I first took note of Lyle Lovett's music when "If I Had a Boat" was offered as a free download in the early days of free downloads. I think it was in a proprietary Liquid Library format or something.
Until then he was the guy who quoted from "Freaks" in "The Player" and married Julia Roberts for 15 minutes.
I was fortunate enough a while latter to attend a concert when he toured to promote his compilation "Cowboy Man." He did a stunning show and of course performed "If I Had a Boat," that's at once sweet, upbeat and rebellious.
I'll admit I've been in a bit of a first of the year funk the last few days. They really shouldn't schedule the first of the year right after Christmas. It means letdown is inevitable.
But I was driving along this morning and "If I Had a Boat" kicked up on the shuffle with it's suggestion of the fulfillment of childhood dreams and present day bliss. "If I had a boat," the lyrics note, "I'd go out on the ocean, and if I had a pony I'd ride it on my boat."
Ah, the sweet spirit of that thought. It's really, deep down an F you to every care and woe, it's Buffet to a slightly different tune, and it builds up to my favorite verse:
The Mystery Masked Man was smart
He got himself a Tonto
Someone who would do his dirty work for free.
But Tonto he was smarter.
He said "Kiss my ass, Kemo Sabe,
I've bought a boat and I'm headed out to sea."
How fabulous is that? I think I'll be humming it all day.