Rings of keys

June 9, 2015

I heard the song “Ring of Keys” for the first time when I clicked on the NYTimes “In Performance” feature about the Tony Awards nominees.  It was the first song in the video, and Sydney Lucas certainly gives a riveting performance — love the mobility and expressiveness of her face.

But the song took me a while to follow.  The ring of keys moment startled me, for example.  I actively dislike my ring of keys.  It’s a pain in the neck, it doesn’t always fit into my pockets, it reminds me of people places and things and experiences that I don’t always want to be reminded of, including particular people I have known who relished their rings of keys and wore them, as I am assuming the woman in the song must, on the outside of their clothing.  Yes, they can symbolize power but that kind of power I don’t cotton to.

Years ago, when I first found myself with a sizable ring of keys, I thought about the ring, its keys, and what it meant to me.  I related it sometimes to the idea of “keys to the kingdom,” and I thought that, in that regard, it’s all wrong:  there is only one key, and it’s listening.

But I like the song, it has sort of grown on me.  In that particular video, the child actress’s face seems at times so worldly and so much older than her years, and I find it interesting to observe those flashes.

I also find it interesting to put my experience of keys along side the song’s use of the object and the narrator’s experience of it.  It helps me understand why I don’t fit in with the joyful keyring bearers of whatever gender and orientation.

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7 Responses to “Rings of keys”

  1. jimmy Says:

    Gang members in the denim/bandana get-up usually wear a large ring of keys on a heavy chain. Effective non-threatening open-carry.

  2. jimmy Says:

    Safe deposit keys are usually flat as opposed to longitudinally grooved (paracentric). They can be easily recreated using any piece of metal.

  3. jimmy Says:

    2.) And should be kept out of sight. And there are many who can, with a set of needle files etc., duplicate most any key.

    • jimmy Says:

      3.) Note the behavior of your vault attendant re your key. Some scrupulously look away. Others are assembling a time lapse composite.

  4. Matthew Brooks Says:

    I’ve never quite understood how/why people have so many keys. I have 4 on my key ring, soon to be 3.

    I suspect many people never take the time to free themselves of keys they no longer need, like clutter accumulates in a house or in an email account.

    • Diana Moses Says:

      Then comes the problem of how to label keys that we take off the ring and put away — label them clearly and anyone coming across them will be able to use them, don’t label them adequately and risk forgetting what they are to.

      • Matthew Brooks Says:

        The less clutter, the easier to remember (without labels).

        Perhaps it’s more the question, why do we have so many locks in our lives to begin with? Can we live without some of them (and then be able to just throw those keys away)?

        At what level do the benefits of simplicity outweigh the risks of increased insecurity?

        For that matter, at what point do the costs of clutter (eg. red tape/bureaucracy) lead to increased risk?


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