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Entry 31 – In stressful times, go for ‘Overkill’…

August 22, 2010

(A follow up to Entry 29)

If you were alive in 1983, you may remember the release of Men At Work’s album, “Cargo”, and are familiar with their song, “Overkill”. 

I was watching ‘Scrubs’ a few years ago and Colin Hay, former lead singer for Men At Work, did a cameo on the show; singing an acoustic version of this song. If you haven’t heard it, click here.  It’s in a word…beautiful.

I can’t say I was a HUGE fan of Men At Work in the 1980’s, but I did like their songs, and I’m pretty sure there are a few on them on my mix tapes from high school.  This episode of Scrubs though woke me up to the importance this song has in dealing with difficulties in life.  And in the last 6 months, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve had my fair share.  This song, written by Hay, has helped me tremendously.  

I’d like to share the first part of the lyrics of Hay’s song here, and just comment on a few of the stanzas that I found quite helpful…

OVERKILL Lyrics by Colin Hay

I can’t get to sleep
I think about the implications

Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications

Especially at night
I worry over situations
I know will be alright

Perhaps its just my imagination

Day after day it reappears

Night after night my heartbeat, shows the fear

Ghosts appear and fade away

Alone between the sheets
Only brings exasperation

It’s time to walk the streets
Smell the desperation

At least there’s pretty lights
And though there’s little variation

It nullifies the night

From overkill…

The line where he says “It’s time to walk the streets” and “Smell the desperation” was particularly poignant for me.  I took from these phrases that in the midst of a difficult anxiety prone situation, it’s good to just take a break from it.  Go for a walk outside, see that the rest of the world is experiencing probably the same, if not worse, stressors. 

This may seem overly simplistic, but listening to this song over and over again (yes, I realize the irony that by playing “Overkill” repeatedly, I am literally living up to the song’s title), helped me to push past some difficult stages in my cross country move, and the stresses on my family with my new job. 

Am I completely cured of the ‘Ghosts’ that ‘appear and fade away’?  No.  Probably a bit early for that ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner  pronouncement, but, the ‘ghosts’ do appear less, and they tend to obey me when I tell them to “come back another day”, as Colin Hay emphatically demands in his song. 

To Colin Hay, I really appreciate you writing this song in 1983.  Twenty seven years later, the reverberations are still resonating with a very grateful husband and father in California. 

Also to my dear friend, The Misanthrope, aka Rob Archer, thank you for directing my attention to some of Colin Hay’s newer music.  I’ll be writing about that next.  Your friendship has meant, and still does mean, the world to me. 

Thanks for stopping by,

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