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I Can Feel St. Elmo’s Fire Burning In Me

88SaxPlayersNo, this isn’t a post about urinary tract infections; it’s about lyrics, because that’s 99% what’s swirling about in my big bullom head. Song lyrics, including cheesey, inspirational soundtrack lyrics.

I’m not saying St. Elmo’s Fire can in any way rival Eye of the Tiger for most motivational song of the 80s (and you KNOW the 80s was full of motivational ditties), but one cannot deny the Tony Robbins-esque “can-do” attitude of the lyrics. So as we near the end of February, casting our New Year’s resolutions to the wind (which is where the dust is, which is what we are), keep John Parr’s words in mind:

Play the game — you know you can’t quit until it’s won.
Soldier on– only you can do what must be done.

Ladies, I know what you’re thinking: No, someone else can do what must be done: dishes, laundry, dinner. But think about it. Could anyone really do it the right way? Or will they just screw it up, forcing you to redo it, reprimanding them with clear-cut words that dissipate upon their ears because they refuse to be teachable?

While we’re at it, did you think you’d be ten pounds lighter by now? I did. I cut my portions, drank more water, drank less soda and wine, and exercised more, even going to an RPM class at the devil’s own Gold’s Gym. But guess what? I didn’t lose a pound. Not a filthy pound. But I can’t give up. You know why?

I can see a new horizon underneath the blazing sky.
I’ll be where the eagles flying higher and higher.

I guess that’s a metaphor because I’m actually still down here on rough terrain. I can’t even afford a plane ticket to see the eagles flying. So maybe it’s a metaphor for rising higher. You can do it!

I can climb the highest mountain, cross the wildest sea.

Who am I kidding? I can barely trudge up that hill near the soccer fields. I can barely cross the YMCA swimming pool.

You broke the boy in me but you won’t break the man.

Oh, okay, this is just for dudes. Now it makes way more sense.

Just once in his life a man has his time.
And my time is now. I’m coming alive.

Yeah, totally for dudes. It’s not a woman in motion.

Gonna be your man in motion, all I need is a pair of wheels.
Take me where my future’s lyin’, St. Elmo’s Fire.

What in tarnation does this mean? A man in motion? A pair of wheels? Do you need a bike, sweetie? Did you get caught up in the whole Lance Armstrong thing? Why is your future lying in St. Elmo’s Fire? St. Elmo’s Fire was a bar–is your future in bartending? How’s your Tom Cruise flair?


Sometimes I actually get sick of “not getting it,” so I researched this one because I am sleuthy like that. Per http://www.songfacts.com/, David Foster wrote the song for a Canadian athlete named Rick Hansen, who was paralyzed from the waist down after a car crash. On March 21, 1985 Hansen began his “Man In Motion” tour, putting over 40,000 Kilometers (24,856 miles) on his wheelchair in 34 countries on 4 continents, while raising $26 million for spinal cord research.

If you’re Canadian, you have no excuse not to know that. Being American, I’d never heard of him. But it does make me wonder what the heck it has to do with a Brat Pack coming-of-age film. Oh, and P.S. this movie poster declares “the heat this summer is at Saint Elmo’s Fire.” I’ll tell you why: because it’s SUMMER and they’re wearing coats and scarves and close-toed shoes. I’d be hot, dressed like that in summer, too. Come to think of it, passion can’t even burn deep. Deeply, perhaps. But not deep.