Time, a perpetual state of movement and the measurement of life. Measurements made up of the people we love, the experiences we create and the paths we choose to follow. Jordan Ziskin’s “Mexico” encompasses this perplexity.
It’s simplistic in its essence, yet complex in its dimensions.
The story begins with a man traveling across the country, chasing his dreams with the woman he loves at his side – a regular beatnik on the road running toward the compelling dreams of the unknown and away from the fears of societal mores.
Within the first 30 seconds of the song, we get that sense of urgency. While the tone begins whimsical and light-hearted there is that impeding furry, the hurry of
Pack your things fast cause,
Rains about to pour.
Then the restlessness of going until we can’t go anymore.
We just keep moving onward now.
Perseverance whiffs like perfume down the corridors long after the line has passed or the chords are struck. Movement persists, no matter what -“we just keep moving onward now.”
Verse by verse, the layers build momentum, like a train traveling coast to coast picking up passengers. The instinctual desire to pick up and go creates an inner tide pulling us toward our destiny. The experience and wisdom we gather along the tracks prepares us for what’s to come.
There is a deeply honest moment beginning in the second verse where there is a merging of lanes. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the unknown and the anxiety of what awaits in the city ahead, there is a calming assurance that this dream will come into fruition and from trepidation comes grit.
So let me explain, I have no answers,
Just dreams of a day where we’ll break the standard.
What makes this song so great is the sense of courage; it’s diving headfirst into cold water not knowing what ripples it will produce. It’s not cowering to the fear of failure but, rather, seizing the day. We only fail by not venturing into the unknown.
By far the best line in the song solidifying this message is
Who knows how much longer we’ll be around,
To keep chasing our next sundown.
Journeying through the ideals of what the future holds, there is a love story within the spaces of the song that coalesces in the chorus. There is this feeling that no matter what is going on around the narrator, he is looking over his shoulder to make sure she is still there holding his hand. The courage to begin this journey starts and continues with having that one special person to share the journey with, and that is what makes taking that leap worth while.
At the end of the day, whether success or disappointment, love will always embrace and endure.
The bridge of the song winds through the verses, expressing the theme of time and movement, measuring the distance to the destination creeping closer and closer.
In the beginning, the city lights are “well beyond this town” moving to “just beyond.” We can see our dreams just beyond the horizon and our path ingrained in the dusty road settling behind us.
This layering effect is present not only in the lyrics, but in the melody, too. The string plucking and chords are balanced between running full-steam and a gentle, airy, warmness. A pungent tone of movement echoes through the chord changes and delicately plucked notes like the wheels of a car turning. A joy is felt through every note, reminiscent of a man channeling the moments of that journey from head to heart to hands.
Deep within the confines of the human conscious is an inherent inclination that we are meant to do so much more than follow. There is more to life than nestling cautiously within the safety net of norms and responsibilities that society has engendered and culture has cemented. Dreams remain dreams until a step is taken.