Unhinged Melody

This song is so completely stuck in my head tonight that I can't even gripe about the news. It's Michael Penn's "Brave New World," from his debut album, "March." March was either the last great album of the '80s, or the first great album of the '90s. And this song is more true today than it was when he released it 13 years ago.

Baby's busy hiding in the bassinet

Wondering if the Third World War's started yet

I told her I was pulling up and heading West

She said she would have come but she was overdressed

I sent a picture postcard of a Midwest bank

She wrote me that she showed it to her new friend Frank

Who noticed in a window on the nineteenth floor

A guy my age about to prove that Man can't soar

And he would also like to know

If I could just check around before I left this town

For slow-mo footage of the tumbledown


This may not be my best day

But this ain't no Golden Age

You looked pretty on the freeway

Let's drive into that Brave New World

A van pulls up and someone offers me a ride

The driver lost the map and he was terrified

Everybody whispering to save his pride

Say, "Son, would you be kind enough to be our guide?"

The driver yells, "The man in back already tried,

But his memory is rusty and his vision tied."

Glasses and a lubricant were by his side

The Tin Man was inanimate, the Lion lied

They did not want to see me go

But I did not want to be another muskateer

Plus the gas runs out before the van's in gear

Please don't hit me if I do say

That this ain't no Golden Age

You looked so pretty on the freeway

Let's drive into that Brave New World

Buster and his company look good in black

Trying to find a way out of the cul-de-sac

Tearing through the phone book and the almanac

They all have dusty noses 'cause they sniff shellac

They finally found the number of a matador

Who rode in a Beemer with a pricey whore

But Buster wasn't quick enough, he locked the door

And rode off saying he'd be back before the war

By then the night was falling slow

And I did not want to stick around and just look old

When I saw you pulling onto my soft shoulder

This may not be my best day

But this ain't no Golden Age

You looked pretty on the freeway

Let's drive into that Brave New World