Saturday, July 7, 2012

Songs not Heard

As I sit and work I listen to music, when I can. (Thank you, Pandora.) Celtic Thunder is one of my favorite Pandora Channels. I just heard a song I've not heard before. From their Heritage Album the song is called Gold & Silver Days. They sing of the songs their mother sang to them as children, and how the days were sweet though they were poor.
We were poor. We children didn't know it. I wasn't even aware of it as a teenager. I knew some people had things we didn't but I paid no attention to that. I had a ball glove, a tennis racket. I had friends who had pools and boats, and that made me happy. After all, they were my friends, and I could ride in their boats and swim in their pools. Once in a while I did.
Tom Streeter was one of my closest friends in North Carolina. He owned a boat (well, his Dad did, but at the age of fifteen we didn't make a distinction). He and I used to go out on the Inter-Coastal waterway all the time in that boat and we had a lot of fun.
I don't remember the things we didn't have. Oh, I can remember that I didn't have a bow and arrow or a rifle like Daniel Boone, but only in retrospect. When my Dad said we couldn't have something, we just moved on, physically and mentally, and didn't dwell on what we lacked.
We rode on boats with friends. We used old tennis rackets on beat up concrete tennis courts that had fencing for the net. We shot baskets on the same courts, into hoops that might have chain-link nets, but most likely had only a hoop. It was good enough for the Aztecs, right? (Look it up.)
I remember many of the times Mom made us dinner or Dad whistled for us to come home. We could hear Dad's whistle a mile away. In North Carolina a mockingbird took up residence in the tree by the front door and we could hear him whistle a mile away too. That was confusing.
I remember both of them tossing us out of the house - "go outside and blow the stink off you" was the way they put it.
I can go further back into my memories and recall times in Florida before my brother B was born and I was still an only child. I can still see the small room where my Mom put me down for a nap. I can still see the screen in the window that I figured out how to loosen so I could go back outside.
I do not, however, recall any songs that my mother sang to me. I wish I did. I wish I had a dozen memories of songs my mother sang to me or sang to my brothers, but I don't. I remember hearing her walk around the house humming, but I don't know the tunes. When Mom hummed, life was good.
Frau did that. Once in a great while, for the first few years in the two-story, Frau would go out and get in the pool and she'd sing. I have no idea what the songs were, and it didn't matter. When Frau sang, life was good. The singing meant she was happy. Frau happy meant that Darling was happy. Darling happy always means life is good.
Once in a while I hear my youngest son sing or hum as he does something around the house. Darling and I look at each other and smile, but the smiles are bittersweet.
We'll miss his songs when he moves away to college and starts his adult life. We both miss the songs our Mothers don't sing


  1. The lad is a good singer and hummer, isn't he? He always jokes that he's not, but he is. I hope he sings at college. You sing when you do dishes sometimes - you left that out. And Mom sings sometimes when the radio's on and she thinks no one can hear her.

    I guess I sing in snatches sometimes, too, or I have.

    I might go play tennis tomorrow.

  2. I do love to hear the young man sing or hum. He has such a musical talent and ear. Didn't get that from me, though...

    I don't hear Darling sing; I guess she knows when I'm listening.

    You used to sing, and it was lovely. As the old saying goes, "When the songbird no longer sings, the cat is grinning."

    Okay, I just made that up this very second...

  3. Actually, I believe the mockingbird was in Maryland. I remember that stinking bird whistling just like Dad and running like mad back to the house. When I got inside, Mom asked what I was doing in the house and Dad wasn't even home.

    Kind of funny when I think back on it.


  4. You're right Dave. It was Maryland. I checked with Bear and he confirmed that my memory is just not all that good. He also told me...

    I forget.

    It's an old joke, but thank-you.