Behind the Song
The first two lines popped into my head: “when I had four dollars / in nineteen eighty-four” and I remembered standing under flourescent lights at the K-Mart on Aurora Avenue in north Seattle. I had cash — a rarity. And I was gonna buy a Star Wars action figure. Return of the Jedi had come out on video not long before, and those were the characters hung on shelves. But I couldn’t decide which one to buy.
My mom used to say “your eyes are bigger than your stomach” because I usually ordered more than I could eat, especially when her mom took us out to Denny’s for breakfast. I usually ended up with a stomach ache and food left on my plate.
Those two impulses — agonizing over a decision and wanting everything — find their way into this song.
When I had four dollars in nineteen-eighty four I had to choose a Star Wars guy from the K-Mart store. I squirmed in my sneakers like I had to pee Lando or Bib Fortuna who's coming home with me? Choices all the time your future is on the line Choices better make 'em right if you wanna live the good life Pickin' out a major from the paper catalog my eyes were wide as saucers I was hungry as a hog But I didn't have it in me to shut so many doors so I puttered in the lobby where I could still dream of more. Choices all the time your future is on the line Choices better make 'em right if you wanna live the good life Should I have one child? Should I have more? Will marriage be a blessing or push me out the door? Rolled into a diner I was on my own stretched out my legs pulled the menu on my phone. French toast with sausage pancakes a mile high biscuits drenched with gravy my oh my. Choices all the time your future is on the line Choices better make 'em right if you wanna live the good life I wanna live the good life gotta make those choices right.