Homeward bound I wish I were, Homeward bound. Home where my thoughts escape me. Home where my music’s playing Home where my love lies waiting silently for me…
‘Homeward Bound’ by Simon and Garfunkel. Do you remember it? Great song. It’s hard to believe it’s been fifty years since I first heard it. In January 1966 when it was released I was only 14 and an extremely naive, 9th grader. I recall it with great fondness, a tale of loneliness and a longing for home. It was one of a handful early pop tunes that seemed to touch my very soul and at that point in my young life there weren’t many songs that did.
Two years earlier I had discovered my aunt Gracie’s stash of 45’s and her portable record player and began playing them. Thus began my musical journey. Yep, after being told for the umpteenth time to stay out of her room my sister and I decided to venture in anyway. Of course we knew Aunt Gracie wouldn’t be home for hours so that made the decision easier. Everyone else was outside on the patio talking so we took a chance. I did, of course, let my sister enter first and look around a little before I went in. If you have a younger sister or brother you’ll understand why I did it. The old ‘First in, first to blame rule’. Of course that could easily be overturned by the “You’re the oldest” argument. But I didn’t care. The great music we discovered inside was worth the risk,
We listened to a lot of singles that afternoon, many I’d already heard on the radio. I liked them all but there were two that I liked more than the others. One was a rocker ‘Boom, Boom’ by the Animals, great bluesy vocals and awesome organ. The second was a reflective ballad called ‘In my Room’ by the Beach Boys. Both stayed with me long after leaving my aunt’s room and are part of a great chain of memories. I loved it.
That two year period 1963 through 65 were huge years musically making the early stages of my musical experience quite pleasurable. So much music to enjoy! But as I said before, only a handful songs truly moved me in someway. I’m sure we all have those special songs that really matter to us, songs that had some sort of impact on us and left there mark on us. Our own personal soundtrack album of life. By the time ‘Homeward Bound’ made its mark on me I already had three songs on my special soundtrack, Bob Dylan’s ‘Like a Rolling Stone’, Eve of Destruction’ by Barry McGuire and The Beatles ‘In My Life’. Three ballads and a protest song. Go figure. But the best was yet to come. The next 4 years produce some of the greatest music to come out of the 60’s Especially from the Beatles who took their sound in a whole new direction. I have more Beatles tunes on my soundtrack than any other group and formed many of my notions about love, life and happiness from their lyrics. They were inspirational.
I really love music, it’s always been important to me. I was exposed to it at an early age and grew up with it, now I’m growing old with music. My mom was a real music lover. She enjoyed listening to the radio, playing her LP’s and watching Dick Clark’s American Bandstand on TV everyday. She knew all the show’s teen regulars by name. She also enjoyed singing and had an incredible voice. I can’t tell you how many nights, over a whole lot of years, I listened to her singing with her sisters at my grandma Pepita’s house. They’d be gathered round the piano having a great time singing and laughing and singing some more! To my young, untrained ear it sounded pretty good.
Once when I was about 9 she was singing, quite loudly I might add, while she was doing housework. My friends and I were outback playing and could easily hear her. They couldn’t believe it was my mom singing. They all thought it was a record playing! When they saw her singing through the window they were in awe. One even asked me if she was a professional opera singer! She sang all the time! When my parents sold their home she was cleaning the bathroom for the final time and getting it ready for new owners and was singing about it! She was making up words about cleaning the toilet! It was hilarious! I wasn’t there but fortunately my brother captured it on video and I got to see it. Pretty crazy! Hmm, come to think of it I’m pretty sure my love of music comes from my mom. I hope I’ve passed the love of music on to my children as well.
Music is the universal language of mankind. It is the language of love and love is all we need. It is the language of memories and moves the Spirit. The power of music is also the strongest form of magic! Do you Believe in magic? I do.
Just a Thought…
“The magic’s in the music and the music’s in me.” Loving Spoonful