Other People's Love Songs


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Seagulls (for CJ from Karen)

Karen writes:

Our first road trips together were in Scotland, a few trips out of Glasgow into the countryside. CJ doesn’t drive, so I was drafted into service driving a stick shift on the opposite side from what I was used to. CJ navigated. I didn’t know where we were going. I couldn’t concentrate on much more than the road. CJ carefully guided us over hill and glen, and around lochs.Photograph of the love song's subject

Once when we were in the southwest of England we took off on a trip toward Land’s End. We never got that far. The first night we were driving in the dark along narrow roads with tall shrouding hedgerows on either side. After a while I insisted I could not continue and that he had better find us a town on the map where we could stay.

This is how we ended up in Hallsands, the village that slipped into the sea. There were some feral teenagers playing pool in the hotel lobby and a man missing the tip of his pinky finger delivered fish’n’chips to us displaying impressive anchor tattoos on his massive forearms. The door to our room wouldn’t close due to the slant of the building. I found it difficult to sleep as the wind whipped and the attic creaked around us. A seagull fought against the wind just outside the window, working hard to remain stationary, framed, resolute.

We didn’t learn about the demise of the village until the next morning when we took a walk and came upon a memorial plaque describing the storm that took Hallsands into the sea. As it turns out, it doesn’t matter where we go, we always enjoy our trips together.

Seagulls (for CJ from Karen)

It’s a mystery to me
How those Hallsands seagulls keep surviving
A whole village falls into the sea
And those birds keep thriving
Diving right into the undertow
Constantly struggling
No matter how hard the wind blows

Sometimes I feel just like one of them
Wondering how I’ll ever get through this
Without the divine Mister M
Without my man from the Isle of Lewis
Without the divine Mister M
Without my man from the Isle of Lewis

But whenever my heart needs reviving
I can just remember us driving
Across the English countryside
Me as your pilot
You as my guide
Me as your pilot
You as my guide

So I’ll just keep on driving
And you can tell me which way to go
Somehow you always know

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