Don't Play It Again, Sam
We've all heard that music hath charms to soothe the savage beast but sometimes it "hath" the
Take, for instance, the true story of a lighthouse keeper at Seguin Island, Maine. When he bought
his lonely wife a piano, she faithfully practiced the only sheet of music she possessed and soon
played it with fervor.
Day after day she pounded the keys till it finally drove the keeper insane.
One night he hacked up the piano before turning the axe on his wife. Too bad she couldn't ad lib
-- a little "Chopsticks" to break the monotony perhaps.
I can't picture that happening Charter a jet here because I rarely play our old upright. It's desperately out of
tune and the keys have a tendency to stick. This means plucking them up manually if I hope to
finish a song.
Despite its enormous bulk, I often forget it's there. In fact, our cat tickles the ivories more than I
do. Heard her jump on them the other day and she didn't sound half bad. Unlike her, I play by ear
and that organ gets a little forgetful at times.
For a change of pace I like to haul out my keyboard, although its narrow keys make fingering a
bit of a challenge.
When I get tired of the inevitable mistakes, I press a button and it plays a
perfect tune all by itself. It occurs to me all instruments should come equipped with that feature.
Singers, too, for that matter.
My brother recently developed an interest in the guitar. I requested a concert after he'd had a few
lessons and listened to an accurate though painstaking rendition of "Tom Dooley". "Bravo!" I
hollered over my applause. "Now play 'Classical Gas'!"
That's an old favorite of mine although just listening to it tires me out these days. Mason
Williams must eat Wheaties before a performance.
To steal an old joke, I bought a tin whistle the other day and now I tin whistle. As a quality
instrument, it ranks somewhere between a tonette and a kazoo. On the plus side, it takes no time
at all to learn, unlike the clarinet I spent years squawking on, only to forget the basics.
Maybe some day I'll gather all of my instruments and arrange a recital. Sort of a one-woman-
band kind of thing.
But first I'd better hide my husband's axe.
Corky is Lois Corcoran. Her column appears in the free parenting e-zine, The "M" Word.Other Corky's:
"Jest Between You and Me," is now available at Hard Shell Word Factory. For a short reading, visit the Free Gallery of Authors' Voices.
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