Auld Lang Syne #Musical Monday

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

What am I doing New Year’s Eve? Probably what I do every night, stretch out in my recliner with a good book, magazine, podcast, or movie. What did we do on New Year’s Eve when I was growing up? Not a whole lot.

On rare occasions, we went out to eat, but we usually didn’t stay out late. One year, we lit sparklers in the house when the ball dropped on Times Square. Because December in Wyoming was cold and snowy, we didn’t take them outside. It’s a wonder we didn’t burn the house down.

Then, there was the year Dad got pulled over for drunk driving and would have spent the night in jail if Grandma and Uncle Jon hadn’t bailed him out. You see, because my father sold and serviced coin-operated machines, he was often called on New Year’s Eve and other nights to fix a broken jukebox in a bar where there was no other entertainment. On this particular New Year’s Eve, the establishment to which he was called was in a rural area. And, of course, he stayed after fixing the jukebox and enjoyed one too many. Fortunately, a highway patrolman caught him before he could have an accident.

On New Year’s Day, Mother always insisted on taking down the Christmas tree and other decorations. Although everyone was present when the house was decorated, my father and younger brother often had places to go on New Year’s Day, or they were sleeping it off after a night of celebration. So, the task of un-decorating fell to Mother and me.

I loved taking down ornaments just as much as I loved putting them up, fingering the glass balls and snowmen, angels, and other figurines. Although Mother grumbled about the lack of assistance, I didn’t mind. After everything was taken down and put away, I helped her haul the tree to the alley, where it would eventually be picked up by the sanitation department.

What about you? What do you remember doing on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day when you were growing up?

The song I’m singing today is synonymous with ringing in a new year. According to Wikipedia, “Auld Lang Syne” is a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song. As I’m sure you all know, its traditional use is to bid farewell to the old year at midnight on New Year’s Eve. But it can also be sung at funerals, graduations, and as an ending to other occasions. The phrase, “Auld Lang Syne,” has been used in similar poems by Robert Ayton (1570-1638) Allan Ramsay, (1686-1757) and James Watson. (1711) It’s loosely translated as “for the sake of old times.” To learn more, click here.

If you know the words to “Auld Lang Syne,” you might want to sing along with me. Whatever you do New Year’s Eve, please keep others safe from the coronavirus by not gathering with a large crowd, and please don’t drink and drive. This post is part of Dr. Crystal Grimes’ holiday blogging party. Happy New Year!

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday: Please Mr. Please

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.The theme from newepicauthor this week is “jukebox.” It just so happens that my father serviced jukeboxes and other coin-operated machines when I was growing up. The song I’m featuring is about how a song played on a jukebox in a bar can evoke painful memories. I sang this song a lot when I was a kid, accompanying myself on the piano, but I think Olivia Newton-John’s version is better. Enjoy, and have a super Sunday!

Olivia Newton-John–Please Mr. Please

In the corner of the bar there stands a jukebox
With the best of country music, old and new
You can hear your five selections for a quarter
And somebody else’s songs when yours are through
I got good Kentucky whiskey on the counter
And my friends around to help me ease the pain
‘Til some button-pushing cowboy plays that love song
And here I am just missing you again
Please, Mr., please, don’t play B-17
It was our song, it was his song, but it’s over
Please, Mr., please, if you know what I mean
I don’t ever wanna hear that song again
If I had a dime for every time I held you
Though you’re far away, you’ve been so close to me
I could swear I’d be the richest girl in Nashville
Maybe even in the state of Tennessee
But I guess I’d better get myself together
‘Cause when you left, you didn’t leave too much behind
Just a note that said “I’m sorry” by your picture
And a song that’s weighing heavy on my mind
Please, Mr., please, don’t play B-17
It was our song, it was his song, but it’s over
Please, Mr., please, if you know what I mean
I don’t ever wanna hear that song again
Songwriters: Bruce Welch / John Rostill
Please Mr. Please lyrics © Carlin America Inc

