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August 28, 2016 / thackersam

Reasons To Be Cheerful, Pt. 3

Let’s stick to music tonight, shall we? And I’ll throw in a little exercise. As we know (newcomers, catch up), my exercise routines almost always start with me singing along with the first three songs from Linda Ronstadt’s Heart Like a Wheel. I am not getting any better, but I am getting louder. Now Linda and I do not sing in the same key or style. And not to be disrespectful, as I’m not the worst singer in the world, but as I’ve mentioned before, I wouldn’t be surprised that even with her Parkinson’s Disease that keeps her from performing, sounds better than I do. But I’m not a really good singer either. The louder I get however, the more confident I feel, though that is not why I’m doing this.

Remember my step-mother? Of course you do. She has just turned 90 and is just a nutty-person. The last time she called at 4am her time, which is 10pm here, so all’s good, she really ran the gamut. I should come visit, she’s coming over from Holland with a friend to take care of me, AND she’ll be going back home next week. Usually it’s just one or the other or the other. Oh, and now there’s this blowing in of hot air that someone is doing to her. But she sounds good. Voice-wise, I mean. She doesn’t sound like a 90 year old. Her voice is pretty strong and clear, even when she starts talking to me in Dutch, which I don’t understand. It’s like that because she was an opera singer. Mezzo soprano? I think that’s what it was. And she sang professionally throughout Europe. She started her career after leaving her first husband, who was the premier artist of Indonesia (that’s how she and my father always described him, so I don’t know if that is an official title) after he was cheating on her. Well that’s what I thought for years, decades, until my visit last November (see My Inner Selfie) when she explained that he always loved the young women he painted, but this one he wanted to move in with them. So she left him, as did the young woman. There’s more, but this isn’t about him. My stepmother left without taking a cent, so her story goes, which has been consistent, and took a little apartment back in Holland and singing lessons.

I don’t like opera, but if really belting it out helps me to sound strong into my golden years, not to mention breathe better, I will do it. My chanting is getting louder, and longer, as well. I’m sure the neighbors either dread the noise or joy in poking fun at me.

Once upon a time, I did have a pretty good voice. I even took voice lessons about 16 years ago, with the lofty dream of perchance having a cabaret act. I spin a good yarn and there is a song that goes with everything, after all. But then, my voice teacher was a jazz musician, you know, and we’ll just leave it at that.

BTW – Ian Dury. What an interesting songwriter. And he sang full cockney. I heard “Reasons to Be Cheerful, Pt. 3” the other day on the radio and had to share it with my younger staff members. The millennial really liked it, so I think I’ll turn her on to his other great hits like “Sex and Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll,” “Wake Up and Make Love With Me,” and my personal favorite, “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick.”

And speaking of the radio, on Wednesday, one of the DJs was talking about the Bruce Springsteen concert the previous night or so, which Bruce ended with “Jersey Girl,” but, said the DJ, he didn’t play this song; and then I heard the opening notes to “Thunder Road” (I can name that tune in one note). Really! What! People, what’s my favorite Bruce song? “Jersey Girl” is just a song (and not even one he wrote). “Thunder Road” is epic.

Info for the next pop quiz – Actually “Thunder Road” ties with “Rosalita” as my favorite Bruce songs, number 3 – Jungleland, 4-Out In the Street, and 5-Streets of Philadelphia, even though as soon as I hear the first note and start to cry.

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