The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.


on February 16, 2012



Some people play the piano or the violin, some torment themselves lifting weights, some can remember the phone number of every location they’ve ever lived in.  Not me – I sing.  I sing in the shower, I sing when I’m driving, I sing myself to sleep at night.  My penchant for doing so must be a result of the many times my family spent a couple of hours in a car every summer and the silly songs my mother sang while driving.  I can still spout off Abba, Dabba, Dabba, Said the Monkey to the Chimp and I’ve never forgotten Will You Love Me When My Carburetor’s Busted?

This habit of mine is sometimes problematic. If you happen to mention you were in the Navy you’re likely to hear Anchors Aweigh My Boys.  The problem is I don’t stop there. I’d feel unpatriotic if I didn’t follow that with Over Hill, Over Dale, Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder, and From the Halls of Montezuma.  Same goes if you happen to mention San Francisco. You’re in for a chorus of I Left My Heart, Chicago, Meet Me In St. Louis and maybe half a dozen more.  A discussion about your favorite musical will get you twenty or thirty songs from Fiddler, The Sound of Music, ad infintum.

I can think of no more pleasant experience than sitting around a campfire, roasting marshmallows, and spending a couple of hours singing campfire songs – I probably know about 100 of them.

It puzzles me that I can remember the lyrics to perhaps 500 songs or more and I can’t remember the names of the characters in a book I read last week.   One of my children can remember every event in his life, however insignificant, and I can’t remember the name my cleaning lady who comes once a week. Surely my memory genes are defective.

The sad part of this is that I am tone deaf.  I couldn’t match middle C played on a piano if my life depended on it.  I’ve no doubt that singing aloud in the presence of others is likely to break a few ear drums. Yet the urge to sing is like something tickling my tongue and I often must bite it to keep from singing So Long, Farewell as I leave the room.

We all have a penchant for something. What’s yours?

Julie Rose


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