Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on October 11, 2023 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with no comments yet

Still cranking out a few tunes


“And we talked about some old times,

And we drank ourselves some beers,

Still crazy after all these years,

Oh, still crazy, after all these years.”

Still Crazy After All These years. Paul Simon


I just experienced one of the craziest Thanksgiving weekends in recent memory. I had two turkey dinners. Nothing exceptional about that. The leaves started to turn and fell gently to the ground. Fairly normal, I would say. I went for walks and read books, all part of my daily diet. So what, pray tell, made the weekend so unusual?

Those who know me well know that music has been part of my core being. I grew up in a household where live music was a staple, long before the advent of television. It seemed like every weekend, our house was a gathering spot for neighbours and friends.

As a teenager, I played in a band with my brothers. We were called The Escorts. No. Not those kind of escorts! We played at dances at the Parish Centre and at a number of venues on Cape Breton Island, most notably, our regular Saturday gig at the St.Peter’s Hall in Ingonish Beach. I can’t ever remember being so well off financially.

While doing my undergraduate degree, I played with a group called Fungus, an odd name for a band. Our tag line? “We grow on you”!

While working at St.F.X. in the early 80s, I played in a group with Raylene Rankin and (Father) Conrad Edwards. When the Rankin Family became famous, I often joked with Raylene that she got her start with our band called Byrne Abby. God rest her soul.

Fast forward to the present. I know that Mick Jagger has staying power so I’m not about to compare myself to the Stones but recently, I’ve had a renaissance of sorts. On Thanksgiving weekend, I performed at three different functions and have a fourth booked for early November. One was a family Thanksgiving affair; the second was a family reunion and the third, a celebration of life. They were all very different, but I enjoyed them all immensely.

I had to prepare three different set lists so I thought I would do a little quiz today. I will give you one line from some of these songs and your job is to identify the title of the song. Bonus points if you know the writer/performer. I will give you the answers at the end of the piece. No peeking!

Whatever will be, will be.

Oh, you’ll take the high road.

Now the whole damn bus is cheering.

So kiss me and smile for me.

We’d sing and dance forever and a day.

Look at the night, and it don’t seem so lonely.

Oh little did my mother think, when first she cradled me.

Whatever happened, to Tuesday and so slow.

She was afraid to come out in the open.

Runnin’ from the cold up in New England.

He was his father’s only son, his mother’s pride and joy.

So. How did you do?

Here are the answers.

Que Sera

Loch Lomond

Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Those Were the Days

Sweet Caroline

Four Marys

Brown Eyed Girl

Itsy Bitsy Teeneie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

Wagon Wheel

The Wild Colonial Boy

If you got them all correct there is a good chance that you are a Maritimer and that you’re older than dirt! And of course, a musical genius.

In a few days’ time, I will celebrate my Golden Grad Homecoming at my alma mater, St. Francis Xavier University. I still shake my head to think that it was 50 years ago that I completed my undergraduate degree.

I am sure music will be part of the weekend as it has every single day of my life.

Have a great weekend.

P.S. “This gun’s for hire.” Bruce Springsteen. Are you planning an office party or house party during the Christmas season? I would be happy to join you. From Wilf Carter to Neil Young to The Beatles. Tunes you know and love. We’ll even throw in some Christmas carols. Private message me or drop me an e-mail at

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Highland Hearing Clinic

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