I miss my dad.
He passed away back in July 2004 of pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 65.
I never really knew how much I missed him until a few days ago.
For most of February, I've been struggling to come up with fresh and original content for my blog. It finally hit the breaking point on the 17th, when I sat down at my computer and tried on four separate occasions, in a span of twenty minutes, to write a blog post for today (the tentative title of the post was "Mastering the Art of Non-Success), but ultimately I struck out.
On the morning of the 18th, I composed a wonderful piece of self deprecating fiction, which was in essence announcing a brief vacation from the Cyber World (however, got a surprise for everyone in regards to that announcement).
On the afternoon of the 18th, I was sitting in my cubicle, sorting timesheets, listening to the radio and feeling a little bit out of sorts. Because I was feeling a little out of sorts, I decided to pop in a c.d. of The Seekers. Within a few minutes, I got to thinking about my dad, because basically this was the kind of music he listened to, and the kind of music I grew up on.
By the time it got to track #8, I was having a full blown trip down memory lane. Not only did it accentuate the absence of my dad, but it also got me to thinking about a few other songs that moved me in similar ways, not only thinking about my dad, but also about my grandmother, who passed away in the early 90's.
So, in no particular order of importance, here are a few songs that have profoundly affected me in the past couple of decades.
1} The aforementioned track #8: When The Stars Begin To Fall by The Seekers. My dad listened to a lot of folk music and The Seekers were one of his favorite groups. Almost all of their songs featured strings (guitars and upright bass) but no drums. This song opens with less than one dozen notes finger picked, followed by these five words repeated twice: "My Lord What A Morning". I find it to be a simple song that delivers an amazing punch to the soul.
2} Bridge Over Troubled Water: When this song is done right, the lyrics become poignant and the music haunting. Done wrong, you get the bombast without the emotion (Simon & Garfunkel). This song was done at a memoriam for my Dad some six months after he passed away, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. The version that does it for me, is a duet by Johnny Cash and Fiona Apple, accompanied with just a piano and guitar. Nothing else can match the emotional impact. Nothing.
3} What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong: This is another one of those songs that can pack a powerful emotional punch. It is the type of song that shouldn't have been used for commercial purposes. There is a unique sad quality to the song that I think is perfectly accentuated by the minimal orchestration accompanying it.
4} Somewhere Over The Rainbow: Honestly, the first time that this song really touched me, was when it was used in the show "E.R.", when they wrote out Anthony Edward's character. It was tastefully done and it showed how the medium of television when properly used, can enhance a song. The version that I enjoy was done by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, and in fact, it was the last video shown on a short lived foray by YouTube into music television.
5} You're in My Heart (The Final Acclaim) by Rod Stewart: Some of you may pooh-pooh this choice from a man who somewhere on this planet is still considered sexy, but whenever I hear this song, I think about my grandmother who passed away in 1994. I was very close to my grandmother and her death hit me a little hard, and still bothers me to this day. No link since I couldn't find one that satisfied my needs.
So, I wanna wish a belated 71st Happy Birthday to my Dad.
I love you.
And I still miss you.