Actually, I have more than one and when I hear one of them, I get a tearful memory from the past that only that music can unlock.
I’m not talking about sweet nostalgia here, like the first you ever slow-danced with a girl. (“16 Candles”, The Crests, 1957, Becky Hall).
Music can bring back memories of movies, parties, mates with a pitcher of beer, in my case, many of whom have passed away, since they’d all be in their 70’s by now.
I mean sadness or great melancholy. I wrote recently of my habit of pausing to cross myself, as a silent prayer when I spied something that touched me. I annoyed some people, for it was an outward expression that offends a lot of people anymore, which makes me want to cross myself even more.
When I see a little 3-year old wearing glasses I have one of those moments, always stopping to cross myself, wishing I could go up and comfort that parent, because my youngest was wearing glasses from 2 on, in constant misery because he couldn’t play even backyard sports because of no peripheral vision, and was the constant butt of jokes with other kids. My sadness for both the kid and the parents ran deep.
But that sadness never had its song.
Trust me, you have one of those songs buried away in your deep memory, and whatever sadness it represents, an embarrassment, a loss of a pet or a friend who may only have moved away, it will come back to you in a flash when you hear that song.
Yesterday I was going thru some old tracts I’d downloaded from YouTube, and I came across this one, which I sent to a dear friend on 27 June, just six months ago.
I sent this music to a friend in late June, as she was nervous about an upcoming surgery. It’s nothing extraordinary as Ave Maria’s go. I thought it might help he to sleep.
I had never met her. Or seen a photo of her. Or even spoken to her on the phone. She was a web-designer and editor, and was instrumental in getting our VeteransTales.org site off the ground. She was as God-fearing a Christian as you would ever want to know, but also a kind of captive in Brooklyn, the only caregiver to an invalid husband, and surrounded by a politically hostile apartment complex in a hostile town.
Her lifeline was her grandson, her work, her colleagues, my own sites, as well as GrumpyElder, UnifiedPatriots, and WatchersofWeasels.
Her name was Denice Shepard but you knew her by PumabyDesign.
On June 30 she went in for pancreatic surgery and she never came home. And her family never bothered to tell any of her friends.
This was one of her songs.