Ever since I came up with the title of Shooting Stars for my previous post, I haven’t stopped thinking about (and singing) the song by the same name which was performed by the group Bad Company in 1975. It’s a good piece of rock n’ roll music and thought provoking lyrics which makes for a compelling song to listen to. The lead singer, Paul Rodgers, who wrote the song, did so as a warning because some of his peers died of drug overdoses. Jimi Hendrix , Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison are thought to have been on Paul’s mind when he penned the lyrics. As a possible tribute, Rodgers created a guitar finale which sounds a lot like Hendrix. Sadly, one of his band’s members died at the young age of 25, a year after this song was released. The lyrics are written below. I encourage you to listen to it, as well. Don’t be surprised if you can’t get it out of your mind right away.
Johnny was a schoolboy when he heard his first Beatle’s song. Love Me Do I think it was and from there it didn’t take very long. Got himself a guitar, used to play every night. Now he’s a rock n’ roll outfit and everything’s alright, don’t you know?
Johnny told his mama, “Hey, mama, I’m goin’ away. Gonna hit the big time, gonna be a big star someday”. Mama came to the door with a teardrop in her eye. Johnny said, “Don’t cry, mama”, smiled and waved goodbye, don’t you know? Yeah.
Don’t you know that you are a shooting star…Don’t you know? Don’t you know? Don’t you know that you are a shooting star? And all the world will love you just as long as long as you are.
Johnny made a record-went straight up to number one. Suddenly everyone loved to hear him sing his song. Watchin’the world go by, surprisin’ it goes so fast. Johnny looked around him and said I made the big-time at last.
Don’t you know? Don’t you know? Don’t you know that you are a shooting star? Don’t you know? Whoa yeah. Don’t you know that you are a shooting star? And all the world will love you just as long, as long as you are. (repeats)
Johnny died one night, died in his bed. Bottle of whiskey, sleeping tablets by his head. Johnny’s life passed him by like a warm summer day. If you listen to the wind you can still hear him play…Don’t you know that you are a shooting star? Don’t you know? Don’t you know? Don’t you, don’t you know that you are a shooting star? Don’t you know? (repeats)
How does one reconcile the reality of life with the artificial world that success and money creates? We see this dynamic played out all too often in actors, music celebrities, politicians, super athletes, and most recently in “reality” TV stars. In addition, how does one reconcile the reality of life when there is no longer a foundation to anchor to? It takes a rare individual not to be entranced with this type of notoriety, money and meteoric rise in fame. My anchor is Christ who reminds me that all we gain is not as it seems.
Keep in mind that Johnny could be anyone…you, me, a friend, neighbor or loved one. We are all susceptible to the allurement this type of success employs; namely, losing touch with reality. Is there any correlation between those who become rich and famous, and bad company? Johnny would say, “Yes, don’t you know?”. The next time you ‘strike it rich’ or are vaulted to the top of a pedestal, stop and think about Johnny, and leave bad company alone…they have plenty of other suckers to latch onto.