Lost in Beijing 

I simply felt lost when I first went back to China in 1993 after leaving there more than three years ago.  Not just because there were many new buildings and new boulevards that I did not recognize.  People I met and talked to seemed to have a totally different mentality from what I remembered when I went to college there in the late eighties.  It was as if everyone was desperate to miss the train that would take them to a different future, for better or worse.  I knew then my career choice had made me miss the single most dramatic transformation in a society in recent human history.  It was with a feeling of regret tinged with curiosity that I wrote a song about this new mentality in Beijing that was alien to me.  The title was "Beijing Dream." It told a story of a man who woke up on morning in the city and realized that it was going to pass him by.  When I showed it to a best friend from my college days he simply laughed at how little I understood a city I had left less than four years earlier.  

I had written songs about Beijing before the trip.  The first one was titled "In a Strange Land," but was actually written on the flight that took me from Beijing to Columbus, Ohio.  It was my first ever airplane flight.  I was full of anxiety and was already feeling homesick.  I wrote more songs when I missed Beijing, including "There Is a Place." It was not all melancholy reminiscing though, as I also recalled the times in Beijing when I felt aimless and restless in writing "Crazy Words" and "Green Card."