Friday, January 25, 2013

In my blood

For my wedding, I wanted to reunite the family band.

No, not the mishmash of instruments we'd pull together with my uncles and cousins at Christmas (while my grandmother, mother and aunt drank wine and wished they had ear plugs), but rather the days of my dad's guitar, my sister on piano, me on bass and my mother singing. We rocked 59th St. Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy). Or at least, in my distant memories we did.

I had it all planned out -- including my brother-in-law and my groom, we'd have just enough people to cover the major instruments for The Beatles' "When I'm 64."

Turns out Scott hates that song.

Oh, and it turns out my family hated the idea. Apparently, it's cheesy.

As you could likely tell, music was a major part of my childhood. Throw on some Beach Boys, and set me loose, and I'd surf up and down the hallway.  A little slower and more classical, and I'd pirouette in the front window. Whether it was picking up random instruments and teaching myself to play them (bass, guitar, clarinet), taking lessons privately and at school (piano and alto saxophone) or singing on stage (in choir and school musicals), there was little time to do anything else, but if there was, you could almost guarantee I'd have some music playing in the background.

And then we moved to Regina.

Away from my dad's new stereo system.

Away from the ever present musical instruments.

And music became secondary. An afterthought. That thing on the radio where you sing along, pretending you know the words, but never really finding out who sang it, and what they were actually singing.

Moving to Winnipeg was moving "back home," though not in the sense that I had really spent all that much time in the city. It was more metaphorical... I was returning to my roots. And with that return, I could feel music bubbling up inside me.

On a whim, I pinned a guitar on my Christmas list this year. A "five-minutes-of-research-but-Dad-will-research-this-if-he's-really-going-to-buy-me-one" guitar. And of course, he bought the exact one I pinned. Not because my "five-minutes-of-research" was necessarily that effectively researched, but because it was the one I "wanted".  Fortunately, further research SINCE receiving it has proven that it was a very good five-minutes-of-research.

So now I'm doing my best Bryan Adam's impression, and playing till my fingers bleed. And in the less-than-a-month I've had a musical instrument back under my fingers, music is coming up everywhere.

I'll turn on my iPod instead of turning on the TV.

I'll use Shazam to find out what song is floating through the air at the coffee shop, so I can expand my musical library.

I'll even have giant music nerd moments in which I go running into the office and make Scott listen to "Some Nights" by FUN! followed by "Cecilia" by Simon & Garfunkel just so he can hear the rhymthic and melodic similarities (while Cecilia's percussion was formed by slapping thigh, piano benches, and really-slackened-guitar strings, Fun!'s rhythmic beat is centred on a slightly less unique snare drum, though it does harken musical stylings of military marches alluded to: "this is it, boys, this is war" although this line also from "99 Red Balloons," at least in the English version, which I am admittedly not familiar with preferring to make up words to the German version. The chord progression in both songs is identical).

So now that I've got the music back, I'm a little less bitter about not having my way at my wedding... mostly because I assume if music is in my blood, it'll be in my kids blood too, and I'll make it a caveat on any money I give them towards their wedding.

And for those who are still stuck on: "'Some Nights' and 'Cecilia'? Seriously? I gotta hear that!" here is a mashup by DJ McFly:


  1. Yay! Musical is magical. I'm so glad you've welcomed it back into your life. Playing an instrument is one of those rare things in life that is intrinsically joyful. Have fun!

  2. I love that you play an instrument! Music really is magical like Shybiker says. My husband plays guitar and drums, Kayla plays piano and flute, me and the little one sing (although not very well). I also like how music can bring back memories of certain times in your life. Nice post :) Heather

  3. I love music!! I love this post and I love that you're playing guitar! That is just awesome. I'm a singer myself, I'd love to rock out with you sometime!

  4. How can someone not like "When I'm 64"? :(

  5. I'd much rather listen to music than watch TV. Thanks for the mashup! The drumming bits are my favourite bits of each song. I wish I was a percussionist in elementary school band instead of clarinet... I might have actually real practiced instead of fake practising as I did.


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