Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Harry Nilsson: Think About Your Troubles

I've posted this clip from The Point before, but when I was a kid and having a bad day, this is the song I would think about. I've since been told that this scene creeped my siblings out. Not me. I'd think about that whale decomposing on the bottom of the ocean and the tiny teardrop flowing back to the sea. The basic elements. The whole big, circular picture. And my own little teardrop would seem just a bit more endurable.

Even as an adult, when things get too busy, when I get one too many rejections on that novel I've been working so hard on, when the car won't start, when winter comes too soon...I get this song in my head, and I imagine that little teardrop heading for the sea. In the whole scheme of things, it's really such a small little thing. Kind of makes you think about your troubles in a whole new way. Thanks, Harry. :)

Harry Nilsson: Think About Your Troubles



Sit beside the breakfast table
Think about your troubles
Pour yourself a cup of tea
Then think about the bubbles
You can take your teardrops
And drop 'em in a teacup
Take them down to the riverside

And throw them over the side
To be swept up by a current
Then taken to the ocean
To be eaten by some fishes
Who were eaten by some fishes
And swallowed by a whale
Who grew so old
He decomposed, doo, doo, doo

He died and left his body
To the bottom of the ocean
Now everybody knows
That when a body decomposes
The basic elements
Are given back to the ocean
And the sea does what it oughta

And soon there's salty water
Not too good for drinking
'Cause it tastes just like a teardrop
So they run it through a filter
And it comes out from a faucet
And it pours into a teapot
Which is just about to bubble
Now think about your troubles, now

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, I used to sing this song to my cat when I was around 10-12 years old - when I was feeling down. The cat would sit there and listen to the whole thing. I miss the cat (BooBoo), Harry Nilsson and being 12!

BTW, our dogs name was Arrow.

Dan P

Josephine Cameron said...

That's such a great image! And Arrow is one of the coolest names for a dog. Ever.

Anonymous said...

Arrow was a Pointer mix to make the tale/tail even better. I do believe the dog was a complete spaz and showed no obedience to anyone (he wasn't blue, either).

Dog memories are the best...

Feeding your dog you glass of chocolate milk when you're 4 seems like a good idea. According to my mother, the results weren't so great.

Dan P

Mary-Helen Rossi said...

When I was in my late 30s and pretty darned lost, I got a hold of the album and listened, and listened, and listened. About 30 years later, now that I'm no longer lost, I can only believe it was one of the responsible beacons -- for me, the essence is that we all have a point even 'tho what feels like your whole community may not acknowledge it ... and for me, the point now is to try to be be a part of that beacon for kids. Hmm, sounds smultsy, but it's not. I have loved your posts since I searched "now everybody knows that when a body decomposes ..." and finding your site. I invite you to also look at ours (www.emtah.org is the site of our nonprofit; www.merge-education.com is what we're developing to disseminate our program) because I think you'll like it as much as I've enjoyed yours. Thanks!

Mary-Helen Rossi said...

sorry that was such a messy post, i neglected to edit it first :)

Josephine Cameron said...

Hi Mary-Helen.
Thanks for stopping by. Isn't it amazing how sometimes just coming across the right song, or the right book, or the right piece of art at the right time can change *everything*? I'll look forward to reading about your organization.
Take care,
Josephine

Mary-Helen Rossi said...

Thanks for your reply! I've been watching clips from the video since I posted that comment (the first time that i've revisited The Point in all these years and the first time i've seen the video), and am struck by how relevant the theme is to our work -- we're able to reach "unreachable" kids because we have that essential humanity and empathy you feel through the story and the music ... but I do have to say I think that while the movie added something to the album it also detracted. Did you ever hear the album, start to finish? Do you mind if I labor this point here? :) I have never forgotten the Point, and seeing some of your other posts and themes I think we're pretty like-minded.

Josephine Cameron said...

:) This might be one of those it-depends-where-you-began situations. I grew up loving the movie, and so of course, when I listen to the album (which I have, a number of times), I love it, but it feels to me like it's missing so much. I wonder if, had I come at it the other way around (like you), I would feel quite differently!