Sunday, 25 May 2008

music music music

Well! What a surprise! Here's how it happened.

First, the background of this story: I have a lovely 12-string guitar (with a checkered past but nice mellow sound), but said 12-string and I haven't lived under the same roof since I moved up north. When I came up north, I thought I would only be here for a couple of years at most while finishing my degree, and while here should remain temporarily unshackled by "things". However, I didn't completely get rid of all my material possessions. I left my most treasured "things" -- including my 12-string guitar -- in the care and keeping of good friends. I thought I would complete my studies, move back down south. However, life happened. I'm still here. My 12-string guitar isn't.

A couple of weeks ago, my buddy "L" and I were talking about music. We have similar, but not identical, tastes in music and occasionally have fun arguing about it. In the course of the conversation, I mentioned that sometimes I miss my guitar.

“Why?” L asked.

Cuz it’s currently residing in down south, I said.

“Why?” L asked.

Cuz I w as travelling light when I came here, and I still haven’t fetched it up here.

“Why?” L asked.

Cuz it never felt right to fetch it up here.

“Why?” L asked.

Cuz this wasn’t home, and wasn’t going to be permanent, so far as I knew.

“Why?” L asked. (If you’re thinking this character sounds like a broken record, yes ... sometimes that’s true! L could ask “Why?” for hours on end ... but never gets to because yours truly gets frustrated and walks away!)

Anyway, a few more whys, and yours truly changed the subject and forgot all about the whole conversation.

And now the actual story: This past Thursday, L called me at work a few minutes before I was due to leave and instructed me to a location around the corner from my office. I figured we were going out for dinner, but was a little puzzled by the comment “I just got it today” at the end of the phone call. Alright-ee then. I pictured a new truck, or some thing-a-ma-bob for a truck because I did recall a distant conversation along those lines.

“IT” was a brand new acoustic guitar (the exact model as above)! For me! I’ve NEVER owned a brand new musical instrument ... even my very first guitar when I was 13 or 14 was second hand, and I saved baby-sitting money for months to pay for it. I was SO shocked! So this weekend I'm busy getting to know my new guitar/friend. Musical instruments are like friends and lovers ... you have to get to know them, build a relationship with them. And build some callouses ...

So my new guitar got me to thinking about my first guitar and my first violin, and music that I played when I started learning to play them both. Have YOU ever taken music lessons? If so, you might agree that the music you had to learn and the "real" music happening in the world around you were NOT the same. I couldn't for the life of me understand the logic of learning to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (or whatever beginner's crap it was) when I wanted to learn to play

While pondering that particular childhood frustration this past week, I tried to remember the first "real" song that caught my attention. L recalls Happy Birthday and Frosty the Snowman. I know I heard Happy Birthday and Frosty the Snowman while growing up, but I don't consider either "real". "Real" songs are something quite different to me. My cousin Lance used to sing 2 songs that REALLY caught my attention ... my imagination ... my heart when I was 5 or 6 years old. He was a grown-up university student at the time, and I totally looked up to him ... except when he tickled me. One song was (although 30 years later he denied ever singing it):(I was delighted to find this clip on the Internet, as I could only remember the tune and the single line I'm freezing but I'm burning for the girl in Saskatoon! The second one was:I still love both songs today.

What was it that made songs like these special? Catchy melodies, for one. Pipe bands around the world love Green Hills of Tyrol, or The Scottish Soldier, because a parade never happens without that one! Lyrics that spoke to my romantic heart and over-active imagination, for another. I would sing The Scottish Solder, and sing the last verse v e r y s l o w l y ... in my mind, I WAS a stately lone piper piping his brave soldier home at last, or I WAS the brave but dead soldier being piped back to the hills I'd missed so very much while away soldiering. Sometimes I'd get so into it that I'd end up crying! (The Scottish Soldier still brings a tear to my eye, especially when I see swirling kilts.) Somehow, songs like these SPOKE to me.

So ... question: what was the earliest song that SPOKE TO YOU? (Cuz I'm thinking I'm not alone on this one!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like kilts too. The parade the other weekend had two pipe bands that did that song. I like it too.