Sunday, November 16, 2008


I'm supposed to be doing other things right now, more productive things with my alone time on the computer this quiet Sunday night.

Instead, I wander from thing to thing, idea to idea, song to song, on the internet. There's hardly anything I like doing more.

Wandering tonight on iTunes I came across the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack that I listened to nonstop for several months when I was 14 or 15. There was an anniversary edition released last year, and it included on it that song "Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen)". I think this song came out a couple years after the original soundtrack for Romeo and Juliet was released.

Do you remember that song??? I do... and like the song (spoken word?) writer probably guessed it would, it's more meaningful the more the years pass by.

[lyrics, trimmed down by me]

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be
it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by
scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
than my own meandering experience…I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not
understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and
recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.
Do one thing everyday that scares you. Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with
people who are reckless with yours. Floss.
Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you
succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements. Stretch.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they
wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don’t.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for
good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the
people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go,
but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography
and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you
knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live
in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will
philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize
that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were
noble and children respected their elders. Respect your elders.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who
supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of
fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the
ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen…


Megan said...

GREAT find!! I totally remember when this song was sooo popular and look at how true it really is, almost ten years later... If I was only so wise as to have listened!

TRAVEL!!!! :)

Lesley Miller said...

1. Loved that Romeo and Juliet soundtrack and movie. I heart Leo and still do.

2. The song is definitely still true. I'm glad I listened to that dude on the sunscreen. My skin is so going to thank me someday.