Category Archives: Todd Rundgren

Radio XXXVI, side A, track 2: “The Want Of A Nail” by Todd Rundgren

Todd Rundgren - The Want Of A NailOh, Todd Rundgren, I really wanted to write something profound about this great song or just something profound in general since this song is inspirational enough to inspire profundity.  But alas, all I can think of to say is that this song is awesome.  Which is clearly nothing new and certainly something I’ve written before about many of the songs that I’ve featured on this blog.  Of course, let’s be honest, Todd Rundgren, the lyrics to this song aren’t exactly new, either, but as with any song, it’s not necessarily the lyrics but what you do with them.  And of course you did some great things with them.  This song starts out like it’s going to be some sad ’70s ballad, then it turns into this classic rock anthem.  Good stuff.

And it does make me ponder life in general.  The whole concept of the fate of the world hinging on one horseshoe nail is fascinating.  It brings to mind the several histories I’ve read about the Civil War and World War II and all these miniscule things that happened that changed the entire course of human history.  I love that kind of stuff, Todd Rundgren.  And at the same time, it terrifies me.  There are so many schools of thought about life and what makes it tick.  There are some who say it’s God, some who say it’s Fate, some who say it’s nothing but random chance and chaos.  I’ve never been able to nail down (see what I did there?) exactly where my sentiments lie.  I guess you could say it’s a little bit of column A, a little bit of column B, some column Z thrown in.  It’s why I’ve fluctuated between helplessness and empowerment all my life.  Because one person can make so much difference, but on the other hand, what kind of difference can one person make?

Case in point, ever since my wife and I went on our honeymoon in Hawaii, I discovered how handy it is to have a purse.  I’d been carrying our beach bag around, and I was like “Ohhhh, that’s why they carry these around!”  I had water and books and towels and all kinds of stuff in there.  So since I’ve been back home, I’ve never been without my Elfquest messenger bag.  It’s been super handy.  Like if I have to go to the mall with my wife, I keep a book in there to read while she tries on shoes.  It’s saved my life.  I also keep cans of food and bottles of water in there; we’ve got our fair share of homeless people, and they tend to stand at stoplights asking for money or for food or work or what have you.  I’ve never been comfortable with giving out money, but someone can always use food.  So if I’m at a stoplight and there’s someone begging, I reach into my Elfquest bag and give them some food and water.

It doesn’t happen that much, mostly because I don’t leave the house that much, but every time it does, I’m always filled with this mix of satisfaction and guilt and happiness and helplessness.  Because I know I could do more.  But I’m happy I did something.  But did it really make any difference?  And if it did make a difference, how much more of a difference could I have made if I’d had my Elfquest bag with me long before this year?

Yeah.  See what I’m saying, Todd Rundgren?  That’s why it takes all my effort sometimes to not just crawl into a fetal position and hum old ’80s tunes to myself.  But if I don’t get out of bed, I don’t go to work, and if I don’t go to work, I don’t get that cheddar, and if I don’t get that cheddar, I can’t buy actual cheddar to eat. . .if anyone knows what I’m getting at, it’s you, Todd Rundgren.  So if you have any thoughts on what I can do to make the world better without making myself miserable, I’m all ears.

“The Want Of A Nail”

I’ve been wroooooong

I left oouut
Ooone thiiing
No one to looooove meeeee (no one to loooove meeee)
(No one to loooove meeee)
No one to love

For the want of a nail (the world was lost)
For the want of a nail (the world was lost)
Oh yeah
For the want of a naaaail (the world was lost)
For the want of a naaaail (the world was lost)

For the want of a nail
The shoe was lost
For the want of a shoe
The horse was lost
For the want of a horse
The rider was lost
For the want of a rider
Message was lost

For the want of a nail (the world was lost)
For the want of a nail (the world was lost)
For the want of a naaaail (the world was lost)
For the want of a naaaail (the world was lost)

For the want of a rider, the message was lost
For the waaant ooof a message
Battle was lost
For the want of a battle, the war was lost
For the want of a war, the kingdom was lost

For the want of a nail (the world was lost)
Yeah, for the want of a nail (the world was lost)
For the want of a naaaail (the world was lost)
For the want of a naaaail (the world was lost)

I’ve been wroooooong

I had plaaans sooo biiig
But the deeevil’s in the details
I left oout ooone thiing
No one to loooove meeeee (no, no one to looove meee)
Nooo one to loooove meeeee
I said no one to love

<awesome Todd Rundgren jam>

Now I said what’s all this talk about
Horses and war
Putchyourself in the place of the
Maaan at the forge
And daay after daay
You live a life without love
‘Til the mornin’ you can’t take it anymore
And ya don’t get up
Multiply it a billion times
Spread it all ’round the world
Put the cuuurse of loneliness on every boooy and every girl
Until everybody’s kickin’, everybody’s scratchin’, everything seems ta fail
And it was
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaall
For the want ooof a nail
(For the want of a naaaail)
Tell me, what eeelse could the answer be
(For the want of a naaaail)
Whoooaaoooooo
(For the want of a naaaail)
Don’t hold back
(For the want of a naaaail)
Just a little more love
(For the want of a naaaail)
Don’t hold back
Don’t hold back
(For the want of a naaaail)
Give me all your love
(For the want of a naaaail)
Don’t hold back
Don’t hold back
(For the want of a naaaail)

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