Yesterday morning Dylan was going through all of his birthday cards and came across the one that Oscar gave him. When you open the card, it starts to play the Rocky theme, “Gonna Fly Now.”
Of course being the seasoned athlete I now am (yes, that’s sarcasm you hear in my voice), I immediately thought about how this song might have new relevancy for my life now that I am in training. (Which it certainly did not when the movie came out, except for the fact that I did have to learn the flute part for band.)
Nevertheless, it does seem that right now there are a lot of overlaps between my life and Rocky Balboa’s.
As Dylan repeatedly opened and shut Oscar’s card at the breakfast table, singing along very loudly to the tune, and prematurely waking Jesse in the process…I noted to myself that you know that you’ve written a solid song if the tune itself is so memorable that a kid who knows absolutely nothing about the movie that made the song famous still loves to sing along. I mean, he doesn’t even know that it’s about boxing or a big tough dude who talks in a deep (ok, kinda dumb sounding) voice. All of which certainly would sway him toward instantaneous devotion to the song. But he doesn’t know any of that. He just likes the tune. A lot.
So, I thought, why not download the song for my Couch to 5K workouts? It was bound to be inspiring, right? If it worked for Rocky…
I added it to the play list and headed out. I had it set up to come on just as I was approaching my last run (the little man in my iPod Touch app tells me when the last run is coming up, which is very helpful. Thank you, little man.)
Did I soar to the finish line?
No I did not.
It was all wrong.
Which really surprised me. Because I love vintage tunes.
The arrangement is all 70s, with a cacophony of horns, electric guitars and tons of backup singers. Which could be cool in a different setting (at the Roller Garden for example), but definitely was not what I needed for my last burst of speed today.
The main issue was that the song flashed me back to the late 70s so quickly that my clothes immediately turned “Back to the Future’ and I found myself sitting on our gold flowered couch, eagerly awaiting the start of a fresh episode of Love Boat.
And I was really thrown off by it. I practically couldn’t run because I was trying to figure out why it wasn’t working for me.
So Gonna Fly Now is gonna fly right off of my playlist and into the boys’ music collections.
And I think that I will not so subtly suggest to Jesse and Max T. that they work up a version of this song on sax and electric guitar. Perhaps they can perform it at the Roller Garden the next time we are there for a birthday party?
At least that’s what I’m hoping. After all, it wouldn’t be fair to give up on such a great song completely, just because it doesn’t work for my training. Because obviously it worked fabulously for Rocky’s. It’s been a long while since I saw the movie, but I’m pretty sure that he kicked butt.
For a trip down memory lane “a la 1977,” watch the YouTube tribute video here.
And if you want to read more potentially useless information about the song, here’s the Wikipedia link.