On the way back from the chiro tonight, Anna and I were totally jamming to Roger Miller’s “King of the Road.”
And if that doesn’t qualify as one of the nerdiest things I’ve ever said or done, I have no idea what does.
She snapped through the entire song while I sang. It’s a song that almost dares you to not sing along – and how can you NOT like the key change? Any song with a key change automatically has points in its favor, which goes a long way toward explaining why I was so fond of most of Whitney Houston’s 1980s output.
“King of the Road” is one of those songs I’ve known forever. I probably heard it ad infinitum on 100.3 FM back in the early 80s when it used to be an elevator music station. I listened to it every night as I slept and that’s how a lot of that uber easy listening stuff became part of my collective. Still, it was just not one of those songs that really catapulted on to my radar until it was featured on the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack, this time as a duet between Rufus Wainwright and Teddy Thompson. I usually have a low tolerance for Rufus’ nasal voice (says the Stevie Nicks fan), but this works just fine for me.
I love the scene in the movie during which this song plays. Jack is in his big old clunker of a truck driving to meet Ennis who has recently divorced his wife. Thinking this means a future for the two of them, he’s driving down the road as happy as a clam, only to have his dreams dashed a few minutes later. It’s a rare moment of happiness in what is really a very very sad film.
But for me, now I’ll always think of my daughter on the cusp of her 10th birthday, snapping her fingers all blase-like, as she rode in the car with her dad singing along to a song about hobos. It doesn’t get much better than that, folks.