There are many songs I could write about today. I could tell you how Dean Martin’s “Everybody Loves Somebody” evokes images of my mom ironing in the kitchen, singing along with the record player. We had to keep a book of matches on its arm to ensure the record wouldn’t skip.
Yeah, I could do that.
But she passed away 17 years ago and I don’t want to go there.
Not today. I’ll go there on Friday which is the anniversary of her death or as we Jews call it, her Yahrtzeit.
I could also tell you about how my dad & my Uncle Nick would get sloshed at parties and break into a sloppy rendition of “The Good Ship Lollipop.” Imagine two big, goofy, middle-aged Polish guys hanging on each other, belting out a Shirley Temple tune. I guess you had to be there.
Instead, I’m going to tell you about “The Sounds of Silence,” by Simon & Garfunkel.
Picture it: Arvada, CO in the early 1970s. Vanderhoof Elementary School. Music class with Miss Robbins who later became Mrs. Young.
My best friend Lisa and I had “found” each other that year. You know how when you are ten years old and you meet that certain friend with whom you instantly and totally click? That was me & Lisa.
We were immature, at best. Kids in the 3rd grade had more on the ball than we did. Our parents couldn’t stand us (at the same time). Other kids couldn’t stand us. Teachers…they had it the worst.
Okay, so one day there we are in music class and standing right next to each other, of course. Miss Robbins announces that we are going to sing “The Sounds of Silence.” Lisa and I begin elbowing one another while trying to stifle our giggles. No way were we going to make it through that song without incident. We both knew it, but we had to try.
It was manageable until we got to the part that goes “…and in the naked light I saw…”. Lisa and I simultaneously combusted.
Why you ask?
Well, it’s like this: the word “naked” was capable of inciting raucous merriment in our puerile minds.
Forty-eight years later, I still have to smile wheneverthat song comes on the radio.