A Folk Singing Household

I grew up in a house that’s hard to define as part of the 60s and 70s, if you believe television’s focus on the Bandstand [the music’s hopping… ] era. Mom loved folk music, even minoring in it in college. Dad loved classical. So the sounds of my childhood were filled with Brunnhild dying on a pyre, the Kingston Trio, and Peter Paul and Mary (Puff the Magic Dragon was one of my favorites). Mom was almost always in a choir, and I have fond memories of her practicing at our upright piano.

YouTube (and Nick Reynold’s promotion to the heavenly choir from his role in the Kingston Trio) is bringing back the songs Mom hummed to, while she looked wistfully at the air in front of her while washing dishes. I can even see the kitchen we had before we moved, down to the little catchall nesting bowls that had a glass lid at the top of the tower, filled with wine corks [a slow growing collection for a corkboard], rubber bands, pins, twine.

A favorite song I remember her singing is a wistful, haunting melody called “Four Strong Winds”. Here it is, sung by The Brothers Four. I look at the audience singing along, and realize how young my mother was before she even met my father. And even though she didn’t go to UCLA I couldn’t help looking for her singing along too. More audience signing for their version of 500 Miles (from the 1960s). btw, the Hooters also covered this song (1980s), and it is very different.

I’m in a choir now that’s singing socially relevant music. Kind of a modern spin on all those songs that were background during food prep or while I did my homework on the dining room table. Thanks, Nick, for the music. You really did make your light shine.

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