Song of my Commute

On my way home today — after seeing not one but two separate car wrecks blocking traffic in less than half a mile on the I-5 bridge, after being nearly hit by a loaded tow truck egregiously running through a red light right into me, after watching the snakes of backed-up cars trying to merge onto I-5 from all the different directions — I made up a song.

It follows the tune of “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah“–which is a song I think I learned in choir in like 3rd grade, but now that I looked it up to link to it here and see that it’s from a 1946 Disney musical called “Song of the South,” without knowing anything else about it I suspect it’s totally racist. Damn. Maybe I should expunge this song from my repertoire.

My commute-for-today version borrowing the tune, though, goes like this:

Sucks to be driving, sucks to be stuck

If you’re not biking*, then you’re surely f*cked

Loving my ride here, loving my luck

Those of you driving, life sure must suck

(*or walking, or scooting, or anything that doesn’t take up a driving lane)

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Ha! Pardon the snark of it all. I was feeling a little spicy after nearly being creamed by the aforementioned tow truck, fishtailing as it slammed on its brakes and left half of its tires on the pavement only to go through the intersection anyway.

But I dare you to sing that (or to make up something comparable) without smiling at the ridiculousness of it, the ridiculousness of being the smug asshole singing self-consciously snarky songs about traffic while you sail through on your bike.

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And then there’s the rest of my commute, the constant smell of flowers, the unseasonable sunshine on my bare arms, the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, the Slough, the cherry-blossoms-forsythia-Daphne-magnolia-daffodils-grape-hyacinth-and-on-and-on everywhere.

So, it’s not so bad, here in bicycle commute-land.

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UPDATE 3/5/20:

Damn, I’ve been doing a bunch of reading about “Song of the South,” since it came up for me yesterday, and I’m slightly horrified at the privilege that allowed me to be familiar with this song for like 30 years without knowing or even ever thinking about where it came from. This movie sounds like it was pretty wholly offensive, even in its time. As Wikipedia quotes Richard B. Dier as saying at the time, it was “as vicious a piece of propaganda for white supremacy as Hollywood ever produced.”

So, man. I’m sad that such a catchy tune has such a shitty origin, and I’m sad that I’ve probably been offending people who know where it comes from with it for 30 years.

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