John Mayer’s Song For Getting Older – ‘Born And Raised’

Yesterday it was my birthday  – number 31 – and somebody who has become a dear friend in the short space of less than a year helped make it a very memorable one. Pam Corkery, my co-host on Newstalk ZB’s The Two (Friday and Sunday evenings from 8pm), organised me a succession of gifts – presented on-air no less – including rubber matchsticks to help keep my eyes open on my overnight shifts, a plastic cricket set and 50 metres of bubble-wrap. Yes, 50 metres of bubble-wrap.

Two of those gifts sound like they need a little more explaining. Regarding the bubble-wrap, a couple of times I’ve mentioned to Pam my love of bubble-wrap and how I spent several hundred dollars on it when packaging up all my stuff before setting off on the OE a couple of years ago. The gift harks back to something another very dear friend gave me for my 21st 10 years ago: six kilograms of the spicy Indian snack bhuja-mix. Who doesn’t love bhuja? Though that was a lot of bhuja and kept even me going for a month or five.

Newstalk ZB’s ‘The Two’.

Veering somewhat close to self-indulgence, Pam and I ended last night’s show with this song, the title track from John Mayer’s latest album Born And Raised. It’s a song about getting older and like much of the album, is a homage to 70s-style singer-songwriters like Neil Young. Not coincidentally, Neil’s old cohorts David Crosby and Graham Nash provide background vocals.

Listen out for lyrics about dreams not flying “as high as they used to,” of it getting hard to “fake what I won’t be,” but still having both time and faith and the support of your family. For someone often accused of arrogance, these might just be his most relatable, humble lyrics.

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