Wednesday, May 14, 2008

To light up the darkness and show us the way*

Because the news these last few days is SO VERY GRIM...

I bring you the distraction of an amusing story about my funny little man....

I believe I have mentioned before that my Gabriel is something of an old soul. He also, not surprisingly, loves music.

(His love for music is not surprising because everyone in my mother's family, save for me, is very musically talented. I, myself, CAN carry a tune in a bucket, but, much to my family's dismay, just barely.)

Gabriel likes many, many kinds of music - he even will listen to freeform jazz. (I have always WANTED to like jazz, but, the truth is that, mostly, I don't.)

His favorite albums are (and have been for the last 5 years) the "O Brother Where Art Thou" soundtrack, and "Down From the Mountain" (which is more music from the artists on O Brother). He listens to the 'O Brother' soundtrack on repeat at night, all night long. (It is for this reason that Gabe's room is on the opposite side of the house from our room, because Husband has trouble sleeping with Ralph Stanley singing "O Death" in his ears. (Go figure.))

But, back to Gabriel - he is not at all hemmed in by his bluegrass roots. Yesterday, for example, he was listening to Queen's "Fat Bottom Girls" on Husband's ipod...he has broad musical interests.

A few months ago, Gabe came home from school and asked if we had any John Denver CDs. He said that they had heard some John Denver songs in music class that day and he had liked them and wanted to hear them again.

And because Husband and I are both children of the 70's, and nostalgic, I said, "of COURSE we have a John Denver CD" and pulled out John Denver's Greatest Hits from our CD shelf, and Gabe took it to his room and he listened to it for a while. He came back down and said that he really liked "Sunshine on my Shoulders", but he was upset the album didn't have "Calypso" on it. And I said, "what song?" and he burst into song, singing (loudly) "AYE CALYPSO WE SING TO YOUR SPIRIT"..."but I can't remember the rest of the words".

And then for four days, he walked around the house singing those same ten notes over and over and over and over and OVER AND OVER again, until I was forced to obtain a copy of the album Windsong from the library, so that he could at least learn the rest of the chorus so I would not be forced to strangle him.

So, "Calypso" became a favorite song of his to listen to, or just sing to himself. He is a BIG FAN of the song. (What I find adorable about 8-year-old-boys is that they really have no clue about what is "cool" or "not cool" - so, that at this age, Gabe is free to like or not like whatever music he wants. He has felt the peer pressure a bit with games/toys/TV Shows, but, so far, he is uninfluenced by his peers as far as music goes. I like this and I hope he continues to buck his peers and listen to music he really enjoys just because he enjoys it and not because it's what everyone else is listening to.)

At any rate, Gabriel loves the song Calypso with all the passion that an 8-year-old-boy can muster.

SO, with all that in mind...............rewind to the end of our vacation in Jamaica last month.

As we were sitting outside our hotel in Negril, waiting for an awfully long time for the bus to leave to take us to the airport in Montego Bay (and I swear I will finish my review of Beaches Negril, I will) - the driver got on the bus and said it was going to be a few more minutes before we could leave for the airport, and everyone on the bus groaned audibly. The bus driver says, "Shall I entertain you with a bit of Caribbean music while we wait? I could play some reggae?" The driver was smiling and some of us smiled a bit (but mostly we were still annoyed by the wait.)

"What? No fans of reggae? How 'bout I play some Calypso, then?"

And my earnest, happy, little boy jumped up from his seat on the bus, jumped up and down clapped his hands and (loudly) said, 'OH! YES! YES! Play CALYPSO! I LOVE CALYPSO!"

Everyone on the bus laughed. (Presumably because they thought it was hysterical that such a small child had such a huge preference for a particular type of Caribbean music. I didn't feel the need to clarify that my kid was actually hungering for a John Denver song.)

The bus driver looked at Gabe and said, "I'm sorry little man, I can't actually play any music."

And Gabe pouted in an adorable kind of way and said, "I guess I'll just listen to it on my mp3 player" and he put on his headphones, where he proceeded, presumably, to listen to John Denver, while the rest of the bus, no doubt, thought he was soaking up the sounds of the Caribbean.


*John Denver, Calypso


Anonymous Christina said...

Oh my mom would be so very very happy if one of her grandsons took a liking to John Denver music. She is a HUGE JD fan and I heard his music constantly when I was a kid. My brother chose (because my mom requested) "Sunshine on My Shoulders" for their mother/son dance at his wedding. It was sweet and we all cried. Sigh... anyway, I think that is a very cute story about Gabriel and I love that he has his own particular taste in music at such a young age!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 7:36:00 PM  
Blogger Anne K. said...

Oh, LM..."the things that you've shown us, the stories you tell...."!!!! I'm with Gabe, I love that song and now I'll have it going through my head for days! Which will be, I might add, most enjoyable!!! Thanks for the day brightener.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 8:10:00 PM  
Blogger Melissia said...

You are right that children sometimes have the courage and imagination to enjoy something simply because it appeals to them on a visceral level. PBS has a really lovely special about John Denver that features his music and stories about his life. Your son might enjoy it as it has some really incredible footage and Calypso is featured along with the story of the song.

Thursday, May 15, 2008 1:49:00 AM  

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