I Can Still Remember

A long long time ago, I can still remember how that music used to make me smile. And I knew if I had my chance, I could make those people dance and maybe they’d be happy for awhile~Don McLean, American Pie

When I was young, my grandmother gave me all of my aunt’s 45 rpm single records. Up until that point, I had been listening to nursery rhyme type songs on my little portable record player. I went from ‘How much is that doggie in the window?’ to Elvis Presley lamenting that his letter kept getting sent back , David Cassidy being afraid of love , Joan Baez teaching me about  the Civil War , or The Animals warning me not to get sent to prison , and many fun  silly songs in between. Soon, my favorite pastime became lip-syncing to the songs as I danced around, trying to reenact the lyrics. I could play a mean fake piano during The Entertainer, as long as I was wearing my grandfather’s old fedora.

Once, when I was with my parents at a picnic, one of my mother’s musician friends was playing his guitar. I immediately recognized the tune to American Pie and I blurted out “I know that song!” He was skeptical, thinking I had just heard it on a commercial or something. But I said “No! I know all the words!” So then shy little me, the one who generally hid behind my mother’s legs, proceeded to sing every single word just to prove him wrong.

I still have most of those RPMs, though I rarely play them anymore. I still sing many of them, while I’m doing mundane tasks like emptying the dishwasher or ironing clothes. I tend to get really into singing them though, which makes my tasks take extra long to do. Oh, well. If you can’t whistle while you work (because I can’t whistle) belt out the words to ‘The Night Chicago Died’ instead! In over dramatic fashion, of course, complete with siren sound effects…



5 thoughts on “I Can Still Remember

  1. “American Pie” came up in my class about a month ago — I was lecturing about “La Bamba” as an example of how to do research about music, which questions to ask, and someone in the class who was not 50 actually knew that this song had a tangential relationship to that one. I was impressed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. since I loved the song from a young age (around 7 yrs old), I already knew what the lyrics were referring to (I think I asked my mom. I don’t remember). so when the movie ‘La Bamba’ came out (I was around 12 or 13 I think) I became obsessed with it, and in turn started listening to a lot of Buddy Holly 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow… The Night Chicago Died… I don’t think I’ve actually heard that since the seventies!
    American Pie is a favourite. I still remember doing poetry analysis on it as an assignment in high school English.

    Liked by 1 person

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