Monday, June 30, 2008

In Search of 'The Five Pound Bass'

Any of you who know me well know that I am a fairly large fan of Robert Earl Keen's music. I've attended several of his concerts with a number of you. If you've ridden in my car or lived next to me in the past couple years, you've probably heard either just enough or too much of his music. At any rate, he's got some great tunes and I've got an iPod full of 'em. I recommend everyone checks out his music, if you haven't already.

Stumbling around this morning, I found an article/interview with the man himself, regarding his popular song 'The Five Pound Bass'. This is a fantastic song filled with energy and fishing-inspiration. REK goes into detail about the origin of the song and about the metaphor of the Five Pound Bass, something I hadn't really thought about before:

From Keen's expectations as an angler, a song was born.

"We just always thought that 'The Five Pound Bass' was sort of, you know, the thing you had to be able to do," Keen said. "You had to be able to do that to even consider yourself a fisherman at all. That was the benchmark."

But the song has a meaning beyond its piscatorial surface.

"So then it became a metaphor for anything that was exciting in your life," Keen said. "Like, you know, you get a date with some really good-looking girl, and you go, 'Hey, that's a five-pound bass.' It was an inside joke. It'd be like high-fiving or something. It was just our code for, 'That's really happening.' A big thumbs-up."

It's a good read nonetheless, and a killer tune. Here's the link:

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