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Song of the Month: Somebody’s Baby by Jackson Browne from Solo Acoustic Vol. 2

Something new. Once a month I’m going to highlight a song from my music collection that’s worth a listen or twenty.

To start things off, I’m going with a solo acoustic version of Jackson Browne’s “Somebody’s Baby.” The song was originally released as part of the soundtrack for Fast Times at Ridgemont High which I don’t think I saw until a few years later when it showed up on cable. I still have no idea where in the movie the song appears.

This version, with all the 1980s production stripped out manages to catch the emotional core of the song, the longing and desire for the unattainable.

For me, the song is forever attached to my own high school experience. It received steady airplay all through my freshman year of high school and is forever engrained in my mind with my memories of a girl in my Advanced Algebra class who I had a secret silent crush upon, which I could never act upon because she seemed an ethereal being beyond the grasp of a mere mortal such as myself and she was a junior while I was a mere freshman so even if I weren’t afraid of talking to girls, there was no hope that she would respond positively to me asking her out.

I remember that she wore skirts and dress blouses to school every day except Wednesdays, a conundrum that was finally unravelled when I discovered that she was in the work experience program at the school that had her working part time at a local bank for class credit (in the 1980s it was typical for banks to be closed on Wednesdays, thus her casual attire on that day).

There was another student in my math class who also had an obvious case of lovesickness for her, which as far as I could tell, he also never acted upon. He had a somewhat nerdy demeanor and felt kind of like a potential future version of myself from my vantage point. I would like to imagine that he eventually managed to work up the courage to ask her out and they began a wonderful relationship, but most likely no such thing ever happened.

Jeannie and Anthony, this song is for you.

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