As we move on through Tom Waits' Heart of Saturday Night, we find ourselves actually facing a Saturday night not just in name but in fact. Go figure. Sadly, the fourth track of the album does not deal with the wistful tang of a weekend late in Summer, despite the rest of the album's verve. But there are rules, and we are at track four -- wherein we ship out to sea.
"Shiver Me Timbers" is the fantasia of escape on the album, the narrator claiming that he's "Leaving my family, / leaving all my friends" in order to "be up in the crow's nest / singing my say." There's a way in which we can read the song as being a literal account of a man leaving his familiar surroundings and heading off to sea, but I think it's far more interesting to imagine the urge behind the escape. When the narrator stands at the edge of the water and imagines the utopia of being out past the horizon, "Where the clouds are like headlines / on a new frontpage sky" -- new start, fresh page, total potential.
There's obviously a parallel here for the Phillies: the "fire Amaro!" of the zeitgeist suggests an urge for it at the very least. But while that fresh, new beginning is appealing indeed, there's always the pull of the past. "Old Captain Ahab," Waits' narrator says, "ain't got nothin' on me." There's obsession located in the past that chases you down in the future, no matter how much you think you've broken away. So we wish for escape while acknowledging that a clean break is impossible -- we're stuck with the old as we reach for the new.
But a trap is pretty in a frame. And maybe with a nice, stitched "P." Who'd really want to leave after all?
Phillies lead the series 1-0
WP: Jonathan Papelbon (4 - 1)
LP: Heath Bell (4 - 2)
|4 - 3 win|
|Sun 08/25||1:35 PM EDT|