Personal Entries

Your classic rock station

Jake has the local classic rock station streaming on the computer, and I leave it on as I sit down to answer my email.

The Clash.


The Allman Brothers.

And then the opening chords of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven.  There is something about this song that makes me want to cry.  It’s such an unnecessary bummer.  It’s 1970’s drug-addled navel gazing. Why go there?

As I reach to turn it down, Jake says, “Ohhhh, I love this song.”

I sigh, and leave the song on.

“Of course you love it, ” I say, “you’re a teenage male.  I think you’re legally required to slowly bob your head to the rhythm of this song.”

Jake grins, “To Stairwell to Heaven?”

I love him.  Jake is famous for his mispeaks.

“Well, maybe not to STAIRWELL to Heaven.  Maybe STAIRWAY to Heaven. “

“But…” He laughs, trying to salvage his cool, “a stairwell and a stairway are the same thing!”

“Noooo, not so much.  A stairwell is where you put the stairway.”

I pull up’s definition and read it to him.

” ‘A stairwell is a vertical shaft or opening containing a stairway.’  No, I don’t think a stairwell alone is going to get her to Heaven.  If it had a stairway IN it, then maybe. But otherwise it’s more like ‘Empty Open Shaft To Heaven.’  Then the song is even MORE depressing.”

I put on my best Robert Plant face, trying to look as if I’m both bored by my coolness and in deep, emotional pain.  I start to sing along:


There’s a lady who’s sure

That her stairwell needs more

For right now it is em–pty

With no stairs.

There’s a builder she gets

He builds stairways out west

And his spirit is crying to

Build steps!

“See?” I ask, “Now the song is about construction.  I’m not sure it would have been such a big hit if they had gone in that direction.”

“Wow.  Thanks for clarifying, Mom.”

“You’re welcome, honey.”

Because the song goes on interminably, it’s still on, and we get back to work as it plays out.  Every time the chorus comes around, both of us sing, “And she’s building a staircase to Heaven!”

The song finally ends, and as the next comes on, Jake groans.

“Oh no.”

It’s Journey, Wheel In The Sky.  I can’t stand Journey.  I can’t stand that voice.   While making up my owns words to Led Zeppelin was a first, I always sing along with Journey.  My lyrics are always about the same subject.

Jake is shaking his head before I even break into song, before I even start with the high, nasal falsetto.  He knows what’s coming.

I turn up Journey, and start singing along:


I sing this way    because my pants

My pants are tight     that’s why I ca-a-a-n’t

I can’t sing    just a little bit lower

My testes are shoved    up under my ribs

No one has seen     my testes in ye-e-a-a-ars

Oh, maybe I should go put on     some boxers.


Oh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turning,

Don’t know where my gonads are hiding!

Wheel in the sky keeps on turning.


I make up verse after verse as the song plays out, all about pants so tight they’ve caused testicular damage; about all the places where Steve Perry’s gonads could be lodged, causing him to sing with this ridiculous voice.

Because really, why else would someone sing that way?  Exactly.


One thought on “Your classic rock station

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