Thursday Tidbits

Posted on September 2, 2021 under Thursday Tidbits with 3 comments



“Bye bye love, bye bye happiness,

Hello loneliness, I think I’ma gonna cry.”

Bye Bye Love – The Everly Brothers

Don’t go running for the kleenex box right yet. This is not a tearjerker nor is it about romance so don’t go trying to read anything into the start of this piece. I’m not sure that romance writing (or romance!) is my strong suit. Actually, I’m not sure I even have a strong suit even though I’ve bid six spades occasionally playing bridge.

Bye bye, Don Everly. Don Everly died two weeks ago. His brother and singing partner, Phil, died seven years ago.

I could hardly be called a music aficionado. While I am enthusiastic about music, I am not particularly knowledgeable. I never took formal music lessons and unlike many of my contemporaries, I never dug too deeply into the music of the day. I’m not one of those music junkies who knows the names of every band member of every group that played back in my time. I know the names, John, Paul, Ringo and George but don’t ask me the members of The Band.  I have friends who are sports nuts. No, they are just plain nuts because they can still dredge out the most mundane statistics from virtually every sport. They are walking encyclopedias of totally useless information.

Lyrics to songs never completely captivated my attention. One of the beauties of country and western music is that even a casual listener can understand a wife leaving, the truck breaking down and the dog dying. I didn’t dive into the lyrics looking for symbolism or hidden messages. I never played a vinyl album in reverse to see if a song was written by or for the devil. In other words, I was a bit of a musical simpleton. If the song sounded good, I would listen to it. If I loved it, I would go to the music store, lay down a few bucks, and then wear out the grooves on my turntable.

“Dream, dream, dream, dream,

Dream, dream, dream, dream,

When I want you , in my arms

When I want you, and all your charms,

Whenever I want you, all I have to do is,

Dream, dream, dream, dream.”

I loved groups that harmonized. I still do which is why The Everly Brothers remain one of my favourite duos of all time. Their harmonies were pure and sweet, and their lyrics were beautiful in their simplicity. Of course, they were a big deal in the 1960s, right around the time that I was discovering the mysteries of biology, chemistry, trigonometry, poetry and women. I was a pretty good student in high school. I uncovered many of the mysteries of academics. Learning about women was much trickier. I’m still working on that one!

All I have to do is Dream. Wake up Little Susie. Take a Message to Mary. Cathy’s Clown. So many of The Everly Brothers hits were about love lost and found.

Many of you know that I played in a band when I was a teenager, called The Escorts. No, we weren’t an escort service! We performed at the Parish Center in my hometown and had a regular gig in Ingonish Beach in the summer. We weren’t flashy. The musicianship was top notch but none of the band members were going to blow you away with jaw dropping riffs. The band was known for its harmonies. We gave dance goers exactly what they wanted. We could do a reasonable imitation of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and The Young Rascals. We played songs that were popular on the hit parade.

“Sitting alone in an old rocking chair,

I saw an old mother with silvery hair,

She seemed so neglected by those who should care,

Rocking alone in an old rocking chair.”

Rocking Alone in an Old Rocking Chair was always a bit of a puzzle to me. I didn’t seem to fit the mold of other Everly Brothers songs. That didn’t stop us from singing it because, well, it sounded great. I didn’t know a damn thing about old age when I was a teenager. Our grandparents seemed ancient and with very large, Catholic families it was hard to comprehend how an old person could be neglected, as the song goes. Much later in life, I learned the sad reality that many old people die of loneliness.

I didn’t know much about love or old age when I was 16. I am much better acquainted with old age now, but love remains a mystery.

“I’m through with romance, I’m through with love,

I’m through with counting, the stars above.”

I would like to emphatically state that I am neither through counting stars nor with love!

Thanks to Don and Phil who helped shape my childhood. May you harmonize in the heavens above.

Have a great weekend.


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