Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Music Ed 101

iPod morning commute music: Johnny Cash, The Essential Johnny Cash 1955-1983, disc 1 (1992)
Johnny Cash was my introduction to country music. While I claimed to hate country, I always loved Johnny's music. Willy and Waylon soon followed (as did rock music, with Dylan's Nashville, the Byrds Sweetheart of the Rodeo, The Band to name but a few). This 3-disc set is a very good introduction to Cash's music. I also have his Love/Murder/God set as well. In the end it doesn't really matter what anthology one gets; his music, and especially his voice, is timeless. When he died in 2003, we lost an icon.

Since Alisa was elected Treasurer of her school's student council, I've been timing my commute home on Tuesdays and Thursdays so we can meet at the station and I can drive her home. When she signed up for basketball, which meets on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I started meeting her every evening. This has turned out to be a cool thing, because it gives us a chance to talk privately. Tatsu and I have developed a pretty good relationship over the years, due in part to our mutual love of music. But for Alisa and me, this is a new opportunity to really get to know each other.

Last night in the car she asked me if I had any particular song lyrics that I thought were great. Yes, yes I do. When we got home I took down my book of Dylan lyrics and had her read while she listened to Like a Rolling Stone, one of the few Dylan songs she likes (Alisa takes after Kaoru, who likes every Dylan song better when someone other than Dylan is singging it, especially if it's Joan Baez). Then we listened to Leonard Cohen's Suzanne, a song she doesn't much like but whose lyrics she hadn't considered before ("And Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water, and he spent a long time watching from his lonely wooden tower, and when he knew for certain only drowning men could see him, he said all men will be sailors then, until the sea shall free them, but he himself was broken, long before the sky would open, forsaken, almost human, he sank beneath your wisdom like a stone", or something like memory for lyrics is not as good as it used to be). It felt good to be sharing these words with her. I feel we've become closer.

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