Other People's Love Songs


Album Artwork
Berkeley, California (for Honor from Da)

Honor writes:

My father spent his life running from his various families. In 1981, he successfully escaped us all, landing in Berkeley, California. Berkeley's generous social services and café society was a haven for this itinerant actor. It most likely extended his lifespan by a decade. He flourished there, filling his days by walking the neighborhood, smoking roll-ups, drinking tea, and telling stories. The rhythm and the melodies of this song aptly capture the joy my father derived from living in Berkeley.Photograph of the love song's subject

Now the lyrics, hmmm. "Don't spend any time thinking of me, love," Corey's version of my father advises me. It's this casual dropping of the word "love" that undoes me. The first time I spoke with my father after a hiatus of thirteen years, he picked up the phone and said, "Hello Love." My heart leapt; he called me love. That must mean that he loves me. However, love in a Dublin context hasn't the real weight of American love. To Dubliners of my father's generation, everyone is a love, a pet, a dearie--even the bin man. When I listen to this song, I ponder this word love and the Irish use of it. And my father's misuse of it. Or perhaps, the Irish misuse of it. And my father's use for it.

Berkeley, California (for Honor from Da)

Berkeley, California
Is really only in your head
It's only Berkeley, California as you imagine it
So don't say I didn't warn you
When you lie awake in bed
Wondering why I'm not a little more compassionate

Nothing really matters
'Cause matter's really nothing
A stage is not a stage if you're not on it
A box is not a box
A stone is not a stone
And Shakespeare never wrote a single sonnet

One day Berkeley, California
Might just fall into the sea
Millions would drown in the Pacific Ocean
But that traumatic day
Will simply never come to be
Unless you and everyone else have such a notion

Don't spend any time
Thinking of me love
It's really best that I'm no longer perceived
Please find someone else
Or something else to think of
I'll be thoroughly grateful and relieved

Berkeley, California
Berkeley, California
Berkeley, California
Berkeley, California
Berkeley, California
Berkeley, California
Berkeley, California

words and music by Corey Dargel (except as noted)
artwork by Marisol Limon Martinez
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