I thought about moving to San Francisco
In '67 I was 25
And Minnesota seemed awfully flat
And San Francisco sounded so alive.
Minnesota was tunafish casserole
Cranky uncles and cow manure.
San Francisco was psychedelic
Rock and roll and sweet l'amour.
L'amour, l'amour, l'amour, for sure.
I was a graduate student in English
I had long hair and a big brown beard
And every day I checked my mail
A draft board notice was what I feared.
If it came I would hop a freight
And make my way to the Golden Gate
And change my name to Planet Harmony
And join a commune in Bolinas devoted to love, not hate.
As it happened the letter never came
In '67 or '68
And in '69 I had a little boy
And his grandma said, "You cannot leave this state."
My mother-in-law was nothing but kind
She laughed at my jokes, she couldn't do enough
She thought I was some kind of genius
And I became a prisoner of love.
L'amour, L'amour, l'amour, for sure.
Had I gone to San Francisco
Had I left Lake Wobegon
I think that commune would've gotten old
In about a year and I'd've moved on.
I'd've gotten an apartment south of Market
And a job selling shirts for Levi Strauss
And I never would've gotten to sing this song
On the stage of the Opera House.
I come here often
I am a tourist and I take the tour
So remember, mon cher--
That sometimes life takes you in a different direction -- and your goals go unrealized -- and you wind up stuck in a place you were determined to escape, and then you turn around and there it is, the very thing you were dreaming of, it's walking toward you with its arms out, it is sweet l'amour.
That even if you're shy like me and a baritone to boot, you can still sing a soprano aria.....and laugh at the critics.....and have a wonderful time like my fellow midwesterner, Georges Bizet.