Operator, Can you help me find Jim Croce

I was at the bank a while back and I was watching a kid running around like a banshee while the mother stood in line completely oblivious when I heard it.  The song that I love to absolute death, but hadn’t heard in a long time.  Jim Croce’s “Operator(That’s Not the Way It Feels) is a song that is one of my favorites.  Never mind it came out 6 years before I was born.  It’s still awesome.

It occurred to me as I didn’t move from the spot I was in waiting for the song to end that I hadn’t heard any other of his songs.  Which made me quite sad.  I know enough about Jim Croce as his wife runs a restaurant named for him in my hometown of San Diego(good food).  So I decided to set aside some time to find his music and see if his other songs moved me as much as “Operator” does.

He other songs did move me and I discovered that I did know more of his music and didn’t realize it.  “I’ll Have to Say I Love You In A Song” was a song that I heard before and after hearing it again, I think this is a guy who could understand me.  It’s a great song about a person who is not good at expressing themselves through conventional means.  Just like me.  So he had to do it in a song.  Which is something I’d do.  Maybe not a song, but I do turn to poetry and short stories for things like that.  I relate to this song so much.

“Photographs and Memories” is one of the most sentimental songs I’ve ever heard.  It punches me right in the gut.  I have always been a person who has hated taking pictures.  When I do I rarely smile.  Mostly because I’m self conscious about my looks and I don’t want that captured on film.  But when I think about it, that’s not what I want to look at and remember down the road in my life.  I want to be able to look back on my memories and remember happiness.  Not that I felt awkward and self loathing.  I’m a sentimental person.  I still have birthday and Christmas cards from when I was 1 and 2 years old.  They make me smile.  Those are memories that were made for me.  I want to smile back on memories I’ve made for myself too.

I have two conflicting thoughts about the song “Next Time, This Time”.  On the one hand, this song is me in the way that when I cut someone out of my life due to hurt or betrayal, that person is cut out completely.  There is no coming back, there isn’t another chance, there is no next time.  Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, you are dead to me.  On the other side of it, I think this song perfectly highlights why I think I’d make a terrible girlfriend.  Which is weird because I’ve never seriously dated anyone.  Ever.  I don’t count high school boyfriends.  I’m a complete basket case.  And that could mess a guy up.  I’m afraid of really hurting and screwing someone up to the point where I just don’t bother.  I don’t want someone to make up a song like this or even think this about me.

It is a damn shame that this man is dead.  What I like about him is that he was a true musician.  He was a fantastic guitar player.  His music was all about the music and his incredible vocals.  His songs were all short, sweet and to the point.  Which I guess was a sign of the times.  His songs are beautiful and personal and hit me right in the stomach.  They make me think as I listen and touch my heart.  I’ll do my best to keep his musical legacy alive.  At least in my house.




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