Music of Childhood

I’ve just inherited my father’s record collection, and the slightly archaic device on which to play them–Hurrah!

In fact, I was thinking sadly only a couple of weeks back about how much of the music I grew up with–ethnic and folk–simply isn’t played anymore, and that I could only hear, distantly, the echoes remaining in memory. Then my sister asked if I’d like the collection which has been stored some years now in her garage. That’s some 500 lbs of vinyl lps! And now it is my storage, waiting for me to get speakers hooked up the the player.

Music has always been part of my life. I remember crazy-dancing with my sister, when I was 3, maybe, to Hot Diggity!  There was Catch a Falling Star, later on, and my grandpa sang My Darling Clementine, Red River Valley, and You Are My Sunshine when my sister and I went to bed… and always finished up with Goodnight, Ladies!

Years later, my father taught me to hear rhythm and beat with Ravel’s Bolero. Those were the years of African drums from Olatunji, and Israeli folk music from Geula Gill, and a recording called Port Said that was basically belly-dance music from Egypt. Greek bazouki music, too… And there was Sing Along With Mitch, and Burl Ives. There was quite a lot of classical music, too. 

What music–songs or other–do you remember loving as a child? Did you have your own record player? What music did your parents play in the house? What would you love to listen to again, if you could?

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  1. Cats, The Irish Rovers, Peter Paul and Mary, a lot of the Christmas music we listened to from the two big albums we had… Roger Whitaker and The Irish Rovers Christmas album.

    From my sisters, lots of Paula Abdoul, and Ace of Base (just the one song)… that song from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.

    A few CDs and tapes that I found on my own, not being big into music I really enjoyed these few that were my small collection. A Men Without Hats tape which I had memorized, A Steeleye Span tape I think I found somewhere… the Jurassic Park and Conan the Barbarian Soundtracks we played going through tunnels.

    Luckily, the internet has allowed my nostaligia plenty of room to track all these things down when I feel the urge. Still sometimes something pops up that I wasn’t expecting. I remember back when my nephew Magnus was born, I put together a bunch of the old kids songs I used to listen to into an album. I listened to Puff the Magic Dragon again for the first time in years having totally forgotten the sorrow at the end of that song. I wept. Nothing ever got to me like the loss of a deep friendship.

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