a playlist from my life

Music music music

My grand daughter once asked me what music I enjoyed when I was young. I had to tell her I didn’t have music plugged into my ears the way the kids do today.

I took piano lessons when I was in fourth grade. My sister was pretty good at it. I was not. I could bang my way through a few songs and recently tried to recall how to play The Spinning Song when I visited Lucy and was going to “show off.” I couldn’t do it. She is taking lessons. In my case, my dad finally asked if I could stop taking lessons. He couldn’t stand listening to me practice.

In sixth grade, at a small Quaker school during the war, an opera singer  out of work due the the war, came to our school. She rewrote Die Meistersingers for a young audience and we performed it. My sister had a singing part. I was the prologue in funny bloomers, tights and a scroll so I could read my part. Memorizing was not my thing.

When I was in high school I recall not being willing to admit to listening to the Saturday night radio program playing all the latest hits. If I mentioned it, that meant I hadn’t  had a date. Since I rarely listened to it, it really didn’t matter. I probably did not have a date anyway.

I attended a private girls school my junior and senior years and the main contact with boys was an occasional dance for our school and the local boys school. There was a year, also, when we joined with that school for a presentation of HMS Pinafore. I was in the chorus and can still sing parts of the songs we learned.

I did own, for a while, a 45 RPM  record player. It took over what was the pump house at the house on the Cape. This was my way of getting away when I wanted to be alone. There I sat with the sound of music accompanied by the pump producing water for the house. Not very comfortable but it was all mine.

My Aunt Peanut (yes she was very small) played the old upright piano on the Cape. Sometimes she would play old WW I songs…. “It’s a long, long way to Tipporary” being one that comes to mind at the moment and “Over Here, Over there” and a few strange ones that made us giggle: “Old Bill Baker, undertaker, laughed until he almost cried whenever anybody died…”

Sea and I attended concerts at the Boston Pops when we lived in Cambridge, and the local orchestra here in Bellingham. We attended out door music along the Potomac when we lived in Virginia and before kids took over our lives.

When Katie was in high school, she played the saxophone and, as the good parents we were, we attended all the band performances. I sat in the front row and would knit until the band instructor asked Katie if I would move. Every time he turned around he could see how much my knitting  grew. I moved to the second row.

We attended a concert at the local university once and sat in the balcony. I took an aisle seat so I could knit and only Sea who sat next to me would notice. Then a gentleman several seats away asked if I could knit to the beat of the music. I guess it didn’t work. Fortunately there were a lots of seats to move to.

This whole blog started when the radio was playing the 1812 Overture and Sea recalled a story he had heard when we were visiting Russia. (He is so good at remembering where we have been. I have to associate our travels by recalling a person or by seeing the numerous pictures I took.)

The music I do remember is Girl Scout songs my children taught me, and the music of their era. One of my fondest memories was when we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. The whole family gathered at my son’s house with guitars for those who could play and we sang all the favorites they knew and I learned from them. Even my son sang along. I never knew he could sing since when he was young, it was the three girls who played and sang  – he listened…. or so I thought.

So much for different learning styles- and music in my life–  and remembering.

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One Response to a playlist from my life

  1. Linda Baie says:

    A crazy busy day today & I am late commenting, but couldn’t miss your post! I loved going down the lane listening to your favorites & the musical bits & pieces, especially the part where you knitted at the theater & the man asked if you could knit to the music.

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