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    The Rhett and Link song Hoover Dam first appeared on the album Secret Songs (which does not appear on R&L’s iTunes discography, but the song Hoover Dam appears on the Up to this Point album). There were more popular songs on the album, such as the Crayon Colors Song, but none (save one, which will be discussed at a later date) pack the emotional punch that Hoover Dam carries.


     The song tells the tale of a boy who takes a trip to the Hoover Dam with his father in his “four-door car”. The little boy is told facts such as “there is enough concrete in the Hoover Dam to build a two-lane highway from New York to San Fran” all while getting carsick. The electric guitars and driving rhythm make the song stand out from the rest of the album, and much of the pair’s early work. There also seems to be a raw emotion in the song, also setting it apart.


     But even more than the style, one line hits like a punch to the gut. “I look over my shoulder to the back of my four-door car”. The song has been sung from the point-of-view of the little boy, and this final line tells us so much about the little boy. It tells us that he has grown up to resemble his father.


     The older I get, the more I realize that I am very much like my father. Physically, we are almost the same – even down to having a bad back. When we build things we often speak to one another in half-sentences and gestures, leaving those around us baffled. We share love for paintball and video games, often playing together. Over the past few years, we have become very close, and my dad is a great friend and ally.


     Much of my teenage years were spent resenting my father, feeling like he hadn’t done his job of protecting me when I desperately needed him. I lashed out at him – and everyone around him, for that matter. We grew distant, rarely speaking, and when we did, it was often a fight. I set out to be better than he ever was. To make more money, to accomplish more, to be a better man than he ever was became goals of mine. And I accomplished many things while I was still young. I wrote, directed, and produced theatre productions that played to sold-out crowds. I started making movies, learning as I went. My acting continued to develop, and I quickly gained a reputation for being someone who threw himself completely into roles, morphing into the character I played. Inside, I had a strong desire to succeed at everything I set out to do. But I was very unhappy.


      Slowly, as I began to understand why I was angry at my father, and was able to start the healing process. I honestly had to apologize for pretty much being a brat for several years. I caused him, and the rest of my family, a lot of heartache and pain. I suffered some pretty big setbacks with injuries and health problems. But my dad was always there for me, and it was during points where I was weaker than I had ever been that he scooped me up and taught me how to stand and fight again. We became friends once more, learning to laugh and have fun together.


And slowly, I became more like him.


     I’m still my person without question. While my dad is great with power tools, I still struggle to make them do what I want them to. The reverse is true with him and cameras. But the older I get, the more I realize just how profound and impact my father has had on my life. That’s why the final line in Hoover Dam is so powerful. Sons grow up to be images of their fathers. When I have children, what image will I give?

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Comment by Marsha L (MythiCaNerdian) on December 26, 2012 at 3:45am
Nicely written Alan. It's one of my favorite songs of theirs also. I appreciate your wisdom and hope that my daughter who's going through a rough phase...will eventually come around too. Thanks.

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