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Song of the Week-The World Ain't Slowing Down-Dec. 11, 2006

Posted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 10:55 am
by KarenZ
The World Ain’t Slowing Down

I found you sitting on a suitcase crying
Beneath my feet I feel the rumble of a subway train
And I laugh out loud cause it's the one thing I hadn't been trying
The train came in breathless
The passenger's restless
You say, "Baby, you'll never change"

You gotta get gone
You gotta get going
Hey, the world ain't slowin' down for no one
It's a carnival calling out to you
And it sounds like a song
It hits you like scripture
You paint the picture
With colors squeezed from your hand
Weren't you the kid who just climbed on a merry-go-round
Hey, look, the world ain't slowin' down

Out on the sidewalk
The pigeons do the moonwalk
I'll be dancing like Fred Astaire
The lampposts are rockin'
The whole town is talking
Like a fool in a barber's chair
And I get the sensation
It's joy and frustration
Like getting caught by a drop of cold rain
Freedom can numb you
When there's no place to run to
It feels just like Novocain

[repeat chorus]

You packed up all your handbags
You're throwing off the sandbags
I let go when you stepped free
I didn't want to lose you
You said, "You didn't choose to --
It's just how your karma came"
But thanks for the vision,
And the twenty-twenty wisdom
It hit me like a south-bound train

[repeat chorus]

Copyright Ellis Paul Publishing SESAC


I get to toss out this week’s Song of the Week since we didn’t get a volunteer for this song. I'm sure most of you know that the song was featured in the movie “Me, Myself and Irene” starring Jim Carrey and Renee Zellweger. I think it’s safe to say that as a result of the movie, Ellis won more new fans to his music in just a few months than a year’s worth of touring. (Chris in Austria – are you still out there? If so, please e-mail me!) Many folks have personally commented to me that they found Ellis’ music as a result of the movie. And I know we have several members on the board as a result of the movie/song.

When Translucent Soul came out, “The World Ain’t slowing Down” was one of the songs I put on repeat and listened to over and over again. It still amazes me that a leaving song can feel so good. :)

So many terrific lines of lyric…we could discuss every one…but I’ll pick one to comment on:

Freedom can numb you
When there's no place to run to
It feels just like Novocain

Yes…the exhilaration of being free can numb pain/feelings like Novocain. But like's temporary and eventually wears off, but thank goodness it’s there to get us through the worst of it. :)

Great imagery in this song…I can see Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling….


Posted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:08 am
by wendy
This was the first song of Ellis's that I heard and it set the hook HARD!
Had nothing to do with the movie, though - which may have been a good thing, not being a big Jim Carey fan... :wink:

My favorite image (or one of them):
"The whole town is talking Like a fool in a barber's chair"

Favorite "truth" based on mis-heard lyrics: "It's joy and frustration
Like getting caught by a drop of cold rain" which I've always heard as being "caught by a TROPICAL rain" (been in the tropics? You know that rain there is welcome relief, but also annoyingly wet. I like the reminder of those two conditions.)

And those are just for starters...

Great, great, great song.

Posted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:17 am
by JayceK
I should have done this one as it is the song that got me into Ellis Paul. At the end of Me, Myself, and Irene we just heard a song and thought.. I wonder who that is? Never did I think at that time Ellis would be the type of artist.. the type of person I could actually meet, shake hands with. Face to face. I've never been more consistently awe-inspired by an artist like I have been by Ellis. Each time I hear songs like The World Ain't Slowing Down I think 'One day I could write a song this good... maybe I can write a song that will move someone like this song moves me.' So I try and I fail and every time I feel like giving up I hear a song that is so well conceived and executed it rekindles the flame that keeps me going. So this is a great song, an especially important song at least in my life. Oh yeah, Ellis also dedicated this song to us as he closed the concert the first time we saw him in Salida, CO.. that's a moment you don't forget.

"I didn't wanna lose you
You said you didn't choose to
That's just how your Karma came"

Posted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:27 am
by KarenZ
Oooh, Jayce.....thanks for those comments. Goose-bumply. :)


Posted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:54 pm
by BillE
I always thought it was "Caught by a tropical rain", up until 5 minutes ago... Weird - maybe I should start reading the lyrics more.

Posted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:28 pm
by SusanH
I love this song. I really love the visual of:

[b]You paint the picture with colours squeezed from your hand.

I don't know why, but I just love it!

20-20 Wisdom

Posted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:49 pm
by JennyLevE
I have always found the lines:

"But thanks for the vision,
And the twenty-twenty wisdom"

to be the most dramatic for me. They struck me from the first time that I heard them! I think that there is something really profound about having 20-20 wisdom. I know that I wish I did. It would make things a lot simpler sometimes.

Great great song! One of the first songs that I was exposed to.


Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:40 pm
by Thomas
I truly love the songs especially because of the scenery Ellis is painting with his words - a couple waiting for a train to leave each other and getting conscious of what freedom means to them "when there's no place to run to..." I've heard the many different versions on and on and on and I like them all.

