“All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes…”

Philosophers say that time is about motion and change, but life is about struggle. We struggle to survive, to grow, to find our place in a world that has lost its sense of being.

I’ve always loved this melancholy song by Tanita Tikaram. Her husky voice mixed with the haunting notes of an oboe capture perfectly the anxieties of today’s youth as they navigate a culture that no longer provides them with a sense of purpose and meaning.

Background

The first line of the song, “All God’s children need traveling shoes”, is the title of a book by writer/poet Maya Angelou.

Speaking about the somewhat obscure and enigmatic lyrics, Tikaram has offered different views on their meaning, but said it’s mostly about the particular relationship with the world one feels when entering adulthood. “The song is really about not understanding – when you’re 18, you’ve got a very particular emotional relationship with the world, you feel very isolated, and everybody else is so distant and cold. And I think I was singing about not feeling anything or not being moved by things around. I think this is a strong feeling when you’re just after adolescence.”

Malcolm Messiter plays the oboe on the song,

Wikipedia

Twist In My Sobriety

All God's children need traveling shoes
Drive your problems from here
All good people read good books
Now your conscience is clear
I hear you talk girl
Now your conscience is clear
In the morning I wipe my brow
Wipe the miles away
I like to think I can be so willed
And never do what you say
I'll never hear you
And never do what you say
Look my eyes are just holograms
Look your love has drawn red from my hands
From my hands you know you'll never be
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety
We just poked a little empty pie
For the fun people had at night
Late at night don't need hostility
Timid smile and pause to free
I don't care about their different thoughts
Different thoughts are good for me
Up in arms and chaste and whole
All God's children took their toll
Look my eyes are just holograms
Look your love has drawn red from my hands
From my hands you know you'll never be
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety
Cup of tea, take time to think, yea
Time to risk a life, a life, a life
Sweet and handsome
Soft and porky
You pig out 'til you've seen the light
Pig out 'til you've seen the light
Half the people read the papers
Read them good and well
Pretty people, nervous people
People have got to sell
News you have to sell
Look my eyes are just holograms
Look your love has drawn red from my hands
From my hands you know you'll never be
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety
Look my eyes are just holograms
Look your love has drawn red from my hands
From my hands you know you'll never be
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety