Choices and Mistakes

Revisiting Choices, a George Jones favorite written by Billy Yates and Mike Curtis:

“I’ve had choices, since the day that I was born

I heard voices, that told me right from wrong

If I had listened, no I wouldn’t be here today

Living and dying with the choices I’ve made.”

When George Jones sings that it has a maudlin tone, a sense of regret, yet he and the fiddle accompanying him sprinkle it with just enough hope so as to make it difficult to tell exactly whether the  “if I had listened, no I wouldn’t be here today” line is a lament or something defiantly positive, something like Radney Foster’s line in Half My Mistakes – “half of my mistakes, I’d probably make ‘em again.”

That is, I guess, the funny thing about choices, even choices that can be seen as mistakes.  They are all part of the recipe that creates today, now, the way things are, the way I am – and so we have to be careful about “throwing out the baby with the bathwater.”  Or as Foster puts it – “You can lean too hard on regrets, but I don’t recommend it.”

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