Saturday, April 14, 2007


I dragged my Mom out to our local Irish Pub where we were both plesantly surprised to find live music. We laughed as we both realized that Celtic music was about the only music that we could actually clap to.

Thinking on it, at least for me, it was some of the first music that I had listened to. Thistle and Shamrock was one of the few radio programs that I remembered. And there was a tape my mother made of one program, a tape my brother was born to, and I tape that I lost in 6th grade. We sat and talked and remembered a song called The Ferrybank Piper, to which we only knew the chorus. "So here's to the Ferrybank Piper, May his sad song never die, May his gay tune rasie your weary heart until in your grave you lie." We lamented the loss and the fact that we didn't know the actual name of the song or the artist.

We then got to talking about a song that was about growing up on the Clyde during World War II. My Mom had the lyrics somewhere, but they were on a unlocatable scrap of paper, if it had survied the move from Chicago, was buried in her closet or the basement. And memories of the lost music began to dance through my head, half remembered melodies, snippets of lyrics telling someone's story. Its increadble how music can stay with you.

So once we got home we started our hunt, horribly misspelling lyrics and song titles and trying to remember if this 30 second sample was the one that we had heard on that tape, or if it was another version of a much beloved song and we managed to find 6 of them, including The Ferrybank Piper,(which we misspelled as The Fairy Bank Piper) and Yonder Banks/Shipyard Appreintice.

We found them mainly by dumb luck, persuing the craziest possible route to them. And listening to these songs I began to cry, not tears of sadness, but maybe tears of something, the kind you get when you find something you once thought forever lost, in a snowy parking lot in Glenview, IL. Maybe nothing is truly ever lost, maybe its just hiding in a different place, the place where you almost give up hope of ever finding it again, like a lost tape from 1984.


Laura said...

Thanks for sharing. I know exactly what you mean about songs and movies you watched as a kid that you lost/broke the tape to that you thougt you'd never see again. My brother got me that cartoon version of Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and he tried to download the movie the Fluppies - and i met a guy here who's been searching for a rare Reik and Bass claymation christmas movie my family used to have on VHS so I can totally relate -and hopefully reunite him with the movie and maybe post online if my mom can ever find the tape. I can totally relate!

andrew said...

That was very heartwarming Chris. I remember VHS tapes like that of old Flintstones kids episodes, commercials intact and all. those unfortunately are lost to the vaults of time.

Zeze the X said...

I used to have a Spectra doll. Does anyone else know who Spectra is? She was an alien spin-off of Barbie and they only made her in 1987. My sister broke her about two weeks after I got her and I had to throw her away. I've been thinking about Spectra lately and wondering if I could find her again...
So yeah, I know exactly how you feel - reclaiming a piece of your past.