“Harjit (You Get it Back)”

Here’s a song both for and about a force of nature known as Harjit Dhaliwal. How do you pronounce “Harjit*“? Well…listen to the song…

Until this week, I’d only known Harjit through social media (primarily Twitter, where he goes by Hoorge, and Facebook, where he goes by, uh, Harjit), but I finally got to meet him just a few days ago at a reunion of @THISISVT guest-tweeters. I think I had casually told him in the past (online, of course) that I’d write a song for him, but I’d forgotten about it. Fortunately, he HADN’T, and he piped up with the song request**.

I was more than willing to pipe up in response. In our state of fewer than a 700,000 people, Harjit has been growing a reputation as an enthusiastic booster of all things Vermont, concentrating on Chittenden County, Burlington, and his current home of Milton (a historically maligned town to the north of the Queen City, and the image of which Harjit does much to improve).

He’s also a great photographer when he’s not doing his day gig as an IT guy, all of which seems to pale in comparison to his social media activity, which spans over a dozen separate channels.

But, y’know, any Yankee Doodle Dandy can stick a dozen accounts in his hat and call it good content. What I really admire about Harjit’s online output is the degree of genuine, unironic appreciation, an irrepressible exuberance for people and place that comes pouring out. If an individual post is prosaic, the emergent property I get from the entirety is a tremendous outpouring of positivity and love.

As I seemed to learn this week, his online persona is a real extension of his presence offline. If any behavior is worth replicating, this most definitely is, and I’m happy to play a role in helping spread his spirit a little further through the world.

Harjit (You Get it Back)

Lemme tell you ’bout a guy named Harjit
Sees a challenge and he’ll never dodge it
He gets it done
For everyone

9-to-5, and he’s in high-tech heaven
Social media, he’s 24/7
He gets around
Because he’s found…

   If you give it out, you get it back
   You’re on the track
   For life

   Every little thing you say and do
   Comes back to you
   Like children skipping from a schoolyard

Lemme tell you ’bout a guy named Harjit
Not a fan of self-sabotage, it
Is not his line
To undermine

With an eye for a bright impression,
From the phone to the photo session
He gets his shot
See what he’s got

   If you give it out, you get it back
   You’re on the track
   For life

   Every little thing you say and do
   Comes back to you
   Like children skipping from a schoolyard

Lemme tell you ’bout a guy named Harjit
You show up with a stone and he’ll dislodge it
It isn’t right
To have to fight

In his head is an eagle flying
In his heart, he is only trying
To be set free
So spread your wings and you will see it

   If you give it out, you get it back
   You’re on the track
   For life

   Every little thing you say and do
   Comes back to you
   Like children skipping from a schoolyard

© Copyright 2014 Nate Orshan

* Harjit’s name is actually a part of the motivation for writing the song. Here in the anglophonic north, names that didn’t get their start in Europe are currently harder to find, which lack of familiarity makes them harder to get right on the first go-round. In fact, I take it the nickname “Hoorge” came from a college friend who, to his own embarrassment, resorted to it when he found himself unable to pronounce “Harjit” correctly (HAH-jiht). If this song has any lasting impact, I hope at least it helps some folks get “Harjit” right.

** Nope, I’m not getting paid, nor is there any quid pro quo. Hey, that would just undermine my goal!


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