I don’t see much difference between good poetry and good song lyrics. My son is one of the best lyricists I know, and I marvel at Matthew’s poetry. It’s all the more incredible to me because he adds really good music, too!
One of my favorite poems, like many people, is Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” I also like Tom Cochrane’s “Life Is a Highway” (most people these days think of Rascal Flatts). The metaphor in both is quite apt, I think. As I used to point out to my students, Frost actually says that either of the paths in the yellow wood would have been the same, and probably reached the same conclusion. Cochrane’s song is a great driving tune, but the lyrics make it even better. “I want to drive it all night long. If you’re going my way, I want to drive it all night long.”
We have to realize that the road/highway we’re on really only makes sense when we’re the ones driving. Sometimes we’ll have passengers. Sometimes we’ll have traveling companions. Both make the journey better. Still, it’s our road. We have to drive. Whether it’s a multi-lane freeway or a leaf-covered path in a wood, sharing is always better, but that simply means that someone’s highway has merged with yours for a while.
Many people believe that every road has the same ending, but some roads are just longer than others. That may be true. I think that it’s best when roads come together. Traveling with someone who enjoys the same sites and experiences as you makes the trip much more worthwhile. Now and then you may think you’ve found a great traveling companion, but it doesn’t work out. If you’re lucky, you will find one (or maybe more) who can share the road and the load. In the end, it’s still just your road.
If you find yourself driving through Hell, keep on going. Those times you discover Elysian Fields, stop and smell the roses. May your road always have sunshine; may the wind be always at your back; may you never run out of gas or good friends to share the journey.