As Time Goes By

I used to be a fairly decent pianist when I was younger.  Much younger.  In fact, I was my piano teacher’s top student, and she, herself, had been a student of Bela Bartok.  She wanted (expected!) me to continue my studies at Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio.  The last piece I was studying before I became a musical slacker at age seventeen was Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude.  As I look now at these stubby little fingers and listen to the harsh notes they make on my piano, I marvel that I ever came that far.

Alas, about the only thing I can play now is old sheet music from the Twenties, Thirties, and Forties.  I have quite a good collection from an old friend of ours who lived through most of those days.  The tunes are familiar ones because I heard my parents croon them when I was growing up.  I even sing some of them to my granddaughters as their goodnight songs when I stop in their rooms to rub their backs and kiss them one last time for the evening.  Mind you, my granddaughters are nine and thirteen, but they still love to have me sing to them at bedtime when I visit.

I never paid much attention to the words until I started playing one of the songs last evening.  The song was Irving Berlin‘s “Always.”  It’s my nine-year-old granddaughter’s favorite, but I never knew the second verse until I started to sing along with my playing:  “Dreams will all come true/growing old with you/and time will fly./Caring each day more/than the day before/Till spring rolls by./Then when the Springtime has gone/then will my love linger on.”  I read those words and found myself getting a little weepy.  What a sap you are, I thought.  But, God, I love that man of mine and those words said it all!  I read them again and let a tear or two fall before I sighed, pulled myself together, and turned the page to reveal the next song, Al Jolson’s “Anniversary Song.”

I grabbed another box of tissues.

About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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8 Responses to As Time Goes By

  1. judithhb says:

    I love this music too and my father used to croon it to us as we were growing up. I used to sing it to my grandchildren when they were younger. They dot want to be tucked in any more, more’s the pity.

    • comingeast says:

      Isn’t it nice that people so very far away from each other share such similar experiences! I’m sure the 13-year-old won’t want me to sing much longer, but she could surprise me.

  2. Christine says:

    Beautifully put. And it’s great that you still play. I am a big Irving Berlin fan. Wish I could play piano. Or even read music. I occasionally vow to teach myself but my enthusiasm peters out.

  3. gingerclub says:

    This is so beautiful, I actually had a little tear myself in my eyes.

    Piano also for me has a childhood memory, as my dad always played Chopin´s Nocturne when we went to bed. He played, and I played, but never to a really good point. I still love playing though and do it as often as I can. Too bad, you have not continued.



    • comingeast says:

      Love hearing about your memories. My youngest son says he’s a musician because of me, from hearing me play classical music on the piano and from the classical music station I listened to non-stop when he was growing up. I play just for me now. I don’t care how bad I am; I still enjoy it. I’m glad you liked my post!

  4. A friend of mine — a lovely, lively woman in her 30s, plays in a band in NYC that plays only music of this era. They wear vintage clothing and it’s fantastic fun.

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