I was raised in the shadow of the world of the good old days, in the farm country of Alberta -- close enough to the 'big city' to know what was happening in the world, but far enough from it to still have real neighbours, real community. The actual time of old-fashioned gentility had long passed by the time I was born, but the scent of it still lingered in our neighbourhood. I remember it, vaguely, but at the same time I knew it was lost. I lived in its ghost.
For me this song is at once a trip down memory lane and a yearning for a time I never knew. The world of the good old days. The melancholic grace of the electric guitar so perfectly captures the wistful tone of the lyrics.
Title: When Everyone Wore Hats
Artist: Daniel Amos
Album: Songs Of The Heart
Label: Brainstorm Artists International/Frontline Records
iTunes here; YouTube here.
This song takes on a stronger meaning for me now, as I'm so far from home. I'm nearing the end of the semester, and I feel I can almost step into the small-town restaurant where my parents would sometimes take my sister and me for breakfast on Saturday mornings, as an occasional treat. I feel that would be the closest I could get -- the place where everyone really could wear hats and it wouldn't seem out of place.
This is really just an all-round beautiful song. It's five and a half minutes of that lovely DA blend of rock and melancholy and poetry. Perhaps one of their best.