Here at List Of The Day we get endless, relentless requests that we can't possibly fulfill. We'd love to. But I can't cat-sit for a week and I've haven't cured the blind in quite some time.
However, Little Ken Matthews of Seattle, Washington recently wrote in, "Dear Rob, My co-worker Russ is leaving our safe and secure workplace in order to find himself. Though he isn't nearly as annoying as many of the people who are sticking around, we, his co-workers, still don't feel we should have to spend a lot of money for an elaborate goodbye gift. Maybe if you were to do a list of 'Farewell Songs' in his honor--he is, after all, one of your loyal readers--he won't notice the piece of crap we end up giving him. Thank you. Little Ken Matthews."
Well, Little Ken, Big Rob here. I'd say this is a fine way to tribute an almost beloved co-worker. Just be sure that Human Resources screws up his pension. Nothing says "You Don't Work Here Anymore" better than years of lost paperwork and aggravating red tape.
Anyhow, how about five songs that say Goodbye in no uncertain terms?
Hit the Road, Jack": According to Dr. Robi Ludwig, a person forms their opinion of a person within the first fifteen seconds of meeting them. This would indicate that most of us do it by sight. But what if you're blind? It's said then your other senses become more acute. So, if you smell bad to a person with sight, you must smell really bad to someone who can't see you. How did Ray Charles judge other people? He didn't. Like this very popular song of his, he told us all to go to hell! Thanks, Ray!
Scandal--"Goodbye To You": Patty Smyth is not to be confused with Patti Smith. But I read somewhere that Richard Hell married Patty Smyth thinking he was marrying Patti Smith. Who knows with these rocker types? Anything's possible. Makes a good story. And why let the truth get in the way of a good story? I sure wouldn't.
Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car": I was a little disappointed when I learned that the line wasn't get "outta" my car. I wanted to see someone get kicked to the curb. But I comfort myself in the knowledge that the only reason the singer wants the person to get "into" his car is so he drive the person down to the docks and hack their body into little pieces. That is what happens, right?
Woody Guthrie--"Dusty Old Dust (So Long It's Been Good To Know You)": Folk music is an American Institution and like all Institutions it's boring as hell. It's bad enough that lowly workers ran out of work and ended up in the horrific "dust bowl" of America where somehow they died of consumption despite the fact that all they ate was sand, but then this is what they got for entertainment: songs recounting how crappy everything was, sung in a voice that sounds like it's already dead. Cheers for authenticity, I guess. And pass the box set, please.
Goodbye": Now, here's some real talent. Don't give me grief that it took five of them to do what probably should've taken maybe two at most. Like those horrible movies I find on the television where if you put enough cute young girls in the program it somehow becomes more watchable--until the girlfriend asks what the program is about and you have no idea--the Spice Girls are what is known in intellectual circles as "entertainment qua entertainment." I don't know what that means, either. But it confuses everyone else, too, and makes you sound smart.
Let us leave with a quote from these said Spice Girls. The Hallmark Corporation can only hope to write something as profound.
"Goodbye my friend (I know you're gone, you said you're gone, but I can still feel you here)
It's not the end (You gotta keep it strong before the pain turns into fear)"
What? You wanted me to quote Dylan Thomas?
- Ken Matthews