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Senior Moments: Songs tell stories of history lived

Emma Edwards
By Emma Edwards, Thursday, June 13, 2019

I got to thinking the other day that maybe I could be a “romantic.”

I guess it depends on one’s definition, but my preferred take on “romantic” is that I could be called a visionary.

I was at a potluck on Friday where there was an energetic youngish couple trying to get everyone to come up and sing into the microphone using background music similar to karaoke. Once before when this happened, I was too bashful. But this time, I decided to do it.

We had to choose a song we liked to sing and the only song I could think of in my nervous state was “Mairzy Doats” and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey.

In looking up the actual lyrics, I realize it starts out with “I know a ditty nutty as a fruitcake; Goofy as a goon and silly as a loon.”

Maybe that was how I felt standing up there at first, but I soon got in the swing of things! Soon, several in the room were singing it. Then we got on to romantic songs from the mid-1900s.

Many important events happened during the ‘40s. Mount Rushmore was completed and World War II came to a close, just to mention a few.

Can’t you just hear Bing Crosby singing “I'll Be Home for Christmas?” As the years progress, it is shown in songs. “I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas” with Frank Sinatra is one we don’t tire of hearing.

Asking a few family and friends for favorites from the 1940s to about the ‘70s and ‘80s gave me a bit of a list.

“Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel and “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack went on the list. Then there was “Endless Love” with Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, “Islands in the Stream” with Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, “We've Only Just Begun” by the Carpenters, “Crimson and Clover” and “Crystal Blue Persuasion” with Tommy James and the Shondells.

There was also mention of the song track from the movie Grease, “Some Enchanted Evening” from the 1949 musical, South Pacific, and the 1965 Righteous Brothers’ hit “Unchained Melody.”

A few of my favorites were “The Impossible Dream” by Gomer Pyle and “Sentimental Journey” by Doris Day. Oh, and the “Anniversary Song” by Dinah Shore or Andy Williams. “Oh, how we danced on the night we were wed … ”

Music evokes so many memories, including Elvis Presley singing “Can't Help Falling in Love With You.”

We seniors are so blessed to have lived through the eras we did. One can see the influence world happenings had on the writing and singing of so many of our favorite songs.

I still tremble when I hear a recording of Kate Smith singing “God Bless America.”

I suspect those of us who have lived so many years have a greater patriotic spirit too.

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