For Sentimental Reasons

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

The power of music has always amazed me. The right music can change your mood from sad to melancholy, and back again. It can fill your heart with joy and occasionally leave you in the depths of despair – not too often I hope. Great symphony music can stir your soul. Even we Canadians can experience the magnificence of The Battle Hymn of the Republic or Britain’s Land of Hope and Glory.

What I find even more amazing; if you hear the music of your youth, it can take you back in time.

Last Sunday I was listening to Rod Stewart’s CD, Stardust, The Great American Songbook Volume III. It is one of my favourites because it is my kind of music and he sings it so well. It is the music of the 40s, the war years. As the CD played, Rod and I drifted together through For Sentimental Reasons, Blue Moon, the title tune – Stardust, and so many others until I suddenly realized it wasn’t 2021 any longer.

It was 1955 and I was a teenager again wishing I was dining at the Ritz as A Nightingale Sang in Barclay Square. The years simply disappeared. So many things came back to me. I was remembering the tingle I felt as I held a girl’s hand for the first time. Well, there was one other time I suppose now that I think about it, but then I was holding it so she couldn’t whack me with her skipping rope. I forget what I did to bring that on – something stupid no doubt.

I was remembering the nervousness as I tried for my first kiss and the shock when she didn’t deck me. We bumped foreheads as I recall. I think I told you about that a few years ago after I met her at a funeral and noticed the matching scar. So did her husband and… I’m sorry I was talking about last Sunday and Rod Stewart. It would have been so wonderful just to close my eyes and experience the romance all again.

Music has the power to awaken distant memories and let you relive the great moments in your life. The right song from long ago can do that for you. You really can leave 2021 and go back to a special moment when you were young. I wanted to do that so much on Sunday afternoon, but I’m afraid I couldn’t. There was a problem.

At that particular special moment I was in the middle of three lanes of bumper to bumper traffic on the 401 going by Cambridge at 120 Ks an hour. Not a good time to relive a romantic memory I find.

Now why did I write that?

Sometimes I even annoy myself as well as everybody else. I had the golden opportunity to delve into something deep, even wonderful and I have to go and spoil it by writing something stupid.

“Once a goof, always a goof,” is what my psychiatrist used to say to me over and over and over again.

Have you ever noticed though, what good music can do for you? Sometimes I feel sorry for the kids of today. There is so little of their music that has a melody that will someday take them back to 2021. Oh, I’m sure the music is good, at least some of it, but I can’t make out the words and to me most of it sounds the same. (I just lost everyone under forty.)

As good as some of the guitar riffs are, hearing them fifty years from now won’t remind lovers of that first kiss on a girl’s front porch or the touch of a hand walking home for a movie. It might remind them why they had to get a hearing aid. And I’m sure it will remind some sixty-year-old grandmother of the guy she dated who had tattoos and purple hair. She will remember all right and for a moment wonder what ever happened to him, but not for long.

She’ll smile wistfully at the old geezer across the room sleeping in the chair, fire up her iPod which will weigh less than a gram and fits in her ear and tell the computer to play something romantic. I’ll bet it puts on a CD from long ago, Rod Stewart’s Stardust, The Great American Songbook, Volume III.

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