My Life Under the Covers – “The Middle” – by Jimmy Eat World

My Life Under the Covers
by Mary Scholz

Song Three:
“The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World


 

Here we go high school, here we go!

 

It was 2001, the fall of my senior year of high school.  AOL Instant messenger was still cool. Personalizing your profile with different colors and smiley icons was important. We had a family computer in the family room (of course) and I was once again bemoaning the actions of my first love and high school sweetheart to my best friend, Jimmy.

 

I was also frustrated with school, gossiping classmates, college auditions and choices and life in general. And after typing away my troubles to my buddy on the other side of the computer screen and a few towns away, he sent me these lyrics…

 

“It just takes some time little girl

You’re in the middle of the ride

Everything, everything will be just fine

Everything, everything will be alright, alright…”

 

In one of those “discover largely underground music because you’re young and resourceful and it makes you feel super cool” moments I had found Jimmy Eat World’s 1999 release, Clarity, and loved it. I truly don’t remember who turned me on to the band in the first place – most likely that same boy I was lamenting about to Jimmy. But their song “The Middle” was on their next release, their fourth album, titled Bleed American, which was changed to a self-titled album following the September 11th attacks.

 

Anyway, going back to the family room and the instant messenger…

Jimmy went on to send me the lyrics to the rest of the song, which begins as follows:

 

Hey, don’t write yourself off yet

It’s only in your head you feel left out

Or looked down on

Try your best

Try everything you can

And don’t you worry what they tell themselves when you’re away.”

 

Those lyrics leapt off of my computer screen and hit me like a ton of bricks – a warm, fuzzy, loving and empowering ton of bricks. I still recall it as one of the biggest moments of understanding of friendship and love in my life. Such a small gesture, but one of honest caring from someone I cared about so much myself.

 

I still call Jimmy my best friend today, and somehow that song ALWAYS appears, be it on the radio or after hitting shuffle on my iPod, just when I need that extra boost of confidence and that loving reminder that I will be just fine. It’s only fitting that the name of the band would be Jimmy Eat World.

 

“Hey, you know they’re all the same

You know you’re doing better on your own

So don’t buy in

Live right now

Just be yourself

It doesn’t matter if it’s good enough for someone else.”

 

Hey, don’t write yourself off yet

It’s only in your head you feel left out

Or looked down on

Just do your best

Do everything you can

And don’t you worry what their bitter hearts are gonna say.”

 

“It just takes some time little girl

You’re in the middle of the ride

Everything, everything will be just fine

Everything, everything will be alright, alright…”

 

FUN FACTS about The Middle:

 

Jimmy Eat World recorded their fourth album, Bleed American, independently after having been dropped from Capitol Records in 1999.

The album was then picked up and shopped by DreamWorks Records in 2001 – but it was written and recorded independently, meaning Jimmy Eat World’s biggest hit was created without label involvement.

 

Awesome. And too bad for Capitol Records. 

The Original:

Look UP

*written two weeks before posting – so by “today” I mean two weeks ago…*

The other night I went to the Phillies game at Dodgers Stadium with my good friend Kevin. It seems like every time we’re out I see someone I know, so he bet me that this time I wouldn’t.  Just a few minutes later I looked up behind us in our section and all the way at the top was my sister’s friend from high school, as well as his brother, who I had gone to high school with and done a few shows with.

“How did you even see them??”
“I looked up!”
“Why would you look up?”
“Why wouldn’t I look up?”
A couple of months ago I had to move to a different apartment and one of the things I was sad to lose was being able to see palm trees from my windows. Especially first thing in the morning.
Well, this morning I walked out the side door and for the first time walking out that door, I finally looked UP.
Something shot through me just when I saw that tree. Not just hope for happiness and calm, but understanding of that everything you need is right there…if only you’d just LOOK UP.