Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Mary's Dress Sways

TigerBlog read a story in the New Yorker by Princeton alum David Remnick (a John McPhee protege, by the way) about one of the lyrics in what might just be TB's favorite song of all time.

The song in question is "Thunder Road," the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band classic. The lyric is in the second line.

The song starts: "The screen door slams. Mary's dress ..."

Is it "waves," which is what TB has always thought? Or is it "sways," which is what it says in the original lyrics Springsteen wrote, not to mention in his autobiography?

This is what Remnick's story is all about. It's a really well done piece, which you can read HERE.

Can a dress wave? If it can wave, it can sway. And has TB really been getting it wrong for 40 years? Hmmm.

From the story, TB learned there is a website that specializes in lyrics that are commonly said wrong. It's called "," and it's named after a Jimi Hendrix song where he sang "kiss the sky."

The more TigerBlog considers it, the more he thinks it is "Mary's dress waves." If anything, the lone line in the song that is hard to figure out is "there were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys you sent away." But hey, TB will have to go with "sways" from now on.

The piece itself was about the glimmers of positivity that can found on the internet in a sea of negativity. Remnick starts out by talking about what the internet was supposed to be versus what it has become:

The Internet is an uneven contribution to the human prospect. We know this now. The wide-eyed evangelical era of “information wants to be free” is long in the past, and we can safely argue that the Web has deepened the ugliest fissures of society, winnowed our attention spans and heightened our anxieties.

He's saying a lot in one paragraph.

There aren't that many people who still work in college athletic communications who predate the rise of the internet, but TB is one of them. He often thinks back to what it used to be like, how much different everything was and how the easiest of tasks now used to be so arduous back then.

He goes down this road a lot here. He's written about it so many times before that you've probably committed it to memory.

If you haven't, it goes something like this: 

There's a part about how sports information used to consist of arranging media placements and mailing releases and pictures out (TB is now flashing back to the mailing football headshots, like 75 of them, to the late great Kathy Slattery at Dartmouth for her game program). There's a part about how long it used to take to place one photo into a box in an old desktop publishing program called "PageMaker," which was in version 2.0 or so when TB first started. Ah, those were the days.

Speaking of those days, TB can still remember how long it took to drag files around onto storage cartridges that he'd have to set up on multiple computers, set to "share." It took hours and hours and hours. 

Sure, there was a charm to it and all. It would have driven TB out of the business long ago though had it not changed.

TB has also written about the need to stay current. Who ever would have foreseen anything like social media back in the 1990s? Or, you know, a blog.

So yes, David Resnick is right. The internet hasn't necessarily become the information superhighway it was billed to be, and oh is he right that it's destroyed attention spans. But hey, it has its good points.

It's made it so easy to check on song lyrics, and other stuff, especially when you need to know where else you saw that guy in the show that's on now who looks familiar.

And athletic communications. That too. 

So what's next? Who knows? It's always been fun to try to look ahead, and it's always been fun to then implement that.

Of course, it's also fun to go back to the old days. The very old days, technologically speaking.

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