Don’t steal this song

Kristine Gill

I got a text the other day from my childhood friend, Jason. All it said was, “On the river … ” I’ll admit, it took me a second to realize that Jason had actually texted me the first line of a song we had written as children. It wasn’t hard to come up with the second line. ” … of the Jordan.”

I’d like to introduce to you the debut single of my childhood band. We were called “The Kick Butt Radical Dudes,” despite the involvement of two dudettes, if you will. My sister Katie, Jason and I wrote our first song on a bright summer day when I was probably 6 or 7 years old. Here are the lyrics in their entirety. They are in the process of being published. By, “in the process of,” I of course mean I’ve briefly considered the possibility. I’m really just saying that so I don’t turn on the radio one day and hear someone blaring these award-winning lyrics that we came up with years ago. Don’t steal them.

On the river, of the Jordan/I was walking down the street with my Rollerblades

No one pays attention to me/ Turn on the radio, what’s that song? On the river of the Jordan.

On the river of the Jordan is my song man, do do do./ I’m gonna tell you what’s right for me (tell you what’s right for me.) I’m gonna tell you what’s wrong for me (tell you what’s wrong for me.)/ I’m gonna tell you what’s right and wrong for me ….. yeaaaaa.

I want to point out a few things about these lyrics. The first is that I still remember them. After more than ten years, I can still hear this song perfectly in my head. I would also like to point out that I still remember the exact moment when the idea for a song came to me. I don’t want to sound cocky, but as the oldest of the three band members I understandably saw myself as their leader. While my sister and I were in the backseat of Mom’s car, Katie said something about the Jordan River and I said, “That would be good for a song,” and then she said, “Shut up.”

Needless to say, we wrote the song. It was an instant success. Our fan base, which included both mine and Jason’s households, loved it. Maybe it was the catchy music we’d written with the lyrics, maybe it was the dance routine we choreographed on our swing set, incorporating both of the swings and the gymnast rings. Or maybe it had more to do with the actual content of the lyrics.

The first two lines of the song paint a crystal-clear picture of an individual, most likely a 7- or 8-year-old, and most likely a male, walking down the street with a pair of Rollerblades. It should be understood that these Rollerblades are hanging over the boy’s shoulder, because we all know you can’t walk and Rollerblade at the same time. The next line is perhaps the most memorable, as it depicts the mental state of the young boy who feels alone in the world and that no one pays attention to him. I don’t know where this line came from. My parents didn’t ignore us. The only explanation I can come up with is that we were tapping into our future teenage angst and expressing it through the song. I find this very impressive.

The song quickly transitions from a brief insight into the boy’s thoughts to the song playing on the radio, which, ironically, is the same song he’s currently singing. I’m not sure how this is possible, especially because as I said before, these lyrics are still in the process of being published. I can only attribute this phenomenon to our remarkable childhood genius, which gave us the ability to concoct such unfathomable scenarios.

The rest of the song returns to the theme of teenage angst, which I mentioned before. Even at seven years old, we knew what was right and wrong for us and we weren’t afraid to tell anyone. It’s a mentality that we have maintained up until this point.

I want to thank you for reading my explication of this song. If you would like more information about the “Kick Butt Radical Dudes” and its other works, feel free to contact me. We were largely a cover band and sang such songs as “Surfin’ USA,” and snippets from the movie Casper. Please let me know if you hear “On the River of the Jordan,” playing on the radio so I can take the necessary legal steps.

Kristine Gill is a junior newspaper journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected] if you dig these lyrics.