Lonely Boy

When Andrew Gold’s “Lonely Boy” came out in 1976, I dug it. The tune is catchy, and it tells a story – a genre that was popular back in the 70s. Story songs ran rampant on AM radio back then – “Wildfire,” “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl),” “Billy Don’t Be a Hero” – hell, I could go on.

My husband likes this song a lot, so it gets played on a somewhat frequent basis. But I began to realize a few months ago that the song “Lonely Boy” makes no sense whatsoever. The story it tells? It’s weak.

Let me show you what I mean.

The song starts out with:

He was born on a summer day, 1951
And with the slap of a hand
He had landed as an only son

Ok fine. Welcome to the world Lonely Boy. All’s well and good, until, in verse two:

In the summer of ’53 his mother brought him a sister
And she told him we must attend to her needs
She’s so much younger than you
Well he ran down the hall and he cried
Oh how could his parents have lied
When they said he was an only son
He thought he was the only one

Okay, so in the summer of ’53 our little boy would only be two years old. I could see him being petulant at first – having been pushed aside for his new baby sister. But come on, do you really think a two year old boy would be capable of such deep, inner thoughts?

Wasn’t he pretty much still crapping in his Pampers at that point? I doubt a child with just enough teeth to gnaw on a Zweiback would have the mental capacity to realize that his life was now cosmically altered – that now he was not an only child. Don’t you think that after seeing his newborn sister he might have just toddled off and played with his Tonka truck?

But wait, it gets worse…

He left home on a winter day 1969
And he hoped to find all the love
He had lost in that earlier time

So he leaves home at 18 all pissed off and bitter. Am I supposed to believe that since the age of two this kid has harbored a long standing grudge just because his parents had the audacity to have a second child? That’s just ridiculous! It’s doubtful that as a adult he would even remember the birth of his younger sister, let alone recall it as the time his life changed for evermore.

And with that last line –  “all the love he had lost in that earlier time…” Are we to further believe that his parents totally blew him off once his precious sister came into the act? Did they show him no love whatsoever afterwards? Did they never speak to him? Was he locked in his room and ignored?

It’s so freaking stupid! If the sister had come along when he was 9 or 10 I might be able to buy this story. I could see him being perturbed at not being the golden child anymore and having to share mommy & daddy’s affection (If he were a narcissistic psychopath, anyway.)

But at two? No way.

Listen for yourself, and tell me what you think. Unless it’s to tell me that you don’t give a crap and that I should find better blog topics. That you can keep to yourself.

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