Broadway is Dark Tonight…

Broadway is dark tonight –
A little bit weaker than you used to be.
Broadway is dark tonight…
See the young man sitting in the old man’s bar
Waiting for his turn to die

Somedays something comes up and reminds me of what it is that I miss.

Like this song: Broadway, by the Goo Goo Dolls.

The cowboy kills the rock star
And Friday night’s gone too far
The dim light hides the years
On all the faded girls
Forgotten but not gone
You drink it off your mind
You talk about the world
Like it’s someplace that you’ve been

I remember hearing this song a lot on the radio before the person I now live with suffered her stroke and I moved in to help her. I always wanted to like this song, but something always blocked me. Part of it may have been the cryptic quality of the lyrics. Or maybe their darkness. After all, we’re talking about a guy who pretty much has given up on the world and now only takes up space. Don’t think he’s homeless yet, but he only sleeps at home and somedays he believes the money wasted on rent would be better spent on a final drunken spree that would bury him.

Never mind what would happen that would bring him to that point, he’s made it there. And he probably isn’t that young – he’s probably in his early thirties, seeing himself doomed to failure at a time when many people are beginning to rise up and gain honor in their world.

And it don’t help that the Broadway here isn’t the shining light of NYC (or even the lively conduit of Chicago) but instead a road that’s seen its glory days come and gone and is now wider than it needs to be. A Broadway whose blocks may have buildings, or grass on flat lawns; but little being kept up or glitzed up.

You choke down all you anger
Forget your only son
You pray to statues when you sober up for fun
You’re anger don’t impress me
The world slapped in your face
It always rains like hell on the losers day parade

And I’m wondering whether this song would be able to make it onto the radio today. After all, this is one of those songs that doesn’t give itself upon the first listen. You have to listen closely, and sometimes it only works after a few years, when you hear it again and experience shows you something you missed before.

You see you’d love to run home but you know you ain’t got one
‘Cause you livin’ in a world that you’re best forgotten
And you’re thinking you’re a joke
And nobody’s gonna listen to the one small point
I know you’ve been missin’ round here

Nowadays it seems everything new on the radio has been simplified. Simplified to the point of being obvious to all but the dimmest of people. Obvious and dependent on hooks and beats and attractive people dancing in front of an audience/camera.

Thing is, I couldn’t care less how cute the singers are. I just want some songs with a bit of depth in them. Something that’s not obvious or simplified at first listen. Something that wouldn’t fit on “American Idol” if it wasn’t already a hit.

Broadway is dark tonight –
A little bit weaker than you used to be.
Broadway is dark tonight…
See the young man sitting in the old man’s bar
Waiting for his turn to die

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2 thoughts on “Broadway is Dark Tonight…

  1. You see you’d love to run home but you know you ain’t got one
    ‘Cause you livin’ in a world that you’re best fogotten
    And you’re thinking you’re a joke
    And nobody’s gonna listen to the one small point
    I know you’ve been missin’ round here

    I have hit middle age, and I have “no home” in essence just as this song says. I have always wanted a place to “belong” [a niche as it were and a role to play in life with community} I got a small taste of in my last small town, which collapsed like a deck of cards due to economic development…and yet again, I’m the new one among strangers and part of me things WHY BOTHER? after a lifetime of seeing the back end of people. 😦 Sorry for the pity parade, but I totally relate to this song. The young guy in the song knows unless he becomes a “winner” by societies standards the lonlieness will be that much more acute.

  2. I really enjoyed reading your interpretation of the lyrics. Broadway is one of my favorite songs by the Goo Goo Dolls. The name of the song actually comes from the name of a street in Johnny Rzeznik’s hometown of Buffalo if I recall correctly.

    Godozo replies:
    I read that myself, and Googled the area. From what I saw of the area, it definitely looks like an area which has seen better days.

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