Those words were from a song written by the straightest, coolest guy ever -- Jonathan Richman. You may know him as the dude that sings "Roadrunner" with the band The Modern Lovers. Jonathan reminds me of an old friend of mine. He always works hard, but always get screwed over.
Jonathan Richman was born exactly three days before Joey Ramone. They are both children of the fifties, lovers of bubblegum pop. Jonathan made a career honoring the old world with the sound of the new world. His music always makes me nostalgic. He makes me remember why I love Americana, and why I love the old world.
I was driving down this road with my boyfriend a few days ago, we were going to Rockford to visit an old friend of his, and we were listening to Mr. Richman's I, Jonathan, which is my favorite Jonathan Richman album, listening to "That Summer Feeling." And that particular song was perfect. It was twilight, and we were driving past these gorgeous old houses. One was red, white, and blue with stringed star lights draped over the ledge on the front porch. I saw little kids playing kick ball with this chubby red-headed boy doing the rock-on hand gestures. With that song, I remembered what it was like riding my bike down deserted streets with my friends while the sun was setting. I remembered swinging at my old elementary school when the fireflies were beginning to creep out. I remembered sneaking into my neighbor's pool with my first real crush. I felt nostalgic. And the cherry on the sundae was when my boyfriend played "Blackbird" his acoustic guitar with his friend on drums when we finally got to Rockford.
Jonathan Richman is one of the few musicans that can plant that seed of happiness in your heart while making you think and remember catching fireflies at twilight on your front lawn with neighborhood kids you barely knew, but befriended for the sake of the fireflies.
And for the sake of the fireflies, summer washes away the jaded feeling of the cracked winter. Hatred disappears. Love blossoms into something more. The ice cream man seems more friendly. Summer nostalgia plus Jonathan Richman brings five very dorky seventeen-year-olds to run down the street barefooted, playing tag. Twilight in the summer and the fireflies change people for the better. People smile more. Jonathan Richman wrote songs about Twilight in his home town of Boston, and how magical, maybe even forlorn it is, but with that, people forget the twilight in any suburb or city brings magic. There's a bittersweetly whimsical feeling to that lonely twilight, because you aren't alone. The fireflies are beside you, and Jonathan is crooning in the airwave.
People forget to cherish those summer twilights. People regret it when they don't make the most out of summer twilights. People forget what it's like when the garden is infested with fireflies, and they regret the lost feeling of loosing the fireflies. When summer leaves, you're gonna always want that feeling of nostalgia within you, and your gonna feel weird when you yearn for something annual, yet seemingly so far away. Cherish the fireworks on the Fourth of July, remember the fireflies, run through the park barefooted at twilight. Do it for the fireflies. Do it for the magic of summer twilights. Do it for the whimsical sky when the sun is almost gone. Do it for waking up outside at sunrise,beside that curly haired boy from across the street, with the jar of fireflies glowing. Do it for the golden mists. Do it for the summer parties. Do it for forlorn games of tag. Do it for that summer romance where you got all fluttery. Do it all for the sake of the fireflies.