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Music As Children’s Lit: Weezer

Back in the day, before the boys in Weezer had become complete douches (Raditude? Really, guys?), they sang simple little songs about their sweaters, their iconic choice in eyewear, surfboards, their “safe places,” shitty dads, lesbians, etc.  They are also the original inspiration for Music As Children’s Lit.

“My Name is Jonas” is a psuedo-intellectual picture book mixed with down-home comfort to appeal to that little one sitting on your lap at story time. Think The Polar Express, with more proletariat ideals and less Christmas.

The choo-choo train left right on time
A ticket costs only your mind
The driver said, ‘Hey man, we go all the way’
Of course we were willing to pay

You like trains, kid? Take a ride on this one and we’ll teach you about angst!

Come sit next to me
Pour yourself some tea
Just like grandma made
When we couldn’t find sleep

Get comfortable, it’s going to be a long ride, because the plight of the working class never ends!

The building’s not going as he planned
The foreman has injured his hand
The dozer will not clear a path
The driver swears he learned his math

Oh yeah, and stay in school!

But Weezer’s muddled message of blue collar plight, the comforting reminiscence of grandmother, and the burden of “carrying the wheel” has a more hopeful end, which, of course coincides with the end of the workday:

The workers are going home
The workers are going home
The workers are going home
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

Ryan W. Bradley has pumped gas, changed oil, painted houses, swept the floor of a mechanic's shop, worked on a construction crew in the Arctic Circle, fronted a punk band, and managed an independent children's bookstore. He now works in marketing. His latest book is Nothing but the Dead and Dying, a collection of stories set in Alaska. He lives in southern Oregon with his wife and two sons.

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