These are days

Spring in New England this year seems to have lasted about 36 hours -- we went right from rainy cold dreariness to sunny with mid-eighties temps in a matter of days. Throw in the Red Sox / Yankees matchup, and it sure feels like summer.

There's a bunch of albums that usually find their way into my stereo during the first warm days of spring: Big, bright, loud music from the Dandy Warhols, Throwing Muses, They Might Be Giants, David Bowie, and others. There hasn't been enough time for that, this year -- there's a traffic jam outside my disc-changer.

In terms of songs commemorating the joy and sadness of passing seasons, I used to think nothing could top the epic "Rain Song" by Led Zeppelin. But I finally paid attention to the lyrics of Nick Drake's "River Man", and realized it was about the journey into and out of winter. It's not bright and loud, but nevertheless it's spring music to me. Play it in the wee hours of a crisp spring night, in your car, while going to pick up some donuts and coffee to fuel another few hours of study. See if you don't pull over, stare at the traffic, and think wistfully of that vast field near where you grew up.