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…