Text Assign 3
“We gotta get out of this place” The Animals 1965
“You Needed me” by Anne Murray 1978
“All the Leaves are brown” Mamas and Papas 1965
I can’t carry a tune in two buckets. Nor can I play the trumpet. In the fifth grade Mr. Schnabel, my music teacher asked me to find another instrument to try. I never even tried to find it.
In sixth grade, the music teacher at Junior High school took us individually to a piano and we were asked to sing while she played. Part way into my effort, she stopped and asked me “Jimmy, are you sick with a cold or something?”
I love music however and often sing along in the car or home alone. I am jealous of those who can make music.
It was an interesting question asking me how music affects my life. It is amazing how a song can transport me back to exactly where I first realized it affected me in one way or another. Every time I hear “Age of Aquarius,” it takes me back to a bowling alley in Coronado California. I was eating fat French fries from frozen, I believe and drinking Olympia beer from the 12 oz. can. My friend Don Hinkle was doing the same. We were less than two weeks out of from going to Vietnam for a one year tour. Even though I had volunteered to go; I was pretty worried about how it might turn out.
Rumors were that we would end up in the jungle climbing trees to guide helicopters into enemy territory instead of manning a control tower at a secure location. Turned out to be an exaggeration.
So, thinking about other songs that affected my mood or identities I was surprised to come up with three pretty easily.
Two songs are from singles released in 1965, the year I graduated high school and one from the year 1978; the year I met my soul-mate.
“California Dreamin’ “ over the years became my all-time favorite song. I like the way it makes me feel of surviving a lonely experience, like I sometimes felt in the military. I was often picked on by co-workers during my junior ranked years because by most standards at 5’9” and 225 pounds was too fat for the Navy. A skinny runt or a frail short guy was okay. I always wanted to know which of us they would prefer to carry their injured body two mile out of the jungle.
Perhaps I shouldn’t say I like the song but more so Identify with the song.
“We gotta Get out of this place,” was the theme song of every combatant in Vietnam. It is weird this song was an anthem for me, giving me hope that yes one day we would find a way out. Once we were back home it became a very sad song to me in honor of those who never got out alive.
“You needed me” I was in the middle of a pretty nasty divorce when I met the woman I should have married while attending Air Traffic refresher training in Millington Tenn. She put me on a pedestal and I was special and she was – and still is – 37 years later my soul mate. It is our love song.