Living In a Hole, Body and Soul

In the fine tradition of Harry Belafontes’ “Man Piaba,” James Taylor’s “Sun on the Moon” tries to explain the difficulties of balancing the need for money with the need for comfort, and just how hard it is to keep those demands “all in line:”

Sun on the Moon

In line, in line, it’s all in line
My ducks are all in a row
They do not change, they do not move
They have nowhere to go

I’ve been talking to a friend of mine
He says making money’s just a waste of time
He’s a lazy gent, he don’t pay no rent
He’s all bent out of shape from living in a tent
It’s hard to hear what he has to say
‘Cause everyone around me is just the same way:

More, more, daddy gimme some, gimme some
More, more, daddy gimme some more

Some kind of funny looking money machine it is
Saddest looking people that I’ve ever seen
Living in a hole, body and soul
Strung out on the company dole

One for a nickel and two for a dime
Time may be money but your money won’t buy time

In line, in line, it’s all in a line
My ducks are all in a row
They do not shift, they do not move
They have nowhere to go

Me and my flea we were down by the water
Fell in a hole with Superman’s daughter
Living alone, chewing on a bone
Pretty as homemade sin
She had to be high by the look in her eye
Her hands were wet and her mouth was dry
The sun on the moon, the sun on the moon
The sun on the moon made a mighty nice light

Bow wow wow, honk your horn

In line, in line, it’s all in line
My ducks are all in a row
They do not change, they do not move
They have nowhere to go

Sometimes I’m hungry, I don’t know what to do
You can take a taco to Katama too


I’d like to think that “making money’s just a waste of time” but my herniated disk keeps telling me that sleeping on the ground in a tent, except for backpacking trips, isn’t really a viable option. Still, it’s hard not to agree that all most people seem to be saying today is “more, more, daddy gimme some more.” When I look around, too often all I can see is sad-looking people “living in a hole, body and soul/ Strung out on the company dole.” their lives devoted to making money to buy mountains and mountains of things they don’t have time to enjoy.

Obviously there’s more to it than this, and too often the more you think about it the less sense it seems to make, but it still seems to me that Emerson was right in the 1850’s when he wrote, “Things are in the saddle,/ And ride mankind.” And if he was right in 1850, it’s hard to imagine what he would think of our society’s priorities. Heck, you might wonder what most of us would think of our own priorities if we ever sat down long enough to think about them.

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