Saturday, February 17, 2007

Son, Can You Play Me A Memory?


Back when she was young, our oldest daughter E. hated it when I played minor chord songs at bedtime.

If memory serves, one of the worst offenders was Neil Young's Powderfinger.

What E. didn't like was the melancholy sound.

Which, of course, was what I loved about it.

Still do.

Lucky for E., I never attempted the Cowboy Junkies' version.

Because even now the sound of Margo Timmons' voice sends me.


I don't play bedtime songs, major or minor, for E. much these days.

Our younger daughter, little e., however, is still willing to have a listen.

And tonight, after the littler one fell asleep, instead of getting up off the floor of her bedroom I settled in, turned on my headlamp, and began flipping through the songbook E., e., and C. gave me for Christmas.

Then, for no good reason at all, I started strumming something I never thought I'd ever play in a million years.

Piano Man, by Billy Joel.

It's a minor chord song to the core.

Filled with melancholy and memory.

Now, if truth be told, I always thought that Mr. Joel's stuff was kind of shallow and trite.

But tonight, late on a Saturday, after I got halfway decent at it the thing, Piano Man suddenly began to sing me rather than the other way around.

Which was a really strange and powerful thing, indeed.



No comments: