The Songs We Will Sing.

#76: Piano Man; Billy Joel & # 77 Guitar Man; Bread. A story about pianoes and guitars.

OK. So today I am posting a little differently. I am away from my technology and only have my phone so the songs have been shared on the WordPress site first.

I was about 9 years old when my parents decided I should start piano lessons. My two sisters, who are much older than I, had each had three years of piano tuition and now it was my turn.

My eldest sister was quite musical and could play by ear, so this musical ear, together with her lessons, resulted in a competent pianist. By the time I began my tuition both my older sisters were married. No doubt my parents thought it only fair to provide me with the same opportunities as my sister’s and so the music lessons began.

I cannot say it was at all successful. Mrs Berry, my teacher was lovely but I was not at all a good student. After about 18 months we all agreed it was time to pull the plug on this piano tuition business.

The best thing I remember about going to music lessons was the mode of transport. My father had bought a motorcycle and sidecar at a Police Department auction and I would be bundled into the side car with one of my older brothers at the motorcycle and we would zoom off to town for my Saturday morning lessons. And we didn’t even wear helmets on those days, real wind in the hair stuff!

But these brothers were also a very large part of the reason my musical career never got off the ground. You see, here I was learning boring scales, theory and ancient songs and they were jamming about on their electric guitars, playing Beatles and Monkees and contemporary songs; all self taught. They were quite the coolest chaps in their stove pipe pants pointy Beatle boots, reversible jerkins – black on one side and red on the other, swept back bodgie hair, good lookers, good hearted and good spirited chaps.

One of these boys is closing in on 80 but music has been such an enduring part of his life that I am sure it has added immeasurable joy and well being. Before covid, for many years he was part of a musical group who organised monthly concerts for senior citizens, raising over the years thousands of dollars for local charities. Nowadays he goes, with a cousin of his wife, to an old people’s home and entertains the residents. Because you see, he is still young at heart even though he has an ongoing fight with the dreadful Big C, music is a balm to his soul and his body and there is great joy in sharing it.

I cannot play a musical instrument, I am not much of a singer, can’t reach any high notes and I really don’t know much about how to read music but I am ever so thankful that I was raised in a home where music was a part of life. Because even without any of the above skills, I can so appreciate the benefit and purpose of music and song. It is a gift entirely for our well being and joy.

The songs chosen for today, Billy Joel’s wonderful Piano Man and Bread’s Guitar Man are not only great songs that have their own story – and I hope you will consider their lyrics – they are songs which bring to mind part of my own story. As a great observer of life, I conclude that we are all, day by day, living our stories and the more mature one gets the more precious those stories become.


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