Reminiscing by Little River Band (Harvest, 1978)

Reminiscing is a big word for a six-year old. But I just had to understand what it meant. Something about this song calmed me and made it feel warm inside every time I heard it. I mean, if I was in the car and the song came on the radio and we pulled into a parking lot and my mom turned the car off, I would beg her to leave me the keys so that I could hear the rest of the song. Just leave me in the car with the windows cracked. I’ll be fine. I need my Reminiscing fix, whatever that word means. So I opened up my 25 lb Webster’s dictionary and looked it up.

Reminiscing -inflected form of Reminisce: to talk or think about things that happened in the past. That’s it? Why was that so great? This guy makes it sound like it’s the best thing in the world. I watched my brother throw his See & Spell in the pool yesterday. That’s my reminiscing.

Of course I would learn later in life, reminiscing is an adult pastime, a way to put a shine on your past, to feel that things were better than they are today, a way to gloss over yesterday’s regrets, leapfrogging over the present by saying the past is always better than the future. It’s the feeling that everyone was better when you were younger. Nobody makes music like that anymore. Prices were cheaper. Life was richer. But when you get down to it, all one ever reminisces about is their innocence and the days before they lost it.

Graham Goble knows this. He wrote this song about the entire notion of living in the past. In fact he states ‘Older times we’re missing spending the hours reminiscing.’ The song seems so sweet and it connected with so many people and still does (BMI certified it at 4 million radio plays). But there’s a bittersweet undercurrent that presents itself after reading the lyrics over & over. He spends so much time reminiscing; is just avoiding what his present relationship has become. He talks so much about that late Friday night where he proposed and talked of wanting to build his world around her, (Was he a moat salesman?) those long great nights of dancing to Glenn Miller that they never wanted it stop. But ‘it ended all too soon‘. The funny part is in the guy’s recollection he was thinking at the time, “I can’t wait until I’m older so that I can relive this memory in my head.” How about making some new memories? Or does he think the relationship peaked with walking in the park? Doesn’t sound like a very adventurous or forward thinking guy.

See I even wonder if he’s still together with this person. This might be the thoughts of a lonely man who had a wonderful person in their life at one time and the way gets by day after day is reliving those years in his head. Or maybe it is what it is? I don’t know how Australians think.

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