May 28, 2000

More Musical Memories

This is my attempt to squeeze two entries out of one topic..

I had some wonderful reactions to my last entry, Musical Memories (part of a journal collab project).
With permission, I'm posting excerpts from two emails I received:

First, from my closest friend Stephanie (who doesn't have her own website.. yet..)

"Hey Jude" is the most evocative song for me in general. It never fails to stir up memories of my youth, which was greatly influenced by the Beatles. I would sequester myself in my room and blast the stereo (fortunately, my bedroom was on the third floor, so I didn't get too much flak from my parents,) and let the music open my grasping mind, soothe my tormented teenage soul, heal my wounded heart, and expand my newly broadening horizons.

Music made me feel empowered. It was instrumental (no pun intended) in strengthening my fledgling sense of independence. Now, over 30 years later, I can't hear certain songs like the above-mentioned "Hey Jude" without experiencing a jolt of melancholic loss for days gone by when music could solve problems that, although they seemed overwhelming at the time, now appear to be so inconsequential in retrospect.

Now, from Doug, who writes the wonderful My Diary

My fondest memories of music go back to the twenties and Dad and Mom's records, most of which were classical.

Then school brought "My Country 'Tis Of Thee," America The Beautiful," "Flow Gently Sweet Afton," "Ciribiribin."

Our song, "Tonight We Love," an adaptation and shortening of Tchaikowsky's Piano Concerto Number One, then later the "Theme From Elvira Madigan," the Beatles, "Hey Jude," the one I first heard as an instrumental piece, "Crying," which on hearing I told Heather that, "this music makes me so sad," so she got my attention once when Barry Manilow's rendition of the vocal of "Crying." I decided the instrumental conveyed the meaning much better than the vocal.

Oh my, over the long years my favorite pieces of music formed a magic path to life. I formed an attachment to Mozart. Other music, George Beverly Shea's rendition of "How Great Thou Art," at a Billy Graham occasion in Denver. A majestic voice to sing a majestic hymn.

And then the music to top all, "Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring," also called the, "Ode To Joy," I first heard it in a church near to the place I attended summer school. I would sneak in a side door and sit and listen to the organist practise. One day the organist played that, sweeping, swooping, spiralling, ever ascending to the heavens, "The Ode To Joy," I didn't know the name of it all I really knew that my heart was singing and my happiness almost unbearable.

Two people from different generations, different parts of the country, and they both mentioned the same song. The Beatles' influence is not to be underestimated.

Thank you both, Stephanie and Doug, for taking the time to share your personal memories with me. They are just too good to keep to myself.

Thanks too, to Bev for her letter - there's nothing more satisfying than knowing someone can relate to your feelings and how you've expressed them.

And while I'm thanking, to Rick.. for the link and the lovely comments. *blush*

In other news..

Older son turns 19 tomorrow, at 6:28 PM EDT. I'll restrain myself from telling the birth story (it was easy, as births go) but I will insist on being the center of attention in the inevitable entry. Since becoming a mother, I've felt strongly that birthdays should celebrate the birther more than the birthee. (OK they're not real words. So?)

As I write this (Sunday evening) OS is at the Montreal Casino with a group of friends. The drinking and gambling age in Quebec is 18, so a trip to the Casino is a common rite of passage for that age. This will be OS's third trip there in the year since he's legal. I've never been there, but some of my friends go regularly.

He's quite independent, in that he takes public transit and only occasionally asks me for a ride from the last bus stop. Tonight I might do something I've never done before.. go to bed while one of the kids is still out. I need to get up early tomorrow to take Dad and Stepmom for a checkup (just routine). That never stopped me from staying up late before.. and there IS the space shuttle landing (scheduled for 2:20 AM our time) which I love to watch, on NASA TV (here for media player, linked from here for realvideo), switching to CNN (on real TV) for the last few minutes. We'll see..

Linques Du Jour:  

Scattered throughout this entry. It's long enough already!

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