“… I feel sad when you’re sad/I feel glad when you’re glad …”
It struck a chord, but I couldn’t immediately place it.
I’m kind of Rain Man-esque when it comes to song snippets. In any given moment, I can be singing the opening lines of “Jack and Diane” before leaping to the spoken-word intro of Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” (“… Dearly Beloved, we’re gathered here today to get through this thing called life …”) then breaking into “License to Ill”-era Beastie Boys (“one lonely Beastie I be/all by myself without nobody”), next thing I’m doing my best Bob Dylan impression with “Tangled Up in Blue” (“… She was married when we first met/soon to be divorced/helped her out of jam I guess/but I used a little too much force”) that segues nicely into Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades,” then wrapping things up with the theme song from “Facts of Life” — all before pouring my first cup of coffee.
Jellybean is my progeny. If she’s not making up her own songs, such as the recent ditty “The Creepy Song,” about sucking the blood out of bleeding zombie vampires, she’s bouncing around the house performing tracks from “Mama Mia,” “Grease II,” “Glee,” “Little Shop of Horrors” or her current favorite musical, “Rock of Ages.”
I am pretty attuned to Jellybean’s internal jukebox. But there it was again … “And I can’t write/and I can’t sing …”
I was at a loss. Jellybean had stumped me.
When asked what she was singing, she simply grinned, shrugged her shoulders and broke into “It’s Midnight Cinderella” by Garth Brooks (yep … Garth Brooks).
It wasn’t until bath time that the mystery was cracked. We were cleaning all the nooks and crannies when she burst out with, “… at the Copa, Copacabana/the hottest spot, north of Havana.”
It was a pop-music revelation, a burning-bush moment. It was freakin’ Barry Manilow.
The next morning, on the way to Target, I pulled up the “Definitive Barry Manilow” on my iPod to the utter shock and awe of both Jellybean and My Lovely Wife, who didn’t understand how the king of mellow rock could be shoe-horned into my playlists alongside the likes of Judas Priest, Marilyn Manson, Opeth and Cradle of Filth.
Personally, I think it’s important to keep your spouse guessing.
Heck, I’ve also got a little Jewel in there, and I can go note-for-note with Olivia Newton John on “Xanadu” (“Now we are here …”).
Eventually, we were all belting out “Mandy,” “I Write the Songs,” “Looks like We Made It” and, my personal favorite, “Ready to Take a Chance Again.”
Me and Barry go way back. One of my fondest memories is singing and dancing with my Dear, Sweet Mom while “Copacabana” played on the tape deck. I was always haunted by that image of Lola having lost her love, then lost her mind.
Still, there was the mystery — how had Jellybean came to know the might of Manilow?
It turned out her K-4 teacher was to blame (thank). She used the best-of Barry during naptime.
Contact Brett Buckner at firstname.lastname@example.org