Wednesday, August 22, 2007

192/365 Cassidy

I have seen where the wolf has slept by the silver stream.
I can tell by the mark he left, you were in his dream.
Ah, child of countless trees, ah, child of boundless seas.
What you are, and what you’re meant to be
Speaks his name, though you were born to me,
Born to me, Cassidy.

Way back in the 80s, when I wasn’t 100% sure I wasn’t going to have a kid, listening to this Grateful Dead song always made think that if I did have one, Cassidy would be a good name. I mean, it’s fabulously androgynous. And there’s something so earthy and mysterious about this song—even though I can’t claim to understand it, the words manage to create paintings and short films in my head that I really like. So that wouldn’t be such a bad thing to be named after, would it? Born to me, Cassidy.

But then, suddenly, the name got really popular. Which meant that I would never use it.

Turns out I didn’t need to worry about all that, given my ultimate blissful child-free status (blow the horn and tap the tambourine!).

Still, I love the song, and I love its benediction: Fare thee well now, let your life proceed by its own design.

10 comments:

Kat said...

Name trends. Ick. Katherine was a big one when I was growing up. I was in a class with six of them. I was number four.

Bridgett said...

Oh my god. I could have written half this post. I know a bit about the story behind ths song, and I love the benediction, too. Perfect tune to name a child after. It was going to be a boy's middle name for us...and then we had two lovely girls instead. If we had another, and if he were a boy, it has moved off the list in favor of others. Plus I'm too old and married and homeowner-ish to name a child after a Dead song these days.

But how odd that we both had these thoughts long ago.

Deloney said...

I know a guy who named his son Cassady after Kerouac's On the Road pal Neal Cassady.

Indigo Bunting said...

K: Kat's a good choice. I went with Kate, although I'm not Katherine.

B: Fabulous. Thanks for telling me.

D: Equally cool, and more so for the spelling of it, of course.

Helen said...

I've never met a Cassidy (or a Cassady for that matter). Maybe that name trend never infested Canada.

Don't blow that horn or tap that tambourine yet! Accidents do happen...

Mali said...

"Fare thee well now, let your life proceed by its own design."

I absolutely love that.
And I also love that you want to blow that horn and tap the tambourine - you've encouraged me to do that too ... and H, accidents won't happen to me ... ;-)

Indigo Bunting said...

We've taken some serious precautions against accidents, but one never knows...

Bridgett said...

The song (to be a total dork) is about both Cassidy's. Neal Cassady had died the same year as a young girl named Cassidy was born out of wedlock to, I believe, one of the band members. Or maybe it was just a longterm groupie. That's what the "quick beats in an icy heart/catch-colt drives a coffin cart/there he goes, now here she starts, hear her cry"

Indigo Bunting said...

B: Thanks for the story. I totally don't know my music history, and that's quite helpful...

Vashni said...

I JUST watched a documentary yesterday about the Beat generation and Kerouac and Neal Cassady and the Merry Pranksters...how random that you wrote about that song the same day!