I like metal. I like metal that bursts your eardrums, in any of its millions of forms. I like metal that makes the listener want to kill their parents, themselves, blow away a 7-11. I like metal that curls your hair, decrepifies your soul, causes crosses to burst into flame. I like metal--Children of Bodom, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, Carcass, Pantera. I like Gwar and Alice in Chains. I'm fairly old school, too, with my metal. I like Judas Priest and Slayer, I like Iron Maiden and Megadeth. I enjoy metal because it makes me want to rock, to break things, to scream and yell and bellow, to grunt and bark at the moon. I like mosh pits and pushing other people around. I'm not rowdy or violent, but I like that release. I like power-chord-driven music with effects pedals. I like Paul Reed Smith guitars and Ibanez 7-string guitars with that bassy low B string. I like pinch-harmonics. I also enjoy a good cock-rock solo, and guitar masturbation like Van Halen's Eruption. I like distortion in all its noisy glory. I like feedback and loud amps, accompanied by skull-crushing double bass pedals and Cliff Burton, the king of bass.

With that said, here's Loggins and Messina's Danny's Song. It's not metal. I do not know why I like it.

People smile and tell me I'm the lucky one
We've just begun, I think I'm gonna have a son
He will be like you and me, free as a dove
Conceived in love, the sun is gonna shine above

So, you all know that you can get music for free from the interweb, right? There's these cool programs called "p2p" where they make MP3 files for you. It's awesome. Anyway, they also find alternate versions of files for you. The version I downloaded of this song--but I don't have it any more of course, since downloading MP3 files is illegal--is Mr. Loggins, solo, with a guitar. Simple, straightforward. I never really knew who Kenny Loggins was until I was fifteen or so; I didn't even associate him with Footloose. I knew that song, and I knew Danny's Song, but not him. One day, I'm watching TV and a sitcom comes on, and here's this older guy, somewhere in his forties I suppose, singing this song. And it hit me. Right there. You know the place.

It's that place we wish the good songs would bring us to, but they're slightly off-target. We have different tastes, all of us. What hits me right there might not hit you right there. I don't know if it's just Loggins's voice, or the lyrics or what, but there's an intimacy at work that I cannot define. It's just...right here.

My singing voice is lower than Loggins's. But whenever this song comes on, I find myself singing, without noticing that I've started. I can hit most of the notes without difficulty. But when he gets to the chorus, I sort of mumble along, performing lukewarm falsettoes. But I don't mean it any less than he did. Here's the chorus, which is repeated a couple of times after the last verse:

Even though we ain't got money
I'm so in love with ya honey
Everything will bring a chain of love
In the mornin' when I rise
Bring a tear of joy to my eyes
And tell me everything's gonna be all right

I would love to be able to say to you, "I relate so deeply with this song, because of my tremendous love for my daughter, and the curious way my life has fallen into place since her birth." It's true, sure, but that's not the whole reason this song hits me. I know the exact line: even though we ain't go money / I'm so in love with you honey.

Now, I'm poor. I'm broke, I have no money, I have debts. I have bills, collection agencies phone me daily, threatening court. I've paid for what school I've taken; not a bright idea, as I've stacked up close to three thousand dollars of other bills: cable, credit cards, you know the drill. Despite all this, my daughter wants for nothing. I'm poor, but she gets all my love, she gets what she needs, wants, and hasn't even found yet. This is the way of things.

Love a girl who holds the world in a paper cup
Drink it up, love her and she'll bring you luck
If you find she helps your mind, better take her home
Oh dontcha live alone, try to earn what lovers own

Metal will always be a part of me (as I type these words, I am listening to Carcass's album Heartwork). I love it, but I find that I'm a completely different person than what I was when I first found Carcass. I don't feel any different, but I am.

Maybe since my daughter's birth, my life's gotten messier. Maybe that's the truth of it all. Does it matter? No. Since her birth, I've racked up debts, bills, collectors, bad credit, but she doesn't want for anything. I live every day working hard for her, harder than I ever knew I could. This is truth. The truth of my life is that I would walk over hot coals, work my fingers raw, trudge through horrific work conditions that no one should even consider and keep going. I'd do it again and again until I feel like dying and be happy I did. And I do; every single day.