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

Saturday Song: I Feel the Earth Move by Carole King

In the summer of 1971 when I was ten years old, my father and I traveled from our home in Tucson, Arizona, to Sheridan, Wyoming. Grandpa Johnson passed away the winter before, and Grandma needed Dad to help her with the family business, at least for the summer. Johnson Novelty sold coin-operated machines such as jukeboxes, pool tables, vending machines, and video games to businesses in Sheridan and the surrounding area. We ended up moving to Sheridan a couple of years later.
That summer though, memorable events included a rodeo parade and a picnic in the mountains where an adult family friend and I discovered a cave. There were also numerous trips to bars and other establishments where Dad repaired and serviced machines. Of course I was too young to go into the bars.
I also spent many happy hours in the shop with a couple of girls down the street who were my age. We listened to music on a jukebox and played games. Pinball and bowling were two games where I had marginal success despite my limited vision.
The song below was one of many we played on the jukebox. Although I couldn’t understand what it was saying, I loved the beat. This version has a cool drum rift at the end that my younger brother Andy would have loved playing along with on his drum set when he was a kid. Enjoy, and have a great Saturday.

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

Eight-Track Memories

Thanks to author Bruce Atchison for inspiring this post. When I was eight years old, Dad gave me an eight-track player for Christmas. Because of my limited vision, I was delighted at how easy it was to use, just slid the tape into the slot and pushed it in and the music started playing, no messing with records and needles. The tapes didn’t need to be turned over, and as long as I left one in the machine, the music kept playing until I got tired of hearing the same songs and wanted something different.

Once I became familiar with an album, I usually listened to it from beginning to end. After the last song played, I pulled the tape out of the player before it started at the beginning. I was intrigued by the fact that although the machine was called an eight-track player, the tapes only had four tracks, each track containing several songs. There was no way to navigate between songs, but I could push a button to move from one track to the next. If I had a favorite song on a particular album, I often navigated to the track that contained the song and waited for it to come around.

One of my first eight-track albums was Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water. One of my favorite songs on this album was “El Condor Pasa.” When I was twelve, I discovered that I could sing my favorite songs and accompany myself on the piano. I sang “El Condor Pasa” in this fashion at a talent contest. I didn’t win, but the experience launched my junior high and high school singing career.

A couple of years later, my younger brother Andy took an interest in playing the drums so needless to say, we formed our own band. At first, Andy didn’t have a drum set so he used an old paint can and a chip of wood for a drumstick. Because Mother wouldn’t let him bring the paint can into the house, we pretended the front porch was a stage. Andy found another wood chip for me to use as a microphone, and I stood on our imaginary stage, holding that chip to my lips, and singing. My only accompaniment was Andy banging away on that old paint can. It was crude but exhilarating. Years later, I wrote a poem about this experience, and you can click below to hear me read it.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15213189/when%20star.mp3.mp3

The eight-track machine wasn’t the only way I listened to music. After we moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, and my father took over the family’s coin-operated machine business, we had a jukebox in our home. Again, because of my visual impairment, I was delighted not to have to mess with a record needle. I just pushed a couple of buttons. The desired disc was deposited onto the turntable, and the needle positioned itself. Because the print in the display window was too small for me to read, I memorized the button combinations that would play my favorite songs. Andy and I spent many happy hours with our friends around that jukebox.

I never pursued my dream of being a singer, but I continued singing and playing the piano through high school and college. When I decided to go into music therapy, I learned to play the guitar. For fifteen years, I worked in nursing homes and other senior facilities, and part of my job was singing and accompanying myself on the guitar or piano. My music was a comfort to many people during that time.

When I got married and started writing full time, my husband Bill, who fell in love with my voice, asked me to play and sing for him from time to time. After he became paralyzed as a result of two strokes, my music was a comfort to him as well. When he died, I sang “Stormy Weather” at his graveside, accompanying myself on the guitar.

Now that Bill, my eight-track player, and the jukebox are gone, I listen to music on compact discs and cassettes. I don’t care for a lot of today’s popular music but enjoy listening to my favorite songs that were popular when I was growing up. My taste has expanded to include classical music and jazz.

Most of my singing is done with a women’s group called Just Harmony. We perform at conventions, parties, and other venues. Some of our music is accompanied on a keyboard by our director. Other songs are sung a capello. Every once in a while, though, as you’ll hear if you click below, I’ll sit down at the piano and play and sing one of my favorite songs.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15213189/bridge%20over%20troubled%20water.mp3.mp3

How did you listen to music when you were growing up? Was there a song that highlighted a pivotal moment in your life?

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver