Song Lyric Sunday – Music Memories

Tonight is the 91st Academy Awards. My ballot is printed. Ready to be filled in.

Full disclosure: I love the Oscars. I write the date on my calendar as soon as it is announced. Back in the days of 3 networks, I was glued to the TV screen for the entire broadcast. I remember watching when “The Sound of Music” won; being also impressed I had managed to stay awake until 12:30 AM!

There may have been a few years I missed it, away at college with no television. Or later, ensconced in early parenthood fatigue and exhaustion. But not many.

My contribution to this week’s Song Lyric Sunday (prompt: Harmony/Melody/Music) honors the 1973 Academy Award winner for Best Song.

“The Way We Were” performed by Barbra Streisand – the ultimate professional of harmony, melody and music. It was the title song from the movie of the same name.

The Way We Were

Lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman
Music by Marvin Hamlisch

Memories light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories of the way we were
Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another for the way we were

Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we?
Could we?

Memories may be beautiful and yet
What’s too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
So it’s the laughter we will remember
Whenever we remember
The way we were
The way we were

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday …rivers each day…

...it’s too late, baby, now it’s too late…

Say what? I’m picking out bananas at the grocery store. My ears pick up the overhead piped in music. I squint upwards into the fluorescent lights as if looking for the source.
Seriously?

And then again the next week…

you just call out my name

…while wheeling my cart to the checkout line. I freeze. Not knowing whether to laugh, cry, protest or just sing along. Hard to wrap my head around the fact that Carole King is now muzak. I sigh, feel my age and start tapping my foot. Damn.

Forty eight years ago today – February 10, 1971 – Carole King released Tapestry. The day after her 29th birthday.

The 61st Grammy awards air tonight. In 1972, during the 14th Grammy awards, Tapestry won 4 awards:

Record of the Year: “It’s Too Late”
Album of the Year: “Tapestry”
Song of the Year: “You’ve Got a Friend”
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female: Carole King for “Tapestry”

I memorized Tapestry. Every word. Every note. I can even sing every song. My untrained voice somehow able to follow hers. Never mind that it is one of the best selling albums of all time. Never mind about that. She was there right beside me. And millions of young people like me.  She knew us. Heard us. Understood us. Gave voice to what we perhaps were unable to articulate…yet.

12 songs. A young woman. A piano. Accompanists.
Simple songs of friendship, longing, loss, hope, love and joy.

I was 17. Seventeen is not easy. Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend?

That summer, 3 special girlfriends  – Patty, Wendy and Eleanor – and I played that album hundreds of times. Sang. Danced. Laughed. It wove the confusing emotions of our lives into lyrics we could understand. And often be comforted by.

Alone in my room, I’d drop the needle belting out the lyrics one song after the other. Knowing beforehand what came next.

When the title song fades out….He’s come to take me back… I’m poised for…Looking out on the morning rain….

Flip back to side one. …That you’re beautiful as you feel…wait for it…Way over yonder

[Song lyric Sunday’s theme today is River/Stream/Crook/Brook]

Way Over Yonder (from Tapestry)
Words and music by: Carole King

Way over yonder is a place that I know
Where I can find shelter from hunger and cold
And the sweet tasting good life is easily found
Way over yonder — that’s where I’m bound

I know when I get there, the first thing I’ll see
Is the sun shining golden — shining right down on me
Then trouble’s gonna lose me — worry leave me behind
And I’ll stand up proudly in true peace of mind

Way over yonder is a place I have seen
In a garden of wisdom from some long ago dream 

Maybe tomorrow I’ll find my way
To the land where the honey runs in rivers each day
And the sweet tasting good life is so easily found
Way over yonder — that’s where I’m bound
Way over yonder — that’s where I’m bound

Almost 50 years later.
Still fresh.
Still relevant.

Still a great song.

Still a great album.

Old

This post inspired by One Word Sunday

summer 1940018
Summer 1940

 

One warm summer day
My grandmother and her mother
Posed on a park bench
Complete with handbags, hats and gloves.
Ankles carefully crossed.

I bet my grandfather said “smile”
Before he snapped the photo.

 

 

Traveling

Inspired by….Ragtag Daily Prompt Quench

I used to really enjoy traveling.

Even when I was a little kid. Despite the fact that I got carsick, I enjoyed the excitement of discovering the unknown. Even if it just meant the next “tourist trap” as my father described Country Stores and such. We didn’t go on many family vacations but they were always memorable for one reason or the other. One was the coin operated vibrating bed in a cheap motel room somewhere. I shoved a coin in the slot, pushed the button and surprise!

Fast forward a few decades. Air travel was exciting then. There was security of course, but we could bring any food and drinks right through all the checkpoints. Family members accompanied us to the departure gate and waved goodbye.  Even 20 years ago, a cross country flight was not the hassle it is now. I didn’t think twice about the process. And I could run without gasping for breath to the gate for my connecting flight.

Now it is stressful – at least for me. My adult children are faintly annoyed by this (well, perhaps more like eye-rolling annoyed). They don’t understand…because they have mostly known air travel post 9/11.  I remember when it was easy. They do not.

So here I am. High anxiety 2 days out. Making lists. Everywhere.

Getting ready to fly to see my grandson – all 2 ½ years of him. And his parents too, of course — who need some childcare help while the daycare is closed for a few days. Grandma to the rescue. So to speak rescue. Well, Grandma is trying her best to get her travel act together. For a 4 day visit. Let’s see….
Make a list –
What will fit in the carry-on….that I can lift and drag/wheel through the airport including the ladies room. Along with my tote bag, purse, computer, etc.
What do I need…what don’t I need….
Back cushion!! Don’t forget that.
Special goodies for the kiddo.

What about the weather! High anxiety 2 days out.

Ridiculous.

I wonder if this is a sign of advancing age…the inescapable fact that my body is just not responding to my commands as it used to. Sitting. Standing. Stairs. All harder. Trying to find safe foods to eat on the road…gluten free because I have to.
What the heck.

However what I do know for sure (thank you, Oprah) is that I miss the sight of this little one who I last saw in person…walking down my hall in June. It’s the ache in my heart that won’t calm on its own.

So, until his little family moves closer – about 500 miles closer – I will quench my thirst for this bundle of love and limitless energy.
By powering through this travel thing.
To see him. And his parents too.
FaceTime is all very well and good,
But nothing beats a real hug and sloppy 2 year old kiss.

IMG_6043
see ya next time Grandma

 

 

I Voted

ivoted.jpgAs I drove towards the polling location this morning, I was thrilled to wait in a long line of cars to turn in to the parking lot.

Up and down the packed rows of cars I went, looking for an open parking space. Unlike the usual me, I felt no aggravation or need to complain under my breath.

The clouds and misty drizzle didn’t dampen my spirits as I parked. And walked by crowds of supporters holding campaign signs. Peacefully. Democrats on one side of the walkway. Republicans on the other side.

I was smiling as I waited in line behind other voters once I got inside the building…the town’s former high school. Tables side by side divided up voters via the alphabet — first letters of last names.

There were men, women, children, babies – all patiently waiting. Rows of red, white and blue curtained voting booths also waiting throughout the old gymnasium. I made it to the check-in person, showed my driver’s license and received my ballot – yes, here we have paper ballots as long as your arm. A black sharpie also waited inside each booth. To fill in the empty circles beside all the hopeful candidates’ names.

I am always filled with a sense of awe at this moment. At the privilege – and the right – of having my voice actually count. It is only one voice, but it is as important as that guy in front of me in line. And as important as the young mom holding the curly headed baby in the line to my left. The perfect equalizer. That not everyone in this world has.

Just before I turned 18, the voting age was changed from 21 to 18, courtesy of the 26th Amendment to the United States Constitution (which followed the crucial 19th Amendment 51 years earlier…also making my vote possible). When I actually turned 18, I registered to vote at my high school. We had passionately discussed the significance of this change in History class and amongst ourselves. After all, there were 18, 19 & 20 year olds headed to Vietnam who should at least be able to vote.

I haven’t missed an election since.

When my two children turned 18, I took them soon after to our city hall to register. My son registered on his actual birthday – the next day was election day. And we both went together. “Did you get your absentee ballot?” I’d ask each of them every year when they were in college. We are lucky in this country, I tell them. We have a voice.

Use it.