This song is dedicated to the hustlers out there who live the street life. . .You never people see
I first became familiar with Street Life when I was the musical director for the school musical Disco Inferno. It was one of the featured disco hits in the musical and I think we performed it much faster than this original version by Randy Crawford, as it was one of the favourite numbers of the band and the choreography needed that extra attitude that a only faster tempo being driven by the rhythm section, as well as the accentuated syncopation that only the drums could provide.
I play the street life
Because there's no place I can go
It's the only life I know
And there's a thousand parts to play
Until you play your life away
Living the street life has never been more real for most people than it has been in today's day and age. We can conveniently forget that there are so many people struggling to put food on the table, trying to hustle a buck to pay bills on time. I definitely think about Haslow's hierachy of needs when I reflect on how for some people - the basic essentials of daily living are hard to come by - even when families are working multiple jobs to sort themselves out. I'm sick of reading about the ignorance of certain groups of people in the NZ Herald. Most of the time our national paper posts articles online that are designed to incite and perpetuate the ignorance and racism that I spend every working day of my life trying to quash and banish from schools. It angers me that it almost feels like this idea of separatism and division is employed everywhere I see to keep us oblivious and in the dark about what is really going on. There is a secret underworld that we're unaware that is operating. We don't realise what's happening until it's too late and by the time we've figured out how to play a thousand parts to get up to speed, we play our life away.
Just who you wanna be
And every night you shine
Just like a superstar
The type of life's that played
A temptin' masquerade
You dress, you walk, you talk
You're who you think you are
When you do get around to mastering those thousand parts that you must play, nobody ever really knows the real you. Yet you're expected to 'turn it on' or be 'turnt up' every time you're on show just like a superstar. So why do you do this? If you're successful in being this chameleon, good for you. The thing about being a chameleon though is that you need to be quick to adapt to all of the different environments because it will only take the smallest of moments when you're too slow to adapt that you will be exposed. So being a chameleon takes much practice, honing of your craft in terms of being adaptable and why wouldn't you right? It's what people have come to praise about you and come to expect.
You can run away from time
For a nickel or a dime
But you better not get old
Or you're gonna feel the cold
It's an interesting thing to think about. Sometimes it doesn't matter how hard you work to help others in their times of need and try to do what you can do to not be a burden to others - but trouble and dramas just seem to stick to you like a bad smell, like Pepe Le Pew with his incessant obsession with that poor cat. . .
There's always love for sale
A grown up fairy tale
Prince charming always smiles
Behind a silver spoon
And if you keep it young
Your song is always sung
Your love will pay your way beneath the silver moon. . .
I hope that when you are busy living your street life, that you don't lose sight of the real you. It can be very easy to lose yourself in the hype of what people expect you to be, in the hype of what you expect yourself to be, who you think you are. I think when you get to stage in your life where when you keep persisting in the being the who that you think you are and you're still feeling unhappy - it's time to reconsider how you're playing life in the street.
How will you keep it young?
How will you always keep your song sung?
I just hope that you don't keep giving yourself away so much when you're living the street life, that you start to lose who you think you are. . .