Chasing Rainbows

I was thinking back to a time not too long ago (the mid 90’s), when I was just starting to venture into teenage life.  I was given a CD player one Christmas.  This obviously means nothing to people 5 or more years younger than I am (born 1984…like the book), but anyone in my age range will appreciate what a monumental occasion this was (the CD player, that is…not being born in 1984).

Growing up with a yellow tape player that didn’t have a rewind button and batteries that lasted about three hours, a CD player was had the same technological prowess as a hover board.

Two CDs came with this present; one was a dance CD which I can honestly say I only ever listened to twice, and the other was a NOW! album.  That’s Now That’s What I Call Music compliation CDs for the layman.  They were all the rage in my day; they condensed all that was popular for the time into around 40 songs (We didn’t have MP3’s; scary, I know).

The first one I had was NOW! 32, complete with Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise and Mr Boombastic by Shaggy.  We didn’t have My Chemical Romance, Bullet for My Valentine or Eminem.

In fact, until I went to college, I didn’t even know what “Goth” was.  Of course, once I discovered that culture, there was no going back, and although now I have become a grown up and thus shed any sense of individualism or creativity (on the outside, that is), those times will be the most prominent of memories for me growing up.  That and the first time I saw The Matrix at my sixteenth birthday party…

On NOW! 35, a NOW! album I didn’t come into the possession until a couple of years after its release, there was a song that has remained in my collection ever since, and through the other technological changes (the death of the tape player and the CD, introduction of the weird and oddly magnificent Mini-Disc [an odd little device that I did own for a short while], and into the realm of virtual music collections and the gargantuan force that is the MP3). That is Chasing Rainbows, by Shed Seven.

I actually saw this band at a festival I went to in 2000, without knowing they were there.  I also saw Jimmy Eat World and Less Than Jake without realising; college was a really weird time for me.

The words of Chasing Rainbows are fairly poignant, if you interpret them the same way I do.

There are things that I regret / Like being called a nervous wreck / And working up another sweat for you / There’s nothing that I can do / For counterparts and bleeding hearts / And all the things that fall apart for you / I don’t keep my secrets there / I hide them everywhere

I could deny / But I’ll never realise / I’m just chasing rainbows / All the time / I could deny / But I’ll never realise / I’ve been chasing rainbows / All my life
And then I missed my cue / Everybody had a laugh / And then went for an early bath / Did you / I don’t keep my secrets there / I hide them everywhere

I could deny / But I’ll never realise / I’m just chasing rainbows / All the time / I could deny / But I’ll never realise / I’ve been chasing rainbows / All my life

I’m seeing it as someone who is sad because he’s a dreamer, and the world isn’t bending to them and now he’s sitting back and realising that the rainbows he’s chasing are just that: dreams.

I think there might be a reason why this song has remained in my playlist for all the years I’ve had it.