Tuesday, May 24

Traffic Jams: Van Halen – ‘Jamie’s Cryin’

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Do you ever see a music video and have a blast to the past? Because I didn’t even realize until today that it was the “Jamie’s Cryin’” music video that became the reason toddler Elizabeth developed her first-ever crush on a boy. That boy was Eddie Van Halen.

My parents walked down the aisle to Van Halen. I listened to Van Halen in the womb. I listened to Van Halen as a baby. I listened to Van Halen as I got older, and I still listen to Van Halen now. Van Halen was my dad’s favorite band, and Van Halen has become my favorite band. I do not care how many times I’ve listened to a song; it will still bring me sheer joy. Van Halen is my driving music, my writing music, my workout music, my every occasion music. It is joy personified, and I doubt I’ll ever get tired of it.

I think a big part of that is that I latch onto a song or two at a time and just dive into all its details. Right now, that song is “Jamie’s Cryin’,” mostly because I was listening to it in the car the other day and this specific part hit just right:

Now Jamie’s been in love before

And she knows what love is for

It should mean a little, a little more

Than one-night stands

The crescendo on “one-night stands” is sonic joy. It’s beautiful. It will never do me wrong. I holler that shit at the top of my lungs every time I’m in the car. And then I turn it around and replay that part like three more times, just to make sure I’m satisfied. By that point, I usually am. And then I move on to the next Van Halen song and do the exact same thing.


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