With New Year’s Day approaching, can you write a column incorporating the lyrics of Taylor Swift’s “New Year’s Day”?

Shake It On

Actually, I’ll incorporate the lyrics of U2’s “New Year’s Day” and thus go “old school” — i.e., every Montclair public school building other than Bullock.


Never mind the Bullock. Anyway, here goes: “All is quiet on New Year’s Day…”

John E. Rotten

Not true, with the roar of obnoxious/polluting leaf blowers still ringing in Montclairites’ ears. Please use rakes…which can double as rudimentary guitars.

“A world in white gets underway…”

The Thrilla in Vanilla

Yup, there was snow in Montclair on Christmas Day, but residents could see white before that by looking at any photo of a Republican get-together.

“I want to be with you, be with you night and day…”

The Hours

Upper Montclair’s GOP congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen only wants to be with the small number of 11th District residents who agree with his support of most things Trump. If our town names a road for Rodney, it’ll be Lackey Lane.

“Nothing changes on New Year’s Day…”

Not Even Bitcoin

But the dynamic NJ 11th for Change group greatly helped change the perception of Rodney this year. His popularity dropped faster than cats running to cans being opened, even as felines shun the Trump’s Treats brand.

“On New Year’s Day…”

Jan U. Aryfirst

Given that this column is online-only, I guess we can waste space repeating lyrics.


“I…will be with you again…”

U.R. Beingstalked

The same overbuilding developers repeatedly ask Montclair board members for variances. (Unfortunately, they usually get them.)

“I…will be with you again…”

U.R. Stillbeingstalked

I know, I know — Steven Plofker reappeared at Dec. 20’s Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting to push his Grove/Walnut office and retail building as well as his huge Plymouth Street townhouses near the library. Both projects would cram their neighborhoods, albeit with open space…between my ears if I ever support those proposals.

“Under a blood-red sky…”

Crayola Approved

Actually, nothing but blue skies in renderings of those two Plofker projects. The Grove/Walnut plan looks better after being revised, but it’s still too much for a busy area. Another example of first proposing something bad, then making it a bit less bad, and calling that a compromise. I wasn’t born yesterday — one-day-old babies can’t write columns.

“A crowd has gathered in black and white…”

I See Your True Colors

More clothing diversity than racial diversity as Montclair gentrifies? U2 did star in a partly black-and-white movie called “Rattle and Hum” — an even cutesier name for a pricey baby boutique than “Drool.”

“Arms entwined, the chosen few…”

Stuck On You

More than a few Montclairites are clinging to each other now that GOP tax “reform” will lower the value of their homes. But as many a white, lower-income Trump supporter says: “Making millionaires even richer at my expense is important to me.”

“The newspaper says, says…”

Meg A. Phone

A talking newspaper joins Mr. Ed the talking horse, Martha the talking dog (created by Montclair native Susan Meddaugh), and Mike Pence the talking hypocrite (“devout” Christian/fawning Trump toady) on an eclectic list of oddities.

“Say it’s true, it’s true…”

American Lie

When a Montclair High quarterback fakes a pass or a handoff, it’s fake news.

“And we can break through…”

Crashed Potatoes

Don’t skate on Edgemont Pond until it freezes.

“Though torn in two…”

Rip Code

Who halved my Natalie Imbruglia album containing the song “Torn”?

“We can be one…”

Single Scenario

Montclair wouldn’t want to share a congressional district with Upper Montclair until Frelinghuysen is voted out.



Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.





18 replies on “MontClairVoyant: As New Year’s Day Nears, ‘New Year’s Day’ Song Inexplicably Appears”

  1. Taylor Swift lyrics? Seriously? I always thought I was solidly in your target audience. Clearly, that’s not the case. Oh well.

  2. Thanks, Frank! Actually, the column contains lyrics from a 1983 U2 song with the same name as a 2017 Taylor Swift song. 🙂 Both called “New Year’s Day,” but different lyrics and melodies. I might not have made that clear enough. I think Swift is very talented (and my younger daughter likes her songs) but I’m more of a U2 fan. Thus no Swift lyrics in this column.

