OK. In the past few days, I’ve had a HUGE breakthrough. This is something that has going for about 30 years…ever since I was in 1st or 2nd grade.
I remember music class. We didn’t have a music teacher that was as talented or personable as Mr Holland. We had Mrs. Michaels. She was an older lady. She clearly knew her stuff and taught us how to read the musical staff and play the recorder and what the different kinds of notes were. But, at the risk of the pot calling the kettle black, she couldn’t sing. Or maybe she could, I don’t know. What I DO know is that when she did sing, it was always about 3 octaves higher than it should have been. That was really annoying.
However, that’s all just background and not germane to the point of this entry.
This one time, in music class,
I stuck a flute in my we were singing the song “Git Along Little Dogies.”
The song “Git Along Little Dogies.” It’s an old western song. You can go here (just the first 4 lines will be fine) and then click on The Old Man Rockin’ The Cradle-Get Along Little Dogies(4.392 MB mp3 file) to listen to it (just skip to the 3:00 mark, that’s where the song begins). I know that’s an awful lot of hoops for you to jump through just for little ol’ me, but I don’t have my own personal domain where I could dump the file and I didn’t want to hotlink directly to the file. That would be unethical.
Anyway…I remember singing that song and thinking to myself, “I know this song from somewhere. Why do I know this song?”
I don’t want to sound like I’ve been obsessed for 30 years, but every now and then (like a couple times a month for years and years and years) I would hum this tune, think back to music class, and wonder how and when it got into my brain.
Then just the other day, I was at my mom’s house and I was looking through some of her old records. Records? Yes, records…those vinyl discs people would play using a turntable. I was looking through some of them and ran across a John Denver record. My mom said, “You used to sit and listen to this record for hours on end.”
“Oh, yes. One song, over and over again. You used to sing it all the time. Didn’t matter where we were or what we were doing. When we’d go to Kroger you’d have a crowd of people gathered around the shopping cart while you sang.”
“Which song was it?” I asked, looking at the list of songs on the album cover.
“Muhlenberg County. You used to sing it all the time.”
“Hmmmmmm….there’s no song called Muhlenberg County.”
“Well, maybe that’s not what it was called, but it’s on that record, that’s for certain.”
So I went online to the library catalog, located the CD and placed it on hold, to be delivered to my local branch for me to pick up at my leisure.
A few days later, I picked it up from the library, listened to it and ran across the song Paradise. Then everything came together in an instant. Yes! Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god! That was it! The song my mom was talking about. But, more importantly, it was the reason I recognized the Git Along Little Dogies song from a lifetime ago! Paradise was the nameless tune in my head that’s haunted me almost my entire life! Click here, scroll down, and listen to track #3. As I listened, memories came flooding back. Me sitting next to the stereo in the corner of the living room with my ear against the speaker, me being very careful as I picked up the needle to listen to the song again, me drawing a picture of a mule in an iceberg, me sitting in the cart at the grocery store singing while my mom was paying, me playing with a toy train singing the song, all sorts of things. Much like finding part 2 of Ultraman (which…if you don’t know that story…you can read about it HERE), it’s like I’ve discovered my own personal Holy Grail, and now I don’t know what to do. But I know I feel differently, somehow. Like some sort of weight or something has been removed. It’s weird.