Again for the First Time

I was in my car yesteday listening to one of our local radio stations with the annoying i.d. phrase, “we play everything!” Complete lie. You never hear David Wolfenberger, Brian Houston, Winterpills, Rusted Root, David Grey, Catherine MacLellan, or Duke Special. And you never hear me singing in the shower (yes, two cds of my best moments are still available – thanks Mom for your order!).

What you do hear is Christopher Cross, sure to be the subject of an upcoming VH1 “Whatever Happened to…?” singing “Arthur’s Theme”. In my car the other day I found myself singing along, loudly, as is my want, (?) and it occured to me I had no idea what “if you get caught between the moon and new york city” means.

(This is not to be confused with singing the right tune with completely wrong lyrics. I hate when I’m singing a song with the radio and I look at my wife and realize she’s looking at me with that slight smile and look in her eyes that says, “you’re special” but not in the good way that you hope someone looks at you with but more of the “do you need help with your shoe laces?” kind of way.)

Anyway, how does a person, even metaphorically get caught between the moon and New York city? Sure, if I was George Jetson or something I suppose I could be choosing whether to live on the moon and work at the lunar division of Spacely Sprockets or live in my dangerously high pedestal house above the New York skyline and work at the Spacely Manhattan branch. Jane and I could be talking through the pros and cons, how it would effect our daughter Judy and my boy, Elroy. You could sing then that I was caught between the Moon and the New York City and I would totally get it.

Man, how long have I sang that with such meaning and had no idea what it meant? Personally, I wouldn’t call this song an oldie but my son Josh would. He’d call me an oldie…much in the same way my wife thinks I’m special.


About brianmpei

Stumbling towards what comes next.
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5 Responses to Again for the First Time

  1. Shelley says:

    hmmm. well maybe you’re thinking about this too logically (as lyrics rarely are anything of the sort). Perhaps New York is the manifestation of harsh reality–life in western culture that sort of just consumes you and crushes you with it’s overwhelming day-to-day consumer living. The moon is romantic and idealistic and symbolizes the potential for something greater than what we can ever possibly attain. Both are competing for our attention and somewhere amidst the tension, Christopher got stuck between his dream and his reality

    P.S. Did I tell you i’m going to NYC in two weeks? I’ll let you know when I get there if this is true.

    P.P.S. I think you’re special

  2. brianmpei says:

    hmmm back at ya. well I would never disagree with a songwriter like you. I’m still not sure how ‘the best that you can do, the best that you can do, is fall in love…” fits but I like your explanation.

  3. J. Bryce says:

    Touche on the “you’re special” look. My wife, unlike yours, will sing loudly the correct lyrics (of course only when she realizes the words that I’m sining) and then gives the “you’re special” look and smile. I’m hoping after a few more years of marriage, she’ll just do the smile.

  4. jo_s says:


    Just stumbled across this website..funny as I was talking about this song to my sister last night.

    Apparently this was written on a plane as it circled above NYC in bad weather hence stuck between the moon and NYC….


  5. brianmpei says:

    Now THAT makes sense. Thanks Jo!

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