  3. Phew! For a ugly moment, I thought I needed a resolution to expand my horizons. I can live with 1983, although the ’80s had issues.

  4. Funnily said, Frank!

    Many of us (myself included) tend to focus on music we listened to in our younger years, though I do also like some more recent stuff. For instance, when I saw U2 in concert this past June, I was impressed with the much younger opening act: The Lumineers (two of whose members grew up in New Jersey).

    And, yes, the 1980s were a very mixed time. I seem to remember a very problematic president named Ronald something…

  5. Back then, the least of our problems was the President. The Montclair Public School system was in free-fall. A whole generation lost.

    I saw U2 as part of their 360 Tour. God awful on every level.
    In our case, Interpol was the opening.

    Actually, rather enjoyed Dead & Co this year. J Mayer made it interesting.

  6. I moved to Montclair in 1993, so I missed whatever happened in the school system during the 1980s. What percentage of your life have you spent in Montclair, Frank?

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy that U2 concert. I saw them on that tour, in 2009 I think, and enjoyed the performance (at the old Giants Stadium). Muse was the opening act; they were spectacular.

    I’ve never been a big fan of the Grateful Dead and its various spinoffs, though I don’t dislike them, either. 🙂

  7. I was raised here. % is weird form, but, all in, I’ll say over 50.

    I’m not a Dead follower either, but they have a dozen good songs and fun to see live, once. Their sound is iconic. Actually, I think I saw them perform on Randalls Isl in the early ’70’s, but could be a memory fault.

  8. Frank, I deliberately didn’t ask in years in case you didn’t want to sort of reveal your age. 🙂 You’ve been in Montclair a long time!

    I like some Dead songs, too, and I can imagine they must have been amazing to watch live. What a devoted fan base — only a few bands, such as Rush, come close to comparing in that respect.

  9. Thank you. I still think I’m in my 50’s, which I’m told is the new 40’s.

    Yes, I think of Deadheads as cult-like. Then again, you could say the same thing about many NFL season ticker holders…or Michigan Alumni.

  10. You’re welcome, Frank.

    It does seems like every decade of age is the new previous decade of age. Probably doesn’t work for kids 1-10… 🙂

    Yes, there are various cult-like fan bases in music, sports, etc.! My wife attended the University of Michigan you might be referring to, and football there is practically a religion — with “The Big House” the temple seating more than 100,000.

  11. Ha! Nope, they jinxed themselves. And maybe Coach Harbaugh needs to eat more “brain food” at Zingerman’s…

  12. Nice to see you here again, silverleaf!

    Ha — Crowded House. An aptly named band for playing a huge college football stadium. 🙂

    I’ve never been inside “The Big House,” but have driven past it several times when visiting Ann Arbor (where my wife spent much of her childhood). The stadium is just astoundingly big. If Montclair High held its graduation ceremonies there, there’d be no amphitheater-like problem finding seats for extended family…

  13. Thanks, Dave. Happy New Year to you. Fyi, from the outside, the stadium appears much smaller than it really is. That’s because 75% of it was constructed sub terra It is actually like a big crater with only the top dozen or so rows above ground level (built as such to offset the effects of a high water table.) Very similar to our own amphitheater, now that you mention it.

  14. Happy New Year to you, too, silverleaf!

    Wow — hard to imagine that enormous stadium looking even bigger from the inside, but sub-terra construction would do that. Clever building technique, well described by you.

    Ann Arbor reminds me a bit of Montclair, if Montclair were three times the size. Diverse, a university, suburban with a part-urban feel, lots of great restaurants, and so on. Are you a former Michigander and/or a U of M alum?

  15. I certainty see the similarity between the two places. I’m not a former Michigander, but attended grad school there when the place was a hot bed of student radicalism.

  16. A good place to go to graduate school! Your last line brought up another similarity between Montclair and Ann Arbor — liberal politics. And the Wolverines nickname is pretty good. 🙂

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