Music Monday: The Sounds of Weirdness, Pt. 4

musicmonday
Original graphic by The Tattooed Book Geek

Last week we listened to what I consider to be the weakest song on The Sounds of Weirdness. I could find no information whatsoever regarding the band who performed it or even what the lyrics were so I had to pause after each line and transcribe what was sung, or at least what I thought I’d heard. The experience was worse for my ears than yours and by the middle of the song even my brother was in agreement with, “Wow, this is terrible.”

This week’s song yanks us in the opposite direction as the next track is crisp, clean, and one of my favorites on the entire album. In fact, not only do I have some quality to work with, but the musician still does local performances, keeps a website, and has a (sort of) music video! I’ll take anything I can get on this album but that’s a big haul. Today’s song is “Exit 135 (The Ballad of Clark Westfield)” performed by husband-and-wife duo David Kleiner and Liz Pagan. I always had a mental image in my head of what David looked like when I heard this song and it turns out he fits that cool and easy-going picture to a T.

So who is Clark Westfield and what does he have to do with a cell tower decorated to look like a giant pine tree? Well Clark Westfield isn’t actually a person, he’s a sign- it’s a sign. New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway Exit 135 is the off-ramp for the townships of Clark and Westfield and the Exit is pretty close to that cell tower that looks like a tree. It’s the “tree” that got into the magazine, not the sign. It’s just a sign, or it was until David started taking his kids to the beach. On those drives he’s see the Exit and make up stories about this guy called “Clark Westfield”.

See the source image
It already looks like a proper name as it is. [source]

Two nearby townships, Elizabeth and Roselle, don’t share exit signs but also sound like a proper name when put together. I would imagine similar thinking went into it when adding her to the song. I’ll be including both the album version (Including introduction by Waving Joe, but he’s a story for another time.) and live video so that you can heard and see both the soulful and playful side of this smooth-pickin’ nonsense song that I love to death. Enjoy!

Two cars collided on the Garden State Parkway
Owned by Clark Westfield and Elizabeth Roselle
Elizabeth said, “Clark, why don’t you watch where you’re going?”
Clark said to Elizabeth, “Go to Hell.”
New Jersey trooper pulled Clark into his patrol car
“Let me see your license and insurance card.”
Clark was in trouble ’cause he hadn’t paid the premium
Stared that trooper in the eye and started this canard

I thought this was America
I thought this was the land of the free
I thought this was America
Ain’t nobody gonna live my life for me

Doc Severinsen and Spiro Agnew
Ran into each other in the unemployment line
Spiro said, “Doc, you must hate that Jay Leno.”
Doc said, “Spiro, are you still alive?”
Doc went into the bureaucrat’s office
“I need some money, am I qualified?”
Man just said, “Fill out these fifty papers.”
Doc just flashed his jacket in that desk clerk’s eye and said

I thought this was America
I thought this was the land of the free
I thought this was America
Ain’t nobody gonna live my life for me

Life is hard, freedom’s harder
You must accept responsibility
The spotted owl and the snail darter
And the Statue of Liberty

Doc Severinsen and Clark Westfield
Were introduced in group therapy
Doc said, “Clark, your name is so familiar.”
“Yes. They named an Exit after me.
Every night as I drive home to Woodbridge,
I see those reflectors spellin’ out my name.
They give me the hope, they give me the courage
To know that I’m different but to act the same.”

I thought this was America
I thought this was the land of the free
I thought this was America
Ain’t nobody gonna live my life for me

I thought this was America
I thought this was the land of the free
I thought this was America
Ain’t nobody gonna live my life for me

I thought this was America
I thought this was the land of the free
I thought this was America
Ain’t nobody gonna live my life
Ain’t nobody gonna live my life
Ain’t nobody gonna live my life
Ain’t nobody gonna live my life for me

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