Title: It Runs in the Family (2003)

Running in the family

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  • Our dad
    Would send us to our room
    He'd be the voice of doom
    He said that we would thank him later
    All day
    He was solid as a rock
    But by eight o'clock
    We'd be crumbling
    One night
    My brother joe and me
    Climbed down the family tree
    That grew outside our bedroom window
    We ran
    Though we knew it couldn't last
    Running from the past
    From things that we were born to be

    Looking back it's so bizarre
    It runs in the family
    All the things we are
    On the back seat of the car
    With joseph and emily
    We only see so far
    - and we all have our daddy's eyes
    Looking back it's so bizarre

    Dad rang
    The officer in charge
    A man so large
    He barely fit his circumstances
    He said
    Two kids out on the street
    Were picked up on the beat
    And in the station
    So there's me
    With emily and joe
    Daddy driving home
    All heading in the same direction
    He knew
    No matter what the breaks
    We'd make the same mistakes
    Couldn't take his eyes of joe and me

    Looking back it's so bizarre
    It runs in the family
    All the things we are
    On the backseat of the car
    With joseph and emily
    We only see so far
    - and we all have our daddy's eyes
    Looking back it's so bizarre
    It runs in the family
    All the things we are
    Looking back it's so bizarre

    Like a dream within a dream
    We're all somewhere in between

    Like a drummer plays his drum
    Like a father like a son
    - and your gonna have to face the music
    - face the music

    Hey hey
    We keep it running in the family
    Hey hey
    We keep it coming in the family

    Looking back it's so bizarre
    It runs in the family
    All the things we are
    On the backseat of the car
    With joseph and emily
    We only see so far
    - 'cause we all have our daddy's eyes
    Take me back into your arms
    It's no longer a mystery
    No cause for alarm
    Could have never come this far
    With no sense of history
    It always leaves a scar
    - and we all have our daddy's eyes
    Looking back it's so bizarre

    Running in the family

    Hey, hey!

    It featured the UK hit singles: "Lessons in Love", "Running in the Family", "To Be with You Again", "It's Over" and "Children Say". All five singles peaked in the top 10 in the Netherlands, where the band was always popular. "Lessons in Love" peaked at #1 in Germany, South Africa, Switzerland and Denmark. This was the last Level 42 album of the 1980s to feature brothers Phil and Roland 'Boon' Gould, who had cited dissatisfaction with the musical direction of the band and exhaustion as departure reasons.

  • The language used in Running in the Family is descriptive and poetic. The variety forms of figurative languages (especially metaphors and similes), vivid imagery, and unusual sentence structure Ondaatje utilized elaborate the sentences making the novel Running in the Family sounds more of a poem than a novel. For instance, the description of Hetti Corea's voice is written as a poem using simile and imagery: "Your voice sounds like a scorpion being pushed/ through a glass tube/ like someone has just trod on a peacock/like wind howling in a coconut..."(76)

    Later in '87 the Platinum Edition of the album was issued. The CD and cassette replaced "Lessons in Love", "Running in the Family" and "It's Over" with remixed versions, and added remixes of "Something About You" and "World Machine" from the previous album. On vinyl the remixes were featured on one 33rpm record which was shrink-wrapped to the standard edition of the album.

    Running in the Family
    Michael Ondaatje
    Limited preview - 2011

  • Level 42 - Running In The Family Album Lyrics
    1.Children Say
    2.Fashion Fever
    3.Freedom Someday
    4.It's Over
    5.Lessons in Love
    6.Running in the Family
    7.The Sleepwalkers
    8.To Be with You Again
    9.Two Solitudes

    marks the commencement of Ondaatje's growing interest in migration (does running run in the family?). The expatriate characters of Ondaatje's later novels are here presaged by a generation of Ceylonese steaming off to England for education and an enduring love of cricket. Salman Rushdie knows that "the past is a country from which we are all migrants." In , Ondaatje reaches back, inwards, and abroad to map that most treasured and troubled of places, the human heart. --This text refers to an alternate edition.

Media; Running in the Family; Using OverDrive

But ultimately Ceylon is only a backdrop, for this is a book about people. And what a cast of characters! From Francis Fonseka ('his tumescent heart notorious all over Colombo'), to former PM Sir John Kotelawala with his legendary breakfasts, to Ondaatje's grandmother Lalla (who could 'read thunder'). The character Ondaatje is searching for most, though, is Mervyn Ondaatje - an alcoholic and by all accounts a deeply troubled man. In its last few pages 'Running in the Family' becomes a moving tribute to the father Ondaatje never truly knew, and a realisation that 'all of our lives have been terribly shaped by what went on before us.'