The Talking Heads used to annoy me. They seemed too self-consciously nerdy, as if to say, “Hey, look how weird and nerdy we are! Come on, our music is so weird and confusing!” And David Byrne’s dance moves were super annoying!
Years later, I have come to realize two things:
David Byrne’s dance moves were so annoying because those are my dance moves. 😱. I’ll show you if you don’t believe me.
This song is all about time flowing relentlessly under your feet as you try to figure out what the hell you’re doing in your life.
At least that’s my take, thank you very much.
The tight, precise beat underneath emphasizes the odd arrangement layered on top, with perfect midlife observations like this:
You may ask yourself, “What is that beautiful house?” You may ask yourself, “Where does that highway go to?” And you may ask yourself, “Am I right? Am I wrong?” And you may say to yourself, “My God! What have I done?”
But time doesn’t care. It just flows on.
Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
I guess we all hit a 500-foot waterfall eventually. The only question is what happens between here and there. Do you learn to swim with the river and enjoy the journey, or do you let the water knock and bruise you on the rocks?
Anyone can sing to this version, and then I can go back and re-record a few differently-styled instrumentations. I’m thinking a “dreamy” version, a “noisy” version, a 50’s version, a Weezer version, and a Walkmen version.