When my dad read my birthday entry, he said he found Joe's lyrics to be "richly thoughtful," and "the kind of thing one might expect from a real friend."
I'm sure Joe would be flattered. Of course Joe composed those lyrics for a small private party where he knew most if not all of the people there. But because the lyrics are now on the Web, where my dad can read them, it's almost as if he was there himself.
That provokes some thoughts on my part. As I look at the lyrics and try to see them from my father's perspective, or what I think is his perspective, they seem quite different. I think there are some modes of communication that Joe is using that I often use as well, and which my peers often use, but of which my father and I have often run afoul in the past. Maybe it's a generational thing.
In particular I'm thinking of the line "we'd get drunk and videotape our bongs." While it's true that Joe and I have gotten drunk together, and we have also videotaped bongs, those are certainly not the most important things we've done together. In fact, Joe highlights a number of items here and there in his lyrics that are calculated to be amusing by virtue of being outrageous. Like a clown who does the things you "aren't supposed to do," Joe gets a laugh by saying things you "aren't supposed to say."
I suppose this kind of humor does not strike the same chord in my father as it might in me or Joe. I could imagine this kind of thing inflaming my dad's sensibilities, although that is clearly not Joe's intention. But I think it's marvelous that my father responsed in admiration rather than outrage.