:?: But what the heck is the/a 20:20 wisdom?

Can anybody explain me? It would be great if someone could help me to unravel my confusion. :?

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:53 pm
by paddyinthepub
Thomas...good question.

What I can say is that 20/20 is of course the score we want to hear when we have our eyes checked by the doctors who check your eyesight. So when they report that you have 20/20's perfect/clear.

Of course, there is also a very popular saying in America that goes like this: Hindsight is 20/20.

Which of course means we can see things CLEARLY when we look back at a situation or time in our life.

So, the lyric: thanks for the vision..and the 20/20 wisdom works well.

Hope that helps.

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 1:40 pm
by Sue Ellen
This is such a feel good song; also a song that compels me to drive fast in my car. I love the music and the poetic lyrics, and the plays on words. Hated the movie, but love the song. Hated the movie so much I couldn't get past the cow in the road.

you wrote: But what the heck is the/a 20:20 wisdom?

When the eye doctor/optomitrist checks one's vision, I think the 20/20 refers to the ability read a standard sized print from 20 feet (approximately 7 meters) away. So 20/20 vision indicates clear, healthy vision. We have a saying hear that "Hindsight is 20/20," meaning, we have a perfect picture of an event or situation after it has occured. We can see whether a choice or path was good or not, once we've taken it and seen the outcome. 20/20 wisdom is a play on that, and a very clever one too, I think.

Sue Ellen

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 1:56 pm
by KarenZ

I love your questions! :)

According to Wikipedia (the online encyclopedia), the history of visual acuity begins:

"In 1843 German ophthalmologist Heinrich Kuechler wrote a treatise advocating the need for standardized vision tests and developed a set of three charts."

How about that? :)


Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:54 am
by Thomas

Shame on me!! :oops: :oops: :oops:

Thank you Paddy, Sue Ellen and Karen as well for bringing light into the darkness of my brain.

:lol: So funny you need to tell me the meaning of a medical term.
But in Germany we don't use this one. And at least I'm not an ophthalmologist as well :wink:

Thanks for making me a little more clever this morning! :)


Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:37 pm
by danaj
Well, as opposed to others... the first time I heard this song was - strangely enough - on a commercial for a hospital here in Oklahoma. And it was one of those commercials that you just sing/hum along to every time you hear it... You know, "Gotta get up, la la la la, the world ain't slowing down... hum da da dum..." And then you walk around humming some commercial all day. :roll: Then there I was at Woody Fest, EP walks up on stage, and :!: BAM :!: ... "HEY! Mom! That's that song from the hospital commercial!!! That guy you like is singing it!" and at the same time -this from my mouth- "Well, I'll be damned!" (Granted I was very new to Ellis fandom at the time and didn't own one CD. I had just heard him at Woody Fest -a situation which I have since remedied. :wink: )

So, there's my funny story to go with the song of the week! :lol:

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:47 pm
by Richard + Jela
Another EP classic with words that really do paint pictures. It's got such a 'feel good' feel to it that it always makes me feel happy.

Yes the world seems to be getting faster and faster and we have to run just to keep up with everything going on around us - don't you just sometimes want to say 'stop' and jump off for a while but very few of us have that particular luxury and just get swept along with the flow.

I also love the line
'with colors squeezed from your hand'
I always picture a hand whose fingers are made up of those tubes of paint that you have to squeeze out (like toothpaste) to 'paint' a picture.

Lovely, lovely song


Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 11:59 pm
by JayceK
Wasn't it the Oklahoma Blood Drive, danaj? The commercial with the little girl dressed like a sunflower?

Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 12:29 am
by KarenZ

The little girl is Kaylee. You can see her story (and hear Ellis singing) here:

Kaylee's story


Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 1:37 am
by paddyinthepub
Ever been in a situation in life that's all consuming? Well, I have....and I'd venture to guess that most folks have. You tend to lose sight of the big picture because you are so deep into this "thing". It might be love, it might be loss of could be anything really that just gets you out of your normal self and routine. It has you down and it keeps you there.

Then one day, out of the blue, something magical happens to help you shake it. It comes out of nowhere. When you least expect it. You laugh.

"I laughed out loud cause it's the one thing I hadn't been trying."

It brings back more than a few old memories...where laughter seemed to be the only medicine. It's such an easy lyric to take for granted. It's further proof to me that Ellis has maybe been down that road and taken notes.

"Weren't you the kid who just climbed on the merry-go-round"

This line has Ellis looking at how fast life goes by. One of the reasons I love the sentiment of the line is because I've heard it before.

Neil Young - Sugar Mountain
Joni Mitchell - Circle Game

I wonder if the influence of Neil and Joni isn't found in that line.

I always really liked this song, long before it found it's way into movie theaters. I was so pumped watching Me, Myself, and Irene knowing that Ellis had this song in the movie. What caught me by surprise was how prominent the song was throughout the movie. It felt like the theme song.

