Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Golden Oldies

What are the "golden oldies" in music to you? The first songs you can remember your parents listening to (that would be about 1985-6 for me, songs like "Lady in Red") Is it a decade, like the '50's?

Oldies to me go way, way back. My Great Grandma Martin was a wonderful piano player, completely by ear. When she visited us, she would spend time at our piano, playing (and singing? I can't remember) what have become some of my favourite songs. When I think of her, I always see her sitting at that piano, her gnarled fingers stretched across the keys, the ones on her right hand nimbly plucking out a melody while her left hand moved automatically from one chord to another. She used every note as she danced across the entire keyboard.

She used to volunteer at a nursing home, entertaining the residents with her music. She was doing this almost right up to the end of her own life on this earth. Very likely she was older than many of the residents there. She is the reason I hope to volunteer myself, playing many of these same old favourites. By the time I get there I wonder if they'll all be songs be songs from before the currect residents' time?

Those songs, the ones that I suppose were her favourites, are some of my favourites. Somewhere along the line two well used Reader's Digest song books came into my collection, and in these books are found many of Great Grandma Martin's songs. I don't play by ear, but with these books I am able to sit at my own piano and play away, singing these old familiar tunes. Many of them I sing as lullabies to the boys.

Here is a list of some of my favourites, along with the year they were written (for interest's sake). There are a lot of them, but I want to have a list so that when the piano books are old and gone, I can remember them. Judging by the years on many of them, and the relative young age of my great grandmother (she was born in the late 1920's or early 1930's, I think, and so the earliest her contemporary music would have been was the 1940's), perhaps they were favourites passed down by her mother or grandmother. I love that music has spanned so many years and generations in my family, tying us all together.

Ain't She Sweet (1926)
If You Were the Only Girl in the World (1916)
The Man I Love (1924)
Someone to Watch Over Me (1926)
Begin the Beguine (1935)
The Blue Room (1926)
Mack the Knife (1928)
Jeepers Creepers (1938)
September in the Rain (1937)
Bei Mir Bist Du Schon (1937)
Gypsy Love Song (1898)
By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1909)
Hello! My Baby (1899)
In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree (1905)
The Band Played On (1895)
My Wild Irish Rose (1899)
Greensleeves (lyrics 1580, music 17th C)
Blowin' in the Wind (1962)
Shenandoah (early 19th C)
Aura Lee (1865)
The Glory of Love (1936)
Downtown (1961)
Three O'Clock in the Morning (1921)
Moon river (1961)
Mona Lisa (1949)
Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1909)
Autumn Leaves (1955)
You'll Never Walk Alone (1945)
Over the Rainbow (1939)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those aren't golden oldies...they're classics! And for some reason I thought grandmas was born in 1914....I could be wrong....dad would probably know!