Thursday, November 05, 2015

TBT: Tom Rush, "Urge for Going"

The song is by Joni Mitchell, but the version I heard first, on Boston's WBCN during my first year of law school, is Tom Rush's. No offense to Joni, whose work I love, but Tom's rendition has always touched me in a profound way. Although this is a song about autumn fading into winter, I heard it first in spring. And what a spring. I had lived in Florida for years and had not experienced a northern winter since I was seven. The first snowflakes,seen through a classroom window in late October of 1967, were exciting. Having to buy a topcoat and boots was novel, and the comfort they provided welcome. But novelty soon wore off. The New England winter seemed interminable, although I was sheltered from much of it because my dorm was but a few feet of covered walkway from the student center and cafeteria, and that was connected to the classroom buildings by tunnels. I was living like a mole.

Spring finally came, and with it my discovery of WBCN, Boston's first underground rock FM station. Perhaps this song touched me because it reminded me of what I'd just endured. It made me a fan of Tom Rush, who opened his concert in my neighborhood a year ago with it.

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