Sunday, April 29, 2007

Musical nostalgia

Tomorrow is move out day. I don't know when exactly. It depends upon when the Computer Guys come to move my terminal. I came in to the office today to do the last little bit of cleaning and packing -- I can't seem to get anything like that done during the week. The only time I'd be able to do it is my lunch break or if I stay after work, and by five o'clock the needle on the bull[ahem] meter is well into the red zone. It's all I can do to not run screaming from the building.

So, anyway. I get my desk cleaned off, pack all my files, and put everything on the cart I use to schlepp things around the building. On my way out I stop at the little café in the basement and buy myself a bottle of water. As I'm paying for it, the radio starts playing "Isn't She Lovely," by Stevie Wonder.

"Oh!" says one of the young ladies behind the counter. "I love this song! At my junior prom, this is the song they played as I was coming down the steps."

"Aw." This in chorus, from women on both sides of the counter.

"I am such a ham," she confesses. "I started down the steps, and this came on, and I was all..." She turns to one side and does a coy look to the floor and then up through fluttering lashes. "It was a great night. Also, the guy I went with was hot..."

"Well, that doesn't hurt," I reply.

"Mmm. I made him wear pink, and he looked sexy in it."

At this point my water is paid for, and someone behind me wants a bagel, so I take my leave.

It's funny what songs will do to you. I can't keep a straight face while listening to John Denver's "Sunshine on my Shoulders."

My sister and I used to amuse ourselves on long car trips a number of ways. This was before backseat drop-down DVD players, iPods, Walkmen, even. We were captives to whatever our father had on the radio. Sadly, twenty-five years later, this is still true. Driving back from my cousin's wedding in Virginia, I was held hostage by NASCAR radio. *Sob* An entire afternoon of:


I'm not sure what kept me from hanging my head out of the open window and howling like a wild thing.

On these endless car rides, we either read, slept, bickered until the Hand of Justice clamped down on us from the front seat, or played games like "Billboard Alphabet." Sometimes in a spirit of Making Fun Where You Can, we'd start playing around with lyrics of some old radio chestnut we'd heard a hundred times already, et voilà! A new song is born. So now whenever I hear "Sunshine on my Shoulders,"instead of the actual words here's what I hear:

"Sunshine on my shoulders gives me sunburn.
Sunshine in my eyes can make me blind.
Sunshine on the water makes it boil.
Sunshine almost always is unkind."

(or "makes me cry." We've done it both ways, and I forget now which came first.)

Sorry Mr. Denver. Nothing personal. Just two bored kids in the back of a station wagon with three hours to go before they hit the Massachusetts state line.

No comments: