Seems to be the season for making erroneous claims followed by backtracking, so I’ll take my turn just in time for Valentine’s Day. I’ve told myself, if not the rest of the world, that the reason I could never make the Nashville/folk music circuit was because I’d never been dumped. Growing up in the South, one would have a hard time avoiding the “done-me-wrong” songs. My personal favorite lonesome artist didn’t come from Nashville, but has been Karen Carpenter and her minor music with standards like “Hurting Each Other” or “Want You Back in My Life Again.” In recent days, our church’s Backdoor Coffeehouse had hosted a number of modern folk artists with the same theme.
The most recent performers at the coffeehouse were a couple who’d been married for twenty-one years. She put holes in my excuse by writing a song based on a friend’s “done-me-wrong” story. She’d offered the friend a shoulder to cry on and then “borrowed” the friend’s story to write a song. Apparently the dumping story doesn’t have to be your own.
Nor does it have to be limited to the present day and music. While I was putting this blog together, I took a detour to the USM Cook Library to see their display of antique Valentines. The front of one proclaimed:
You thought that a selfish lovely life
Was better than a loving wife
But now too late the truth you see
Don’t dream that old fogies are loved by me.
Evidently “done-me-wrong” goes back a ways.
My story goes back to a pastor father (mine) and a deacon father (Al’s) who introduced their high school senior children in the deacon’s country store. I’m not saying it was love at first sight, but it was pretty close and has involved no dumping. Little did we know how far we would travel together from that small North Mississippi community or “the places we’d go” to borrow a phrase from Dr. Seuss. Al has a little less hair and a few more pounds, but he’s worn well and has remained my valentine!
Now that I know that I could have borrowed a story, I’m backtracking and coming clean. My reasons for not making the Nashville/folk music circuit are that I have no guitar, no banjo, and scant musical talent.