Just some thoughts:
Recently one summer’s night I was out driving one of my old cars (’65 Corvette) when a song came on from one of the cassettes I was playing. Yes I said cassettes. Immediately it took me to another time and place. Oh my….
Some years back I was sitting in an office in New York City when this gentleman I was meeting with suddenly stopped talking. There was music playing in the background. He paused a moment, began to smile and then ask me, “I bet you don’t know that song?” “Yes,” I said. “Oh you are not old enough to know that song,” was his reply. I told him that it was the Glenn Miller band and “Sunrise Serenade.” He smiled. In fact he smiled a second time and then went back to our conversation.
A few minutes later another song came on. Again he stopped but this time he did not smile. He sat for a moment and I could tell he was deep in thought. “Larry how old were you in WW II?” I told him I was born in 1942 so I was very young. He went on to tell me the following story. In 1943 he was twenty years old serving in the Air Force in Europe. He was not a pilot but he had some responsibilities in flying bombing missions over Germany at that time. He was part of a flight crew.“Larry the night before this one mission a bunch of us had been out to this dance. Music, girls you can imagine the scene. Young flight crews livin’ it up. Great music, great time,pretty girls.” He then told me that the following day they flew this mission in which they lost nearly half of those who set out on that morning for this mission. They were shot down, never to come back. “We lost many of our buddies, our friends. You know the last song the band played that night at the dance?” Now I could see emotion coming to him. He told me that last song the band played that night was the old Vera Lynn song “I’ll Be Seeing You.” The song that was playing just now as I sat in this man’s office you guessed it, “I’ll Be Seeing You.”
“There’s a storehouse of song titles
I can recite from that summer
I hear one every now and then
It seems I’m always driving when I hear one
And those songs make me sad now instead of happy
“That Summer”—the Statler Brothers
Old songs they can do that can’t they?
Old songs they bring to memory another time, place and persons. They can come into our presence like a bolt of lightning on a hot summer’s night. Regardless of one’s age and experiences we all have a “song” that does something to us…You?
Have you got a song, a time, a place…a person?
August 15, 2012