“Lindy” – A Life Story

Original Article Release February 24, 2014

As a contributing writer at ChesneyOnline.com, I have written articles and reviews covering Kenny Chesney and personal stories of how his music has been a soundtrack of my families summers. I will be releasing some of the articles to the viewers of The Spot Music Reviews, and decided to start with an article that I wrote about one particular song. Just after the release of Kenny Chesney’s latest album “Life On A Rock”, I wrote a review of the album. When I finished the review, I found there was one song on the album that I wanted to write a separate review of. This particular song really spoke to my soul the very first time I listened to it, and after listening to the album through and through, the song continues to pour through my veins each and every time I listen to it. If we sit and think enough about it, I am sure we have all known a Lindy. All with different names, but the same characteristics as the man that Kenny Chesney describes in detail in his song “Lindy”. Most people might not even pay that much attention to him or give him a second look, but just take the time to watch him or talk to him and you will find that the life you think you knew is much more than you could ever imagine.

The first time I listened to “Lindy”, I thought of a homeless man that I met one day last summer. I was walking past a major hospital in the city of Pittsburgh and a man asked me for some change. At that point in time, I had a few choices. As most people were doing that morning, I could have walked past and ignored his request. I also could have given him a few coins and kept walking, but instead, I sat down beside him. Side by side, we sat on the wall in front of the hospital and began to chat. I did not want to just give him some money and move on about my day not thinking about him ever again. I wanted to hear his story. As I sat down, I asked how he got there. He told me he walked, and with a friendly smile, I said, no, I meant, “How did you get here, to this point in your life, homeless on the street?”. I really did not anticipate him telling me his life story, but to my surprise, we sat on that wall for about a half an hour as he talked and I listened as his life story unfolded.

I learned a lot about his life that day, but I also learned a lot about my own life, and really life in general. He told me he has three locations throughout the city that he sleeps at. Throughout the day, he walks from one location to another, collecting change so he can buy bananas. He explained that he lost his teeth and the only thing he can eat are bananas. I tried to imagine what it would be like to be in his shoes, but as vivid of an imagination as I have, I’m sure that the perfect picture of this mans life can only be viewed through his eyes and literally in his shoes. Lindy seen it all, storms and hurricanes, some say he’s insane, no one knows his last name. But I believe, he’s the salt of the earth, just look past his dirty shirt, and you will see just what he’s worth.

The man I sat on the wall with that day was not the only Lindy I had known in my life. As a kid, our neighborhood had a Lindy. He would stroll around, and around, and around, occasionally catching a ride with someone. That someone often was my dad. He explained to me the story behind why the guy acted a little different and I remember as a kid feeling as thought my heart was bleeding while my dad told me the story. I learned from an early age not to be quick to judge when someone is a little different. Our front door was always open for this Lindy. My dad made it a point to let him know he was welcome in our home anytime he needed a drink, some food, a place to rest. We didn’t even have to be home for him to stop and make a sandwich. As I got older and started driving, I would see him walking, maybe even talking to himself or laughing to himself as he strolled around. I would pull over to the side of the road and tell him to get in. I guess talking to me was better than talking to himself, because he never turned down the opportunity.

“Lindy” is an amazing story, and tells of a man misunderstood. Kenny Chesney was able to put this story in just the right context in an amazing lyrical and instrumental style that really only he can do. This song will continue to speak to my soul for a long time, and I hope that anyone who listens to it takes it as a lesson in life rather than simply entertainment.

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