobie Brothers
When you believe in things
that you don’t understand
then you suffer.
Superstition ain’t the way.
Oz never did give nothing to the Tinman that he didn’t already have.
Love has a nasty habit of
“I’m Looking Through You”
Your ever-lastin summer, you can see it fadin’ fast,
So you grab a piece of something that you think is gonna last.
“Reelin’ In The Years”
You, always contemplating happiness,
in case it should find you—
Can’t you see that it’s all around you?
Crispian St. Peter
A friend will always be there
if you’re wrong, or if you’re right.
“I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight?”
Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart
But there never seems to be enough time
to do the things you want to do
once you find them.
“Time In A Bottle”
Hey farmer, farmer,
put away the D.D.T now,
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and bees.
“Big Yellow Taxi”
When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody’s help in anyway.
But now these days are gone, I’m not so self-assured.
Now I find I’ve changed my mind,
I’ve opened up the doors.
Do you only care about the bleeding crowd,
how about a needy friend?
“Easy To Be Hard”
Three Dog Night
It’s a long, long road
from which there is no return.
While we’re on the way to there
why not share?
“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”
Life is too short to have sorrow.
We may be here today and gone tomorrow.
“Tell It Like It Is”
You see, war is not the answer
for only love can conquer hate.
“What’s Going On”
It’s so easy to hurt others
when you can’t feel pain.
Hall and Oates
Q. What’s the smartest thing you ever heard anybody in rock & roll say?
If I’d never loved
I never would have cried.
“I Am A Rock”
Simon and Garfunkle
Life is very short and there’s no time
for fussing and fighting, my friend.
“We Can Work It Out”
No one can tell what the future knows.
“This Is It”
You may say that I’m a dreamer.
But I’m not the only one.
Now I’m not the kind
to live in the past.
The years run too short,
and the days too fast.
You gotta make your own kind of music,
sing your own special song.
Even if nobody else sings along.
“Make Your Own Kind Of Music”
Yeah, city folk drivin in a black limousine,
A lotta sad people thinkin' that's mighty keen.
Thank God I’m A Country Boy
And in the end,
The love you take
Is equal to
The love you make.