Who Sings Your Soundtrack?

Is there an artist whose music speaks to your soul so deeply that every time you listen to it you are transported to a very specific and vivid memory? Of course, there is because that’s the effect music has on people.

For me, that musician is John Mayer. I’ve listened almost exclusively to Room for Squares since high school when I need to focus.  I’ve forgiven his terrible few years in the spotlight because he gave me Continuum at the exact moment I needed it. He’s undeniably one of the greatest guitar players of our generation, but the lyrical poetry he writes should be equally valued.

One of my favorite songs off the album is “Stop This Train,” which deals with the inevitable passing of time and our mortality. Pretty heavy. I definitely cried the first time I heard it, and depending on my mood and how much sleep I’ve had, I will still occasionally cry when I listen to it. Mayer talks about something we can all relate to — growing old. It’s hard and wonderful and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.

[Verse 1]
No, I’m not color blind
I know the world is black and white
I try to keep an open mind
But, I just can’t sleep on this tonight

[Chorus]
Stop this train
I want to get off and go home again
I can’t take the speed it’s moving in
I know I can’t
But honestly, won’t someone stop this train?

[Verse 2]
Don’t know how else to say it
I don’t want to see my parents go
One generation’s length away
From fighting life out on my own

[Chorus]
Stop this train
I want to get off and go home again
I can’t take the speed it’s moving in
I know I can’t
But honestly, won’t someone stop this train?

[Piano interlude]

[Verse 3]
So scared of getting older
I’m only good at being young
So I play the numbers game
To find a way to say that life has just begun

[Bridge 1]
Had a talk with my old man
Said, “Help me understand”
He said, “Turn sixty-eight, you’ll renegotiate”

[Chorus]
“Don’t stop this train
Don’t, for a minute, change the place you’re in
And don’t think I couldn’t ever understand
I tried my hand
John, honestly, we’ll never stop this train”

[Bridge 2]
Once in a while, when it’s good
It’ll feel like it should
When they’re all still around
And you’re still safe and sound
And you don’t miss a thing
‘Til you cry when you’re driving away in the dark

[Chorus]
Singing, “Stop this train
I want to get off and go home again
I can’t take the speed it’s moving in
I know I can’t
‘Cause, now, I see, I’ll never stop this train”

 

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