Reflections teaching Orff workshops around the world.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Leavin' My Mama Blues
If we were thinking straight. every San Francisco place of business (except the ice cream stores) should hang out a sign saying: “No work. Run to the beach!!” It’s hot! And these days are so rare. And here I am, self-employed for four months and kicking myself for being such a tough boss. I’ve spent the morning writing tedious musical examples for the book on teaching blues to kids that I’m writing. Instead, I should have gone directly to Baker Beach. And on the way back, stopped in at a temple to pay a nod to Rosh Hashana.
Not that I’ve ever celebrated it. My history with my Jewish blood, hidden from me in suburban New Jersey the first 12 years of my life, is worthy of a Blog entry, if not a short novel. But now it’s one o’clock, no fog in sight and every muscle in my body is screaming, “Get out of the house!!” And though my daughters would commend me for the shortest of my 100 plus Blogs, I want to make this worth someone’s while.
So I’ve decided to share my signature song that I play and sing every time I visit my Mom. When the clock strikes five, I play those opening blues chords that announce that it's time to take her up to dinner and I'm going to squeeze in one last song to say goodbye for the day. I keep trying to come up with new verses each time, so these are just some of the “greatest hits.” (My friends Fran and Edie invariably exclaim, "That was the best yet!" A lot of pressure for the next one, but so far, each next one continues to be the "best.")
Why am I including here? It doesn’t have much to do with hot weather or the Jewish New Year, except if you hang in until the end, there is one relevant clever (if I do say so myself) rhyme. Of course, it’s much better sung and played than simply read, so as your phantom music teacher, I advise you to make up a melody and sing it yourself. But note the copyright—if you put yourself on Youtube and it goes viral, I want royalties.