Lois Greene Stone, writer and poet, has been syndicated worldwide. Poetry and personal essays have been included in hard & softcover book anthologies. Collections of her personal items/ photos/ memorabilia are in major museums including twelve different divisions of The Smithsonian.
Play It Legato
Do popular songs affect your moods? During my own acne days, long before the word zit was coined, I'd hum "Again. This couldn't happen again..." and pretend romance pain. Because of You, ‘my' song with a first love, made me aware I was leaving girlhood. World War II's, This is the Army, Mr. Jones, always formed a smile on my lips as one of the names in the lyrics was Mr. Green, my father's name; but I'd tell the wooden radio that my father spelled his with an ‘e' at the end.
I played Little Green Apples on the piano, in 1960's, for my three young children. They also liked the rhythm of Sweet Caroline and the moody Mac Arthur Park. Now, 2017, do they remember how we giggled after tapping notes on ivory keys and singing as loudly as we could?
Technological advances have made a few old lyrics or titles ghoulish. I left my heart in San Francisco: transplant talk! My heart belongs to you: it literally might! Heartaches: coronary by-pass consideration! Open-heart surgery has already been done on six of my relatives, and I've had a cardiac catherization. Might these songs make you feel creepy if you had my family background?
I guess expressing affection by using the word ‘heart’ began to change when my father died at age 45 from a coronary occlusion. Years later, my mother sustained two massive attacks, and open-heart surgery, so I even get upset hearing the term 'heartwarming' as I medically know her body had to be cooled down considerably before that operation and then warmed up. Are others affected as I am?
"Ah sweet mystery of life tonight I've found you...": in vitro fertilization. "Fly me to the moon...": it has been done. Maybe that's why many current tunes depend upon beat rather than words.
The Handicap March, copyright 1895 by G. M. Rosenberg, was supposedly written for motion picture, newsreel, horse-race sequences. How many people now just reading that song title would think horses rather than Viet Nam veterans parading in Washington, or the Special Olympics for disabled persons?
Sermons in song are ageless. Always Take Mother's Advice, with a copyright of 1884 by Willis Woodward and Company, probably could be played next Mother's Day, 2018, and ‘ring true'. Doesn't the name sound ‘seasonal'?
During my New York City girlhood, schoolteachers wanted pupils to know titles and composers of classical music, so I was taught, singsong: 'Amaryllis written by Ghis, Ghis sells apples two cents apiece.' In doing me a service, a disservice occurred; I heard all my music appreciation melodies with jingles attached! When seated at a live Philharmonic, and the orchestra conductor raises his baton to begin a familiar strain, I can't shut-out the jingle in my head and concentrate on the composition.
Sometimes, though, mystique rather than selections impressed. For example, Tanglewood in the Berkshire Mountains, has formal gardens, mountain backdrop, a lush lawn to lie on beneath an incredibly beautiful sky; the setting makes the concert an experience.
A grandson went to an Infected Mushrooms concert winter 2017. He asked the Artificial Intelligence cylinder in my house to play some of the Infected Mushrooms songs. The beat was fine, but the name of the group made me uncomfortable. Rap music with its message of violence, in many cases, does the same thing to me.
Perhaps I'm reacting to some titles and lyrics because I've lost the innocence of Singing in the Rain? Now I'm feeling pressured by calendar pages and reminded with a song (by Wizell and Melsher, ©Trinity Music, Inc.) I May Never Pass This Way Again.