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Yes, I know the way
The only thing that has bugged me about living in San Jose is the fucking song. You know the one: Burt Bacharach and Hal David, written specifically for Dionne Warwick.

Every time I tell people where I'm living, they start in with the tune. That is... if they are above a "certain age". It's my test for deciding if someone is older than thirty and has or has not seen the Merv Griffin show.

But what strikes me the most about the song is the sad tone of the lyrics. The flugelhorns tend to distract you in thinking that it's a happy song. It's not... there are sentiments like, "Dreams turn into dust and blow away, and there you are without a friend". Yeah, THAT'S a cheery thought. Maybe the couplet, "If I lived in Los Angeles I'd slit my wrists," didn't scan.

Here is a live version in all of its glory. I hope I never hear it again! Are there any songs about Alexandria, Virginia? How about Washington DC?

Do you know the way to San Jose?
I've been away so long
I may go wrong and lose my way
Do you know the way to San Jose?
I'm going back to find
Some peace of mind in San Jose

L.A. is a great big freeway
Put a hundred down and buy a car
In a week, maybe two
They'll make you a star
Weeks turn into years
How quck they pass
And all the stars that never were
Are parking cars and pumping gas

Do you know the way to San Jose?
They've got a lot of space
There'll be a place where I can stay
I was born and raised in San Jose
I'm going back to find
Some peace of mind in San Jose

Fame and fortune is a magnet
It can pull you far away from home
With a dream in your heart you're never alone
Dreams turn into dust and blow away
And there you are without a friend
You pack your car and ride away

I've got lots of friends in San Jose
Do you know the way to San Jose?
Can't wait to get back to San Jose

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Heh. The first thing I think of for Washington DC songs is The Postal Service's "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight"--which doesn't even pretend to be cheerful. (Fan video below.)

And yes, having grown up there I am somewhat sick of the Dionne Warwick version. The Frankie Goes To Hollywood cover of it, however--if you can find it--totally rocks.

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