My sister began a beautiful tradition; she chose a song, “I Will” by Lennon/McCartney, and sang it to her daughter in utero, the day she was born, at nap time. It’s their song. For her son, she chose “St. Judy’s Comet,” which belongs to either Paul Simon or Kenny Loggins, depending on who you ask. He’ll be two next month, and you can still hear her singing that song to her beautiful child at bedtime. It turned out to be especially appropriate, because this child has a very strong will when he wants to keep himself awake! As the song says, “Though I know you’re fighting it, I can tell when you rub you’re eyes, that you’re fading fast.” It’s sweet and perfect.
I have been wondering which song would belong to my baby and me every since we started singing “I Will” to my sister’s girl. I thought that I had it with “Let it Be,” but the lyrics are all in the first person. I want to sing to Bug. With a “you” sprinkled here and there. “Hey, Jude” is still a candidate. Both of these songs represent cherished moments with my own family, hard core Beatles fans (I do not exaggerate when I tell you that I have heard every recording the Beatles ever made. Every. Single. One.) and the lyrics represent life lessons that have been really important to me. “Hey, Jude” kills me with the line “And don’t you know that it’s just you, hey Jude, you’ll do–the movement you need is on your shoulder.”
I’ve gone through every song I love, from Irving Berlin’s “Count Your Blessings” (featured in White Christmas) to a traditional Scottish lullaby that was on a CD my sister had, called “Bonny at Morn.” I’ll sing those to Bug, but there’s still something missing. I haven’t found Our Song.
Nathan and I have a song. It’s Blossom Dearie’s version of “They Say It’s Spring” which, if you haven’t heard, you must go listen to immediately. Back? Ok, I’ll tell you why. We heard it on WNYC (New York’s NPR station) like the geeks that we are, and I bought the album, in love with her voice. When we discovered that the date we had picked to go to city hall was the first day of spring, 2009, we knew that it would be the song we’d ask them to play in the chapel. (The NYC Marriage Bureau is high tech like that–you hand them an iPod, they play music at your wedding. It’s amazing.) It’s also perfect, because what we were doing was pretty crazy, getting married after having known each other about a year and dating for just over six months. But we knew. “Did I need spring to bring the ring that you bought me? Though it was spring, that wondrous day that you caught me, darling I thought we knew that it wasn’t spring–t’was you!”
I’m listening to Blossom sing the softest, sweetest version of “Fly Me to the Moon” doing what she does best–singing the meaning behind the lyrics. Her version of “Tea for Two” will make you smile, it’s so slow and heartfelt. I think I’ll turn to her songbook, next, and find a song for Bug in one of those simple, classic melodies.
Do you associate songs with people or relationships? Do any of you find yourselves transported to a moment in the past by a snippet on the radio or a trick of iTunes Shuffle? Tell me about your songs!
UPDATE: Within ten minutes of posting this, Val left a comment that sparked a memory that gave me my song. And, it is “Sing,” from Sesame Street. Here is a best-of medley. You are welcome.