I remember leaving the theater thinking:

Ellis is gonna be famous now......that's all there is to it. 8)

I was so happy for him. :D

Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:51 am
by danaj
Yeah, that's the one JayceK. I woke up to that commercial on the radio this morning and thought... "Oh yeah! That's it! It wasn't a hospital at all!" :oops:

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:48 pm
by paddyinthepub
Not sure where else to put this...a youtube of The World Ain't Slowin Down

Re: Song of the Week-The World Ain't Slowing Down-Dec. 11, 2006

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:23 pm
by KarenZ

Stumbled across this on the website of a musician named Kurt South. (Scroll down to Songs of the Day - March 8, 2009.)

"The World Ain't Slowing Down". By a guy named Ellis Paul. He's a folk singer from Boston who now lives in Charlottesville, VA. Jack Ingram recorded this song for his new album. Haven't heard Jack's version, but the one by Ellis himself is one of the best songs I've come across in recent memory. I haven't delved into Ellis' other stuff much, but if this is the only song he's ever done, he's still a genius.

This guy knows what he's talking about! ;)


Re: Song of the Week-The World Ain't Slowing Down-Dec. 11, 2006

Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:42 am
by KarenZ

Stumbed across another blog about "The World Ain't Slowing Down":

Wishful Thinker: It Hits You Like Scripture


Re: Song of the Week-The World Ain't Slowing Down-Dec. 11, 2006

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:00 am
by paddyinthepub
Just wanted to share this "Bob" Lefsetz Letter I got when I opened my email this morning and quite honestly The World Ain't Slowing Down popped right into my head the second I finished reading this:

My mother broke her hip.

It wasn't because she was aged and it gave out, but because the former MD, an anesthesiologist, an eightysomething woman, forgot to put her car in park and it rolled back and hit my mother's walker and my mother fell and...

When I got the news I went numb.  My mother could barely walk to begin with.  And I'd just seen her in Palm Springs.  She's so feisty, but since my dad died she doesn't handle the traumas so well and could she make it through this?

And she's the world's worst patient.  But maybe that's good.  Because she checked herself out of rehab early, insisting she wanted to be home, which shows will and determination.  But she's so frustrated, once the shock wears off you're confronted with the reality, but my sister's there right now and the report was my mother had turned the corner.

And ever since my dad died, which was a long time ago, almost twenty years, my mother has called less.  She doesn't need us.  She's got her friends.  As they said about Reggie Jackson when he played in New York, my mother is the straw that stirs the drink.  People rally around her.  Because she's funny, yet acerbic, yet caring and is always coming up with things to do.  She's a culture vulture who wanted to go on a cruise on a river in Russia until my sister put her foot down, insisting if she did so, went on this barge with no elevator, she'd go to court to get a conservatorship.

Which is why it's so hard for my mother to be incapacitated.  She's a doer.

But she's had some dark moments in the wake of this accident, and I've been calling every day.  To let her blow off steam.  To share what we have in common, like golf.  My mother can't stand that she can't play.  But she still watches.  She loves sports.

Unlike my dad, who threw like a girl and couldn't care less.  But he took me to the game.

But the person who was my surrogate dad, the gentleman who was athletic and cool in ways my father was not, was Harry Sheketoff.

I always wondered why my mother wasn't married to Harry instead of Moe.  I was too young to know that opposites attract, and that my father was perfect for my mother the same way Selma was perfect for Harry, they complemented each other.

But even though Harry had trouble first, needing bypass surgery in his sixties, he was the man who survived.  My father was beaten by cancer when he was seventy.  But despite failing kidneys and further heart surgery, Harry soldiered on, he had nine lives.

Until today.

Calling my mother for the routine check-up, she told me she had terrible news.  Her voice was quiet.  I assumed it had to do with her health, that she'd fallen again.

"Harry Sheketoff died."

Just like that.  Judy, his sister, had called from St. Vincent's Hospital.  They'd picked him up in an ambulance and...

Selma was just in the apartment.  Everybody still alive moved from Fairfield to these towers in Bridgeport, it's like summer camp.  Not assisted living, everybody's independent, but they organize bridge games and parties and go to each other's for dinner...they look out for one another.

But nobody lives forever.

Not Harry, not Muggs, not me.

And that's completely weird.

Because if Harry can die, so can my mother, the aforementioned Muggs.  And someday I'll be gone too.  Yup, that day will come when they start dropping like flies around me.  I can see it with my mother's friends.

And Ginny's friend.  The famous singer married to the famous dancer.  He's in his nineties now.  He's outlived not only his wife, but all his buddies.  He's waiting to die.

Makes me realize you don't want to live forever.  That that would be terrible, a sentence

And someday Felice's mother Ginny is gonna be gone too, she's older than Muggs, albeit in perfect health.  But unlike Harry, sometimes you're healthy and the next day you're gone.

Then what?

What am I gonna do when my mother's gone?  When that generation is wiped out?

And who goes next?  Me or one of my two sisters?

And at some point in time we'll all just be pictures in a frame, unknown, like my mother's mother's mother, in that black and white shot in Russia that used to hang in the hall of the three family home in Peabody...