Talk, it’s only talk
Arguments, agreements, advice, answers
It’s only talk
Talk, it’s only talk
Babble, burble, banter, bicker, bicker, bicker
Brouhaha, balderdash, ballyhoo
It’s only talk, back talk
Talk, talk, talk, it’s only talk
Comments, clichés, commentary, controversy
Chatter, chit-chat, chit-chat, chit-chat
Conversation, contradiction, criticism
It’s only talk, cheap talk
Talk, talk, it’s only talk
These are words with a D this time
Dialogue, dualogue, diatribe, dissention
Declamation, double talk, double talk
Talk, talk, it’s all talk
Too much talk, small talk
Talk that trash, expressions, editorials
Explanations, exclamations, enfadulations
It’s all talk, elephant talk, elephant talk, elephant talk
“What the heck was that?!”, you may be asking. “All those words! That’s just weird.”, you might be thinking. That’s okay. You have a right to your thoughts and your words.
So many wonderful words. Out they fly in a funky rhythm that brings me back to a time and place that usually makes me quite happy. Brothers playing records loudly. Parents remarkably tolerant of, nay, encouraging the teenage weirdness.
This is a song that I love. Throughout my life I have gone back to it. Again and again. At first as a little kid just trying to figure out what the heck they were even saying. Looking up words in the dictionary to find their meaning and then finding the exercise only led to more words. (It’s a terrific vocabulary builder, wouldn’t you agree?) Then as a Tween, (No one ever referred to us as “tweens” back then. We were just big kids.) feeling rather cool that I liked King Crimson when most of my friends were falling head over heels for the latest boy band or pop star. (Not that I didn’t. Remind me to tell you about the time Corey Hart touched my arm. *swoons*)
Then later as a brooding Teenager filled with angst (behind that big happy grin, there were some deep thoughts) (FYI, there still are) I started to really listen. They were right! It’s only talk. Just words. Everyone going on and on about everything all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. Make it STOP! No one even cares anyway, so why are any of us even bothering to try to be heard?
Teenagers are not fully formed humans. I know this. Now. Then, not so much.
It can be very scary to feel hopeless. To be young and hopeless? Downright terrifying. Scary for the one feeling it. Scary for the one who knows. As brief as a flash of hopelessness can be, it can feel like forever.
Thankfully, I am loquacious by nature and never (really) stopped talking. I had friends who understood me and supported me through our broody teen years. Oh yes! Our broody teen years. You see? We were never really alone. All we had to do was reach out. Make eye contact and know that someone else knew exactly what you thought/meant/felt.
We shared music like our lives depended on it and guess what – sometimes, it did.
It didn’t fix everything, but it sure as heck didn’t break it, either.
I started with the lyrics of “Elephant Talk” because ultimately, even if it feels like it’s all just talk, it is important to keep talking. It doesn’t matter whether or not you make perfect sense to someone, whether you can pinpoint a problem with perfection or feel confused and scared and are unable to speak with the precision of an “articulate announcement”. Just keep talking. Eventually you will find, your words find their target. You will find your people. It will happen. I know because I found my people. The best part about growing older is that you tend to be able to locate your people with pretty excellent accuracy.
And hope? Hope floats. You will never find it on the ground. So get up. Then look up. You might not always see it, but trust me, it’s always there.
“Elephant Talk” was written by Belew, Adrian / Bruford, William Scott / Fripp, Robert / Levin, Anthony Charles.
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group