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Stradlater's Roommate

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The idea for this song was triggered by my experience signing up with Facebook ("Looking for a friend is tough/ do you know of any/ Nine or ten is not enough/ when others have so many"). Stradlater is the roommate of Holden Caulfield in J. D. Salinger's 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye, which I had just re-read. I featured "Stradlater" instead of "Holden" only because it fit better into the rhythmic and rhyming structure of the song as it evolved. The other fictional characters who appear in the lyrics are McCartney's Eleanor Rigby and Lewis Carroll's Alice, each of whom deals with alienation and change.

Stradlater's Roommate
Words and music © 2011 J. Ochshorn

1. Looking for a friend is tough
Do you know of any
Nine or ten is not enough
When others have so many
Dan and Eric are now friends
So are Kris and Miki
I can't tell what this portends
Maybe I'm too picky

[Chorus 1]: Never thought I'd end up like Eleanor Rigby
Wondering what went wrong
Waiting at the window screen for someone to pick me
Singing where do I belong

2. Like Alice in the rabbit-hole
In the deep well she falls
Mr Carroll couldn't know
That what were wells are now walls
What size do you want to be
The caterpillar asked her
Doesn't matter much to me (she said)
But changing's a disaster

[Chorus 2]: Never thought I'd end up like poor little Alice
Looking for some fun
Everyone she meets is crazy or dripping with malice
And there's nothing to be done

[Bridge] I'm not the kind to complain
I'll take the good with the bad the sun with the rain
But will this rain never end
Here it comes again

3. Holden's in a jam again
Life sucks what a pity
School's done so he takes the train
Back to New York City
All the women he meets there
Leave him sad and lonely
He tells himself he doesn't care
Cause everyone's a phony

[Chorus 3]: Never thought I'd end up like Stradlater's roommate
Feeling so alone
Finally gets the nerve to call up Jane for a new date
But her mom picks up the phone

[Chorus 3, repeated]: Never thought I'd end up like Stradlater's roommate
Feeling so alone
Hanging it up after calling Jane for a new date
When her mom picks up the phone

Production notes:
Song was arranged, produced, and recorded on Garageband software by J. Ochshorn. All instruments and vocals by J. Ochshorn. Instruments include some software instruments (e.g., drums and bass) played live on a midi keyboard by J. Ochshorn.
Recorded at home in Ithaca, NY, October 2011.