For a challenge from my dear blogging friend Judy Dykstra-Brown
“One day out near Salinas lord I let him slip away
he’s looking for that home, and I hope he finds it
Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose
nothing, and that’s all that Bobby left me
Ah feeling good was easy lord when he sang the blues
and feeling good was good enough for me
good enough for me and Bobby McGee”
You know the stories about how songs change your life? How sometimes, they save your life? This is one of those stories about one of those songs.
I grew up in Southern California in the 60’s and 70’s. Yeah, that’s right I’m a hippie. An old hippie but that’s another song and another tale. This one is about Janis Joplin and Bobby McGee.
After high school I lived for a time in Pacific Northwest. I was an “earth child” garden, fruit trees, solar power, self sufficiency on 1 acre (well almost.) Our little group of friends would sit around the campfire and play guitars, tambourines, harmonicas and sing. Every session, someone would ask me to sing “Me and Bobby McGee.” It was a song of wild freedom, of love, of loss and of growing up. Discussions arose many a time about the line “I’d trade all my tomorrows for one single yesterday. To be holding Bobby’s body next to mine.”
While many of my friends contended that they had memories of lost loves and missed opportunities that they would trade their future for, not me. I’m the original optimist and I’ll take the promise of tomorrow over the chance to relive all my yesterdays any time.
Many years later, I was trying desperately to escape an abusive relationship. Searching for some bit of promise to hold on to, something to give me enough strength to save myself. Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee” came on the radio. “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”
“So OK” I thought to myself “what have you got to lose? Find your freedom.” I mustered up enough courage to walk out the door and I never went back. No that wasn’t the end of the battle, it was the beginning of the war. But through it all I remember those campfires, and singing my own words to the song.
“I’ll take the promise of tomorrow over all my yesterdays.
To be just who I am and hold my head up high.
‘Cause freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.
Nothing and that’s all that he left me.
But feeling good comes easier now,
since I left it all behind.
And feeling good is good enough for me.”
Till next time ~Peace ~JPP