The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.



No, not reading and math and such: the things we learn in childhood and never forget.  No matter how old you are, I’ll bet you can still recite Jack and Jill.  I’ll bet you’ve never forgotten Jingle Bells or Over the River and Through the Woods.  I spent every summer of my youth with my grandparents at a cottage in Wisconsin.  Invariably, while driving there, my mother sang silly songs, all of which are etched on my brain.  I will never forget Will You Love Me When my Carburetor’s Busted or Playmate, Come Out and Play With Me

I’m reasonably certain that experience initiated my love of singing.  I probably know the lyrics to more than 500 songs.  I am tone deaf and sing off-key – alone – in the car, in the shower, taking a walk.  There are times, however, when someone says something that triggers a song and I cannot help but sing it aloud. This is problematic.  Mention you were in the Navy and you’ll hear Anchors Aweigh My Boys, Anchors Aweigh.  The problem is it doesn’t stop there. I’d feel unpatriotic if I didn’t go right on to  From The Halls of Montezuma To The Shores of Tripoli and Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder and Over Hill, Over Dale, As We Hit the Dusty Trail.

The same things happens if you mention a city. You’ll hear Chicago, Chicago, I Left My Heart In San Francisco, Meet Me In St. Louis and a host of others. Likewise with musicals.  Mention Fiddler On The Roof or The Sound Of Music and I become Tevye or Julie Andrews and, like it or not, serenade you with the entire score.

I’m certainly not Julie Andrews or Maria Tallchief or Ella Fitzgerald.  The whole thing bewilders me. I have a lousy memory. One of my sons remembers EVERYTHNG since he was two years old. I can’t remember the name of the last book I read. I don’t recall anything I learned in college, the names of neighbors in half a dozen places I’ve lived, but I remember the words to Blue Moon, When the Saints Go Marching In and a repertoire of patriotic, romantic, campfire and ‘golden oldie’ songs.

How did that happen? Either I have a gene that’s been programmed to be musically receptive or what did the trick was being weaned on Down In he Middle Of a Little Bitty  Pool, Swam Three Little Fishies and a Mama Fishie Too.

Adieu, adieu, my  friends adieu. I can no longer stay with you. So I’ll hang my hat on a weeping willow tree and may the world go well with thee.   Early learning can’t be beat!

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Julie Rose


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