Paul Simon is playing live at the Fillmore tonight and I don’t have a ticket. It’s a shame because I just know that he would lift me up with rhythm and lyrics like no other.
It was a Kaiser Permanente radio ad that prompted me to find some new music last week. I was wanting something to listen to in my car, on a plane, while walking the dog. Music to put some spring in my step and brighten my day.
Polishing Up my Playlist
I sat down with my laptop with the express purpose of downloading some brand new iTunes to my iPhone. It was not a simple technology task for me. Not as simple as my 21-year old son makes it look anyway.
After an hour of listening to my fussing and sighs, my husband innocently asked if I was paying bills. I cursed out loud when I erased my whole playlist, but eventually I managed to capture The Best of Simon and Garfunkel.
This was hardly new music, but it is tried and true. I felt guilty about my “better safe than sorry” choice until this morning when I discovered how right my choice was.
From the foot stomping opening chords of Cecilia to the wistful riffs of Dangling Conversation, I welcomed every word in the dim recesses of my Boomer brain.
My rusty alto voice rose to meet Paul Simon’s and my fingers twitched to pick and strum air guitar in my car. No disrespect to Mr. Garfunkel, but my allegiance was always to Paul.
Lookin’ for Fun and Feelin’ Groovy
Was it really forty years ago when The 59th Street Bridge Song, otherwise known as Feeling Groovy, was the anthem that all 700 members of my graduating class sang at Field Day?!
“Slow down, you’re movin’ too fast,
Got to make the moment morning last.”
We surely didn’t recognize the significance of those potent lyrics as 18 year olds.
Now I can say with conviction that I do.
What’s Old is New Again
I wanted to choose some new music. I really tried. But array of choices was bewildering. Sometimes what you choose is just what you need…to hear and to sing out loud.
Maybe Glenn Miller or Tony Bennet inspire the same ardor in our parents’ generation. Or Black Eyed Peas and U2 in our sons’ and daughters’. Who knows? The magic is in the way the music, any music, can make you feel.
Now for an Encore
I was inspired to go for more. The next night I downloaded So Beautiful or So What, Paul Simon’s 12th studio album release. He is so much more than a 70’s singer songwriter; he’s a national treasure.
His titles are more thoughtful now, including The Afterlife and Love and Hard Times. The rhythms and melodies will likely stand the test of time if we can open our minds enough to absorb them. His body of work is so vast.
Paul Simon’s songwriting inspiration can come from the whistle of a train in the distance or a phrase overheard on a street corner. These are bits and pieces of joy in everyday life that drift by us all and can make us smile if we pause.
You can listen to more about his creative process in The Atlantic magazine in an article bout “How Genius Works.”
Noticing the Rhythms and Patterns of Life
He’s a poet, a painter with words and chords, and a first class notice-r of life while the rest of us are forcing our way into the fast lane.
But for a solid thirty minutes of drive time, Paul Simon reminded me of what it felt like to be 18 again and, I cannot lie, it felt great.
Where do you pause to find your own joy and music in everyday?
“Life I love you, always all is groo-vy.” P. Simon
p.s. I apologize for the misquoted lyrics. It might be appropriate to substitute “moment” for “morning,” but it was not intentional. Next time I won’t depend solely on my faulty memory.