The Day Aldous Huxley Died

Sheryl_Crow,_Tuesday_Night_Music_Club_coverI hadn’t listened to Sheryl Crow much lately; I don’t currently have any of her CDs on my computer. But the other day I was driving to work and the song “My Favorite Mistake” came on, and I was reminded of what a great song that is, and the general excellence of “The Globe Sessions,” the album it kicks off. Of course, next chance I got, I listened to the album, and it brought the ’90s right back for a while.

Today I went even further back and listened to her first album, “Tuesday Night Music Club.” You know, the one with that song about the guy who lights matches and lets them burn down to his fingers.  Anyway, the very first line of the very first song on that very first album of hers is:

She was born in November 1963, the day that Aldous Huxley died.

The song is “Run Baby Run,” and I guess I’d always been a little intrigued by that opening, but never really looked into it to see just exactly which day in November 1963 that Huxley died. But one of the things I’ve been doing later in my life is turning to the Internet to try to actually discern some meanings of those songs that I listened to over and over, decades ago. It’s actually fun to find out what a song is “about,” when you’ve heard it for years and developed your own ideas about it. The lyrics are one thing, but it’s nice to get the story behind the song, which you can usually find from articles about the artist or similar sources.

Normally, Wikipedia is a treasure trove for things like this, but with “Run Baby Run,” it comes up somewhat short in the “what’s the song about” department.

Anyway, the thing is, Aldous Huxley died on November 22, 1963, the day that is much better known as the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated. It turns out that another famous British author, C.S. Lewis, died the same day. (Wikipedia does provide this interesting tidbit: author Peter Kreeft wrote a novel, “Between Heaven and Hell,” in which Kennedy, Huxley and Lewis meet in Purgatory on that day. But I digress.)

 

I have no idea why Sheryl Crow named Aldous Huxley in her song, rather than JFK, particularly since the song seems to be about American political awareness. It will remain a mystery, I guess. At least until I find a better link.

*****

Speaking of “My Favorite Mistake,” there was widespread speculation that the song was written about Eric Clapton, with whom Crow was rumored to have had a relationship. She won’t say for sure, but in this video, she jokes that perhaps the song is about Warren Beatty or Mick Jagger.

Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, here are Sheryl Crow and Eric Clapton performing “My Favorite Mistake”:

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One thought on “The Day Aldous Huxley Died

  1. There is song by Lou Reed called THE DAY JOHN KENNEDY DIED, the title is the chorus. When I saw the title to the blog that song was the first thing u thought of. Maybe she changed the first line because someone told her about the Lou Reed song. Did a little research. The day Aldous Huxley died.

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