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As I was listening to the final mix of this song before uploading it to the website, my son stepped into my office.

ŅDada, whatÕs that mean?Ó he asked. He wanted to know what ŅJust Around the CornerÓ was about.

I told him it was a good question, one that IÕd been asked by lots of people whoÕd heard it.

Once Isaac Asimov attended a lecture on his work, and afterwards spoke with the professor who delivered it. Asimov tried to convince him that heÕd misunderstood the story, but the man insisted heÕd interpreted it correctly. The professor asked his critic why he was so sure he was right, and Asimov replied, triumphantly, ŅIÕm Isaac Asimov.Ó The lecturer looked closely at Asimov, and then said, ŅJust because you wrote it doesnÕt mean you know what itÕs about.Ó

I didnÕt answer my son with the Asimov anecdote; instead, I asked him what he thought it was about.

But now as I rethink this question, I suspect the answer can be found in Aki KaurismŠkiÕs film The Man Without a Past. ThereÕs a scene in the final third of the film, I think, in the car as the title character and Irma, his date, drive to a concert. Irma, played by Kati Outinen, says something very succinctly in response to a question, something that expresses the central idea of the film.

Of course, I could tell you what she says, but wouldnÕt it better if you watched the film? Then you could decide for yourself if it has any connection with this song.

ŅJust Around the CornerÓ always seems to me a song written in summer, but it was actually written in the dead of winter and finished on January 6, 2007--not quite four years after IÕd seen KaurismŠkiÕs film. . . .

Songs to listen to. . . .

Prairie Gold (from Some Kind of Sign)

The Fiddler (from Some Kind of Sign)

Just Around the Corner (unreleased)

Government Work (unreleased)

Somebody ElseÕs Alibi (from Just Where We Are)

You Can Get There from Here (from Just Where We Are)

DonÕt You Worry Õbout Falling (from Just Where We Are)

Sunny Side of the Street (Pogues cover; SG General Store, 11-22-2008)

 

* Except for ŅSunny Side of the Street,Ó all songs & recordings
© Nathanael Dresser

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