Sunday, 2 June 2013

More about the best day ever.

"It was that easy... you just emailed him?" Said my unimpressed friend, upon reading my previous (and mind-meltingly brilliant) blog post. "Couldn't you have just done that ten years ago... YOU COMPLETE IDIOT?" I heard him thinking.

Well, of course, I had tried that before. I wasn't like a lost father on a family camping trip, driving aimlessly through Welsh countryside, too proud to ask the only dog walker in sight if this was definitely the correct way to Crymnthynllewnlynfd. Of course I'd tried emailing the bloody writer.

In fact, my brother and I have tried many things before. Search 'John Ondrasik' on IMDB. One of the questions on the message boards (unanswered, and under the crushingly bad username: the_explainer) is from myself.

I might reply to it. Yeah I should, it will be like sending myself a valentines card. Just with nobody around to see. (Actually it's not really worth it when it's put like that.)

Here is an email I found from September 24th, 2007, which I sent to the old Five For Fighting website. That's nearly six years after I first read the lyrics. It went like this:


A few years ago after performing at the 'Concert for New York' septemeber 11th memorial event on October 20th 2001, John wrote the lyrics to a song called "The Night of New York".

I read the lyrics (can't remember where I found them) and thought they were beautiful but I've never seen them since.

Any chance you can find them? It would quite possibly make me the happiest guy on Earth.



I think my writing style has gone beyond "simple but effective" and straight on through to "drivel", here, and I probably wasn't taken very seriously. I couldn't even spell September correctly. (The usernames aren't getting any better either.)

Nevertheless, it shows I have been on the hunt for these lyrics for a long time. Stating they would make me the "happiest guy on Earth" was a big claim (was I planning to marry them?) but I can confirm I am very happy to have them.

Before I post them for all to see, I do want to share another story...

Glenn and I are from the UK but my last girlfriend was from the US. I was sitting with her once, talking about Five for Fighting, quoting her lyrics. And, tentatively, she says "Scott, you know... over here... Five for Fighting are a different... kind of... thing"

What the hell was she talking about?

"It's like. You hear the songs everywhere. At weddings. At graduation. On the radio..."

And it became clear. Like a ubiquitous Celine Dion circa 1997, Five for Fighting was the scourge of America's ears.

"But...surely people still think it's good music?" I said, hopefully.

"I just think that if you had lived here all of your life you'd have a different opinion"

I understood the point. She was right, my musical tastes would be completely different had I lived elsewhere. Yes, she was right.

But the truth is it doesn't matter if my taste would be different. I can't change it now. If liking one type of music makes me less 'cool' in one culture, then that's alright with me. (Honestly, my musical taste won't be considered cool anywhere - I actually like Celine Dion.) I can take more meaning from a Five for Fighting song than any other. Hell, I can take more meaning just from the name 'Five for Fighting' than I can most other songs.

It's about how we interact with our favourite music. Not what it means to everybody else. Five for Fighting is important to me. That's all that matters.

Anyway, whatever your opinion of Five for Fighting is.

Without the music...

Without the name...

As only black and white words on a page.

I think 'The Night of New York' has universal appeal.