Music Monday – Papa’s Day

For those who celebrate ‘relative days’, yesterday was Father’s Day.  As such, this Music Monday is father-themed.  Not all of these songs have great things to say about fathers, but not all fathers can be great.  Be thankful if you had a great father.  Strive to be great for your children if you are a father!
Papa Was A Rolling Stone by The Temptations
(released 1972; peaked #1 US Hot 100, #5 US R&B, #14 UK Singles)
Papa was a rollin’ stone.
Wherever he laid his head was his home.
My papa was a rolling stone.  The whole family was as we followed him from post to post around the world.  There are folks who think raising children as Army (and other services) brats is detrimental to their development.  I disagree completely.  I’ve written other posts about it and wouldn’t trade my experiences rolling around the world.
Papa Don’t Preach by Madonna
(released 1986; peaked #1 US, Australia, Canada, Italy & UK , #2 Germany & Switzerland, #3 France, #4 US Dance)
What I need right now is some good advice, please
As the father of two girls, this is one of my biggest fears…childhood pregnancy.  All the “preaching” in the world comes down to our daughters’ decisions and a little luck.  The best line in the song to me, is the one above, where the daughter realizes that as mad as Papa may be, he’s who she needs to talk to.  As mad as we may get at our children, we love them, and have their best interest at heart.
My Father’s Eyes by Eric Clapton
(released 1998; peaked #16 US Hot 100, #18 Austria)
Then the light begins to shine
And I hear those ancient lullabies.
And as I watch this seedling grow,
Feel my heart start to overflow.

Where do I find the words to say?
How do I teach him?
What do we play?
Bit by bit, I’ve realized
That’s when I need them,
That’s when I need my father’s eyes.

There’s no instruction book.  Well, there are many books written on how to raise kids, but none of them are solutions.  Each kid is different and it’s truly a learn-as-you-go endeavor.  Watching our children grow, teaching them, involves observing them and guiding them with what we learned from our fathers (and mothers) as well as what we’ve learned and bring to the table.  We can never have too much wisdom at our disposal when it comes to raising our children.
Leader of the Band by Dan Fogelberg
(released 1981; peaked #1 US and Canada Adult Contemporary, #9 US Hot 100)
I thank you for the music
And your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom
When it came my time to go
I thank you for the kindness
And the times when you got tough
And, papa, I don’t think I
Said ‘I love you’ near enough
This is just a great song, and this last stanza captures, in a nutshell, my relationship with my dad.  While my father wasn’t a musician, his love of music and the variety he played was a major factor in my love of music.  My musical tastes are wider than his, but it’s because of him that I learned to listen to and appreciate music of different sounds and cultures.  His stories of the road aren’t of a traveling musician, but as a child moving around the world and his perspective on the moving that we did as a family.  The last four lines are pretty self-explanatory.  I love you, dad!  Thanks for all you taught me.  Happy Father’s Day!

You Can Pick Your Nose, but…

…you can’t pick your family.  Well, I guess you can kind of pick your in-laws based on who you choose to marry, but your parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, etc…nope.

Growing up an Army brat, I never got close to my cousins.  We lived near them for about eighteen months when I was around eleven years old, so my brother and I got to play with them more regularly.  After moving back to the area years ago, I found that I can get along with most of them for very short periods of time…like the family gatherings at Granny’s house, but I don’t have a lot in common with them and am not really interested in getting to know any of them any better for any of a number of reasons, including the way they live their lives, their preferred topics of conversation, and their personalities.

Maybe they feel the same way about me.  Maybe they think I’m snooty and that I think I’m too good for them.  Maybe they don’t and they wish I’d make it a point to show up to more of the family gatherings.  That’s not going to happen, of course.  I simply have no desire to interact with most of them which is why I also don’t have any of them as friends on Facebook or LinkedIn or anywhere else online.

Also, I don’t buy into the “family will always be there for you” line of crap.  I don’t believe that I can count on the majority of my relatives to “be there” if I needed help, nor do I expect them to.  I would not turn to them for help anyway.  I’d turn to the few real friends I have.  The friends I’ve chosen.

Music and Flashbacks: How an Army Brat Remembers (P366D5)

Do you know where you were when you first heard the following song?

I was standing in the kitchen of our home on Fort Monroe getting ready to go to school on a chilly winter morning.  It was playing on WFOG, which played soft/lite tunes back in 1980/81.

Some songs I’m not quite that detailed on, but being an Army brat brings back so many more memories with sooo many songs.  If the song isn’t related to a specific event, it still tickles the mind to think back to the post, or state, or country I was living in when i first heard it…and then there are the more specific memories like the one above, or this one:

I was in my bedroom in our house on Fort Bliss, after school, listening to local Pop/Rock station KINT 98.  It was spring of 1982.

Sure, it’s not too difficult to tie songs to events or really good memories.  Most people know the song that was their prom theme, or their first dance at their wedding, or even the song on the radio when they first “got lucky.”

But for me, just about any song from the late 70’s through the early 90’s, when I was an Army brat or in the service myself, will take me back to, at the very least, a location and a place in time.

My last example:  many of you have probably never even heard of this band or heard the song, but I’ll leave you with this…when I hear it, I am instantly transported back to walking through the AAFES “Sight & Sound” section of the Heidelberg shopping center in 1986.

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