Thursday, April 14, 2016

What You Cannot See, You Cannot Fight



The closing track from Freedy Johnston's 2010 CD Rain on the City. One of the things I like about this song is the way the family triangle it describes is constructed entirely from the words of the father's monologue to his son. In addition to a long-demonstrated knack for combining pop tunefulness with dark material (see, in this regard, nearly every song from This Perfect World), Freedy's one of the few songwriters I know of who can convincingly compress ordinary people's lives into three- or four-minute packages without falling back on romantic clichés.

I don't know the origin of the maxim that serves as the title, but it dates back to at least 1945 (as "you cannot fight what you cannot see") and seems to be a commonplace in the addiction recovery community.

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