A Place In Time
1971 | Rock
Spotify | Amazon
"I'd love to change the world. -- But I don't know what to do. -- So I'll leave it up to you."
- Hit #40 on the Billboard Hot 100. The bands onlt Top 40 hit. The album hit #17 on the Billboard 200.
- Guitarist & vocalist Alvin Lee wrote and sang the song.
- The band had twelve albums make it into the Billboard 200 during their career.
THE HOT TAKES
That sweet, sweet guitar. Juicy. Let's start with the chorus here: "I'd love to change the world, But I don't know what to do, So I'll leave it up to you." Within the larger context of the song, the intent is easy to divine. There are a multitude of problems the nation faces. It seems kind of hard to figure them out, so I guess we should just leave it all to the political class. Truly, that is an accurate depiction of the interest level most people have for politics. It could be a problem of 2019, or it could be a problem that has always been with us, haunting humanity. This could be the main reason that governments exist at all. After all, look at what happened to news media. We all know that the pursuit of ratings led to more sensationalized news, even (dare I say it) "fake news." Has the same thing happened to politics? Isn't it just a ridiculous quest for relevance and re-election: Every politician just parading around, giving their unwanted opinion on every triviality? It's an open question, and there's lots more to chew on here. For the total word count, the amount of issues it touches on is pretty astounding. Perhaps my favorite, because I am a soulless number-obsessed ideologue, is in the first verse: "Tax the rich, feed the poor, 'til there are no rich no more?" It just makes me realize (as this project has already done to me multiple times) that people already had these problems figured out a long, long time ago. I mean, "Wealth of Nations" came out in 1776, for crying out loud. This song is from 1971. There have been plenty of other oldies on our playlist already. Why, then, do we allow the political class to treat the libertarian position on issues as some kind of weird, fringe idea? Why do we not demand our thoughts be heard and grappled with appropriately? I don't know, but it sure frustrates the life out of me.
I’ve always liked this song. It brings up a good point. We’d all love to change the world and remake it in our own ideal image, most of us don’t know what to do though so leave it up to others to get involved somewhere and do something. A few years ago I might’ve said that wasn’t a good idea, but now I look at it a bit differently. As a person who is up to my eyeballs in “trying to make a difference” and “getting out the message,” it may seem strange for me to say this, but I think maybe the best thing people who don’t know what to do can do is nothing. All of life is about incentives, if you are not passionate enough about anything then I suggest you do nothing, especially nothing that will require others to do something. For instance, a lot of folks pick a side and then use the proxy force of The State to vote a parties ticket because “those guys are for small government,” and “those guys are for the working man.” Yeah ok, if you believe that then you should do nothing. Actually, doing nothing is doing just the right thing. It’s living anarchy and minding your own business and letting others mind theirs. That is how spontaneous order works to make our lives better. You getting involved in what you are incentivized to get involved with and negotiating the life you want to live in your community.
I love absolutely everything about this song. The riffs are all amazing. The lead guitar blazes where it needs to exactly as it should. It tears some pretty substantial ideas apart with the equivalent of bumper sticker precision. It's kinda the full package. That first verse gets into the reality of economics as they relate to class & poverty. It asks that difficult question: when do we stop stealing from the wealthy? Til they cease to exist? Where does wealth come from then? A great start. So much of the song after there seems like pointed sarcasm in context. Until you get to that last line where it points out the elephant in the room. War. No matter how ridiculous everything before it sounded, nothing is more awful for the world than war. It's been mentioned already that the songwriter takes the humble position us libertarians love: I don't have the answers. Choose for yourself!