They played my song?
It’s not possible, because I don’t have a song. I don’t have ten songs, or a hundred or even a thousand.
I have tens of thousands of songs –literally, on iTunes — and figuratively, in the sense that my collection is always expanding because music is always evolving, and because I constantly discover new sounds to listen to. Not a day goes by that I’m not on the hunt for a fresh track to make my own.
My love of music is deep, and traces its roots to my early childhood.
My father is a Missouri-born guitarist who once backed up country-music superstars like Jim Reeves and Ferlin Husky on traveling radio-show version of the Grand Ole Opry. I grew up listening to him, and to the musicians he liked: Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings and many, many more. I love classic Country & Western music still, and also admit to harboring a secret, somewhat embarrassing passion for cowboy music, songs like Tumbling Tumbleweeds, Ghost Riders in the Sky and Rawhide.
My mother, a Londoner and somewhat more refined in her tastes, loves classical music. She taught me to appreciate Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Rachmaninov, Chopin and many, many more. Even today, probably forty or more years from the day I first heard it, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata brings tears to my eyes. It is powerful music, expressive in ways that words can never be.
Somewhere along the way, I eventually discovered other types of music, including rock, pop, folk, jazz, reggae, American blues, Tejano, Flamenco, swing, electronica, Fado, and many, many more. I listen to it all, but particularly adore musicians like Neil Young, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan, who is the master songwriter of our times, as far as I’m concerned — the anti-Katie Perry, although much, much uglier and harder to dance to.
The only thing about music I don’t like is that I can’t make it myself, or not well enough.
I’ve always longed to be musician. I played the recorder and took piano lessons as a kid, and even took up the guitar in my teens, taking formal lessons to learn classical and jazz pieces at the same time I dabbled in heavy-metal music with my friends.
But I don’t have my father’s gift for music. I can’t keep a beat reliably, and I get so nervous playing in public that I forget chords and lyrics.
So I don’t play much anymore.
Still, at home, I’m never more than a few feet from the classical guitar I bought when I was 15-years-old. I love the look and feel of it, and I plan to pick it up and teach myself Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah as soon as I have more free time.
I don’t sing well, but maybe somebody out there who would appreciate hearing me play it. Maybe they’d say, “Hey, that’s my song.”
And I’d smile and say, “Yeah, mine, too.”
This is my third entry for the third day of 30 Days of Writing, a competitive blogging meme sponsored by
those bastards my beloved friends Nicky and Mike at We Work For Cheese.
Please visit them for a list of all the participants, and then visit those folks, too, because I’ve had trouble finding time to do it myself this weekend and I feel wicked guilty. There are some top-notch writers doing this thing with me, although I question their intelligence because they agreed to waste their precious time on something so utterly meaningless.