Sixty Years

Yes, I’m getting there, thanks for asking. I went to a wedding about 20 years ago and a great band played songs from the 20’s through the 70’s.

I was asked to dance a lot with nice gents, beats sitting in the back at the kids table keeping an eye on the drunk uncle!

I knew the lyrics to most every song and was asked at the end of the lovely evening how I knew all this being only in my 30’s. Dad had three fake books, one of which I have and restored it. He promised them all to me.

Fake books were illegal at the time but that’s what musicians used. He used to play the piano and we’d all sing after dinner parties. We had one song that had been dear to his parents, from the 20’s, A Shanty in Old Shanty Town. He’s gone now so I don’t remember his contra-part. I sang the melody and no-one knew the words, but us.

Guests were amazed that I recognized and knew songs from forty years before I was born. Piano, guitar, violin, and American Musical Theater. Finally as a Junior in college they let me take it. They thought it was an easy class. It was not.

We had to listen and learn. We were normally tested on the introduction, that was very different than the work, as in Someone To Watch Over Me. For me it was more music than libretto, but I learned both.

For me to dance and sing the introductions to some of my favorite works and have people amazed that I could do so was actually a testament to Dad. If walking me around the living room as a baby didn’t work, and Jackie Gleason’s Music, Martinis and Memories record did not put me back to sleep, they’d take me around the block in the car and I was a goner. That’s it, I’ve an extra dog and we all need to sleep.

It’s only a shanty in old shanty town, the roof is so slanty it touches the ground. Just a tumble down shack by the old railroad tracks…….. Cheers, Dee


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