Archive for October 8th, 2005

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“Thank you for the Music”

October 8, 2005

From ABBA’s – Thank You For the Music

I’m nothing special, in fact I’m a bit of a bore
If I tell a joke, you’ve probably heard it before
But I have a talent, a wonderful thing
’cause everyone listens when I start to sing
I’m so grateful and proud
All I want is to sing it out loud

So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me.

Music is so much a part of who I am. I sing constantly; whatever song is on the radio is always on my lips. In temple, I am the one who harmonizes with the Cantor, and the one who is always complemented after the service is over (“You have a lovely voice.” “Are you a Cantor?” “Where do you sing professionally?”). At work, I always have music playing (much to the chagrin of my office mates), and I am usually singing right along with it.

In fact you might say my life is a musical.

Why am I like this? Blame it on ABBA!

When I was 7, I was given my first record as a birthday present. ABBA’s Greatest Hits (volume 2). It was an mind opening experience. Now, certainly music had been a part of my life long before (more on that later), but this album was so different than the guitar-heavy riffs my older brother was listening to. It spoke to me of beautiful harmonies and tightly written lyrics. ABBA spoke to the poet in me.

And so did my Abba. Perhaps you already know that the word father in Hebrew is “abba”. Well, I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to my father for instilling in me a love of music. Singing was always part of our relationship. My dad was a passionate singer; tenor in a barbershop quartet, cantorial soloist when our synagogue lost its Rabbi, or just singing with me on a Saturday morning. I still have a tape recording (which I converted to CD audio) of us singing our favorite Jewish songs together (here is an audio sample of one of these songs — I am the really high voice).

Since my father’s voice has been stilled, my two daughters and I sing together now. I hope to instill in them a love for music, and an appreciation of how music adds so much to our lives. I hope they look to their abba and can remember how much music means to me.

My abba was the one who started me singing, and to him I say, “Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing”.