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.

Shana Tova and see you at the beach!!

Leavin’ My Mama Blues

© 2010 Doug Goodkin
Gather ‘round everybody, I got to tell you some news (2x)
It’s time for me to sing the “Leavin’ my Mama Blues”

I’ve been playin’ this piano, but now I can’t play it no mo’ (2x)
I’m just getting’ warmed up, but now it’s time to go.

I’ve got the "Leavin’ My Mama Blues" (2x)
From the tip of my head to the bottom of my shoes.

I’ve been to London, I’ve been to Spain,
To Germany, Iceland and back again.
I’ve been to Greece, I’ve been to France,
But nothin’s so fun as seein’ my Mama dance.


When I’m with my Mama, she makes me feel like a winner (2x)
But now it’s time to take her up to dinner.

My Mama loves me, she calls me her darling man (2x)
She likes it when I’m singin’ with Patsy, Edie and Fran

Sometimes I gotta to travel, it’s what I gotta do,
To London, Paris or Timbucktoo,
To Barcelona, Madrid and Rome
But I love it best at the Jewish home


Wish I could take Mama on a luxury cruise (2x)
Then I wouldn’t need to sing the “Leavin’ My Mama Blues”

Life is full of pain and sorrow and we all got to pay our dues (2x)
But nothin’ hurts so much as the "Leaving Your Mama Blues."

I asked the Dali Lama and President Obama
Why is it so sad when I got to leave my Mama?
They said to me, “Well, son. When the day is done.
Leaving your Mama just ain’t no fun.
So visit her a lot and twice on Rosh Hashana"


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