My grandmother was an English Professor. She once told me that not a thing happened in her day that did not remind her of a poem. My mind is not full of poems, I wish it were because there are so many great ones out there. My mind is full of tunes, many of which have poetic lyrics. There are few things that happen in my day that don’t hit the “Play” button on the boombox in my mind. I will then hum along, and often dance, to the tune. This tends to frighten small children in the grocery store.
My taste in music, much like my taste in clothing, is not sophisticated. I’m a huge fan of Arlo Guthrie’s “Motorcycle Song.” This is ironic, because I would rather have a pickle than ride on a motorcicle. Strangely, as I’ve grown older, my musical taste has become less sophisticated. As a child my favorite thing to listen to was Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.” As a pre-teen I loved Simon and Garfunkle’s “The Sound of Silence.” I would lay on the floor with my eyes closed, listening to “The Sound of Silence,” until I felt that I was evaporating and my spirit was floating with the musical notes (I was a strange child).
Sitting here thinking about it, I still love the music of my childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and I’m pretty sure I will love much of the music I haven’t yet heard. Apparently, my musical taste, rather than becoming less sophisticated, has broadened. I loved Ken Burns’s Country Music series. I love the bluegrass music in the movie “Mountain Minor.” I love the line “Don’t worry; be happy,” in Bobby McFerrin’s song. I love Pharrell Williams’s “Happy” (especially when it accompanies a video of dancing Minions). I love the Blues, Classic Rock, Folk…
Music is particularly good in a pandemic. You can enjoy music while alone; you can enjoy music while at home. You can enjoy music on the moon; you can make music with a spoon. Music makes my spirit fly high; music makes my worries say, “bye.” I listen to music with my cat; when music’s playing I don’t give a rat (‘s ass about all the yucky things going on in the world). My grandmother would not have liked this sorry excuse for a poem, but she did like music (and me).
Music is everywhere. You don’t even have to turn off the TV to listen to music; just change the channel. June 21st was “World Music Day.” I want EVERY day to be World Music Day. You don’t have to be retired (like me) to listen to lots of music. Listen to music at work! If it’s against your workplace rules, listen to music before and after work. Pandemic-encouraged working from home should open up music-listening possibilities and opportunities. Hurray – life is good!
I really want people to be nice to each other. I think, for the most part, people are nice to each other when they’re happy, so listen to music that makes you happy, and be nice. Thank you very much!