Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Does anyone remember the Real Old Songs?

"I'd love to live in loveland with a girl like you - dadidadidada. Dahdihdahdida" One of those songs we kids would sing while we made the beds or walked from the bus. That was before Frank sinatra and the beginning of WW2 (to my generation there is only one war) when more serious sentimental songs were written.
We'd sing, "I want to wake up in the morning where the rhododendrums grow," as we drove from our home in Rhode Island to the old family homestead in Forestdale, Cape Cod. It would be Memorial Day and time to put flowers on the graves. We didn't know a Rhododendrum from an Azalia, and still don't, but the song had a pretty lilt.
Earlier times it would be "Red Sails in the sunset" with our cousins - the Italian ones in Shawmut. That was in the thirties when we could still swim in the waters of Narragansett Bay. We could run right into the water, it was bathtub warm, not like the clear water of the lakes at home in Greenville, a few miles away. One summer we were splashing in the bay, and the next year signs were up of "polluted water." Seventy years later the signs might still be there and the lakes still clear.
What were the other songs before "Red Sails"? I remember sitting somewhere on a porch when I was very young. Time and place whisper in my memory. We could just hum along with everyone, before anyone criticized us for not having a voice:
"Just two of us together, we'll plan our honeymoon." "Just cruising down a river on a Sunday afternoon."
We had our own version of rap and no one knew it.

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