Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Friday, May 10, 2019

STARRY STARRY NIGHT

 
Dear fellow bloggers and friends, I am writing tonight about yesterday’s visit to Mrs. T’s memory care facility at Cottagewood. It’s actually a story I’ve titled  “Starry Starry Night”after French artist Vincent van Goghs painting of the same name. The song itself is named Vincent by Don Mclean.
I and Barb were discussing with the head nurse Chris, Barb’s numerous recent falls. The issue was simply what to do to keep her safe and if possible avoid permanently assigning her to a wheelchair. During this lengthy semi successful discussion I finally heard some music from the commons room around the fireplace. Taking Barb’s hand we chose to follow the music.
Finding a seat in a large circle involving most of the residents and their aides and caretakers we focused on a large boned blonde woman beautifully singing as she played her guitar. Her companion, also in his 50s was quite short with thick glasses and looked to me like a retired hippy the from an earlier decade. He also was playing his guitar while occasionally pounding on it for rhythm. He also sang quite well. She asked the audience for any further suggestions on what they could play. No response. So I raise my hand and volunteered the notion of some “golden oldies”. That’s the phrase I had used and previously writing about the Valentine’s day where we got rock ‘n roll from the pianist and later waltzes for the Dementia land luncheon with your sweetheart and Ball .
This time though, I’m not exactly sure how to describe the music, let’s just call it old time hip big city folk music from decades ago. Some of the audience was sleeping, some watching and listening and a very few tapping, smiling and singing along. It was all good. And then….
And then I heard the phrase which they were both singing, “Starry Starry Night.” And I put my face in my hands, listened and then began to cry. I don’t believe anyone except the female guitarist noticed my reaction at first but in any case she kept on going and so did I. As the song concluded I stood up and approached her to thank her and she nodded and pointed to her husband. As I approached him he held out his hand and said”I know”and I said bipolar. And the name? Ted. Then she approached and gave me a hug and said”I’m so sorry, we will play it again for you at the end. Later, when she looked at her watch, I waved my finger and shook my head no and she nodded and I requested American pie. The audience smiled and Barb and I stood up to dance as we had when Don McLean sang the some years ago in the Rochester Civic Auditorium.  Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin' this'll be the day that I die
Everyone has been guessing the meaning of all these words since forever. That song is  now is legend.
Oh, could that man could sing and composed the songs  he sang and for others as well. Often to be their greatest hits. And roberta Flack   sang her greatest hit “ killing me softly with his song, ” with these words 
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song

It was about McLean.  Ending this story with one of Barb and my favorite songs composed and sung by Don Mclean. AND I LOVE YOU SO.    I played our piano back in the day and we both sang this song.....

16 comments:

  1. It was good to have lived the music, and now to leave it with the world.

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  2. Old tunes can bring back many great memories. In the last year I discovered you tube and have been listening to lots of oldies.

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  3. What an afternoon of memories that overwhelmed you, be good to yourself Ray:)

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  4. Tears. These are great songs of our youth, and full of meaning.

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  5. Hi Ray - what a lovely story with that ring of sad truth many of us have experienced ... it's a challenging time - have a peaceful weekend - with thoughts - Hilary

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  6. Tears come easy to me these days, and the memories that come with those lovely songs are treasured.
    Thank you for this lovely post, Ray, I did enjoy reading it, and I am pleased that Barb is in such good hands.

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  7. Such a beautiful time you had, poignant and moving and with your sweetheart, too. Thanks for the lovely story, TB.

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  8. wow. This really touched me. I think sometimes God sends angels when we need them most. I think you found a couple that day.

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  9. "The Starry Night" is a beautiful painting and "Vincent" is a beautiful song. I'm so glad you heard it with Mrs T.

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  10. My thoughts are with you and Barb, Ray. I understand. I can't hear Neil Young's 'Harvest' without thinking of Cary, gone now 22 years.

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  11. Lovely post, Ray. I can only imagine how difficult this life has become for you. I'm sending positive vibes to you and Mrs. T. Music affects me the same way and it has gotten me through some difficult times.

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  12. Hi Ray, After I read this post I went over to YouTube and listened to Starry Starry Night. https://youtu.be/oxHnRfhDmrk Yes, I know it, of course, but just wanted to hear it again. Music is so amazing. I loved your post here, it is so moving. Thank you for sharing. Bless you. John

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  13. Your story touched my heart. And it's a song I've always loved, too. If you ever rent movies, Ray, look for one called "Loving Vincent". It's a work of wonder. You can read more about how it was made on the internet. But the version they use of Starry Starry Night, sung by Lianne La Havas is exquisite. Hugs to you as you continue in this difficult journey.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vp5qJlr4go0

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  15. Music is so powerful, especially live! This had me sniffling. There was one time I walked into Minto House at my usual late afternoon visiting time to find a karaoke session going on. My poor deaf husband mainly slept through it, alas. But some of the residents just came to life, it was wonderful to see. So glad you are still having brief moments of true connection with your love.

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