Where I'm From - Eels

from the album The Cautionary Tales Of Mark Oliver Everett (2014)

The other night I was sleepless.  I left my hotel and drove thru my ancestral hometown.  I past the old house, the houses of some friends, and Main Street.  Then I headed down a long, bumpy road with wetlands on either side until the road met the sea.

Once upon a time, there was a wall at this dead end.  People called it "The Wall", although it actually wasn't much of one.  In those days, there would be a half dozen cars parked on a summer night, partying and such.  But, on this night, I was alone.

The Wall once stood as a metaphor for me.  I always knew I would travel far away from this place and see the lights of Nairobi.  Sitting there, I could also see a distant lighthouse that forever symbolizes my father in my mind.  Metaphors were everywhere, but not a simile to be found.

As I turned around to head back, Eels came up on the new tune mix.  The song Where I'm From is quiet, melodic, and nostalgic.  Acoustic guitar, bass, brushes on a drum, restrained keyboard accents, and Eels' unmistakable raspy voice.

I found myself singing the lyrics:

Three ghosts and I
Sittin' on the couch last night
Catching up on all the time
Its been awhile
Since we got together
And you know its often on my mind

So long ago
I left it in the dust
Well I was so young and dumb
Ran far away
But I have to admit
Sometimes I miss where I'm from

Let's have a drink
To everything that we went through
It wasn't always so bad
We can't forget
Each other's company
And all of the good times we had

It always amazes me how the right song can find you at exactly the right time.  Cosmic as a choir of crickets.

Click Here to listen to Where I'm From.


  1. Eels - Where I'm from.

    The ghosts of the past, do indeed visit from time to time, and drink with them we must. For to forget one's heritage may well border on a sin. It is in moments of solitude that one is reminded of the influence of the past, the confluence of the future, and the fortitude of mind that the present requires; because, in that moment you gain access to the essential core of who you are, and most importantly what your path as a human being may leave.

  2. Another tale from the crytic.

    It is odd how the songs just show up. Today on my hike, my best cosmic ghost friend told me....you have to let that raga drop. Everything has become such a raga. I am sorry and
    tired. I need that fortitude JB speaks of. It waxes and wanes.

    I would rather drink to the unwritten future and not the past. The past was an amazing ride. But the future is ours to shape. I am loving that.

    But hey, this is a music blog and I like this song. Even though it made you all metaphorical.

    Hang in there. Let the raga drop. Your friends could really use you these days.

    1. Theresa:
      Unfortunate as it is that the metaphorical is truly cryptic; however, the sentiment of reaching out an being that friend in need should also be clearly stated, and known with ambiguity. We all share a bond through the music, but it is just the medium that allows our minds and hearts to communicate. I guess that is the basis for for the expression "you may not always know what is right, but if it is right you will damn sure feel it!"

    2. Error correction: With should be without prior to ambiguity.

  3. Thanks JB. This friend in need is a train in vain, (metaphor much?) with a de-syncing of the heart and mind...talk about ambiguity and exhaustion for all when one tends to speak louder than the other.

    I hope my friends can hang on til things feel "right", as you say.

    This music/psychology blog is the best...:)


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