Thursday, March 08, 2012

My Music

I don't know how many others are like this, but since Bill Cosby spoke about "having your own music to ride with" in his "Go Carts" routine when I was a kid, I don't think I'm alone. Cos' music was taken from The Rough Riders. Weird Harold's was taken from The Lone Ranger. (You can listen to it here.)

In the cinema, particularly older films, it is not uncommon for a particular tune to appear any time a particular character is on the screen -- or some other times when the director wants you to think of that character. Organist Shay Torrent at Anahiem Stadium or Helen Dell at Dodger Stadium (and others at ball parks across the land) would play a snippet from a particular song when a batter would be announced. When I was 11 I imagined Shay Torrent playing the theme from "They Call Me Mister Tibbs" when I would be announced as the next Angels' batter.

In reality, though, I don't have a tune. I do, however, have my music. And I've had it for as long as I can remember. Sure, if I'm listening to the radio, or a record or CD, or something on the computer, that'll be the music in my head at the time. And the stylistic range of that music rather broad; the "Arts and Entertainment" section of my Facebook profile has a really long list of musicians and I once listed 52 "favorite vocalists" here. And that doesn't include other kinds of musical artists. But this is about the music in my head when I'm not listening to music.

Yesterday, and part of today, the hymn tune ST. CATHERINE was going through my head. I had finally finished selecting the hymns we would be using for our Wednesday Lenten services, and that tune was used for two different hymns I chose. You might recognize it as the tune used for Frederick William Faber's "Faith of Our Fathers" [note: the music will start almost immediately if you click that link].

The thing is, however, that what I've been hearing in my mind is most likely very unlike any way you have ever heard it. Heck, it's unlike any way I've ever heard it. Yet it's the way I hear it, and just about any other tune, when one is running around in the back of my mind all day. For "my own music" isn't a particular piece of music.

It's lots of different songs or themes -- ancient or modern, classical or pop, a really fine tune or horrid schlock -- set off by who-knows-what-kind of stimulus, that since I was a kid have managed to have one common thread when stuck in my mind for hours at a time. Something I realized just a few years ago as I was watching "Friends" the show's theme song was, once again, stuck in head thoughout the entire episode sounding entirely unlike The Rembrandts. Not long ago the tune was a Lenten Lutheran chorale from the 17th century.

The common thread is that my own music is performed by Billy May and His Orchestra.

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