A “Just So” Story for Saturday
Or “How I got to love sad music”. When I was just a wee sprog — ages and ages ago — we owned a very low-tech record player. My mother preferred classical music with a smattering of Kingston Trio, Bobby Darin, Burl Ives, and show tunes thrown in. And, of course, my father liked his bagpipe music and Ewan MacColl sea chanties. All of it influenced my own taste (yes, even the Ewan MacColl), but most of all, I like a sad tune. Here’s how it all started.
A typical evening, but one that has stayed with me for some reason, saw my mother and brother sitting in the living room listening to and discussing Beethoven’s 7th. My sister and I — she about 7 and I, 5 — were already in our nightgowns ready for bed. We were bored, so we started to dance to the music — Mother may even have suggested it. We leapt around the room, did pirouettes atop the heavy canister vacuum, and generally disrupted the intellectual discourse by insisting that our mother watch us. Our brother was (understandably) annoyed, but Mother approved, because, as she then noted, the super sad Allegretto of the 7th is known as “the apotheosis of the dance”.
I obviously didn’t know what that meant, but I remember feeling happy and somehow vindicated. So perhaps my early love of melancholy music can be attributed to Beethoven (thank you, Ludwig!). There was, of course, a lot of sad music around– the kind that makes your throat hurt unbearably. When I was a little kid, my two favorite sad songs were “Puff the Magic Dragon”
and “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins.
Picture little six-year-old Sarah trying not to cry over those. I still love the sad music, but I’ll leave my current picks for another post. My question for you, dear reader, is: when you were little, what was your favorite sad song ?