In the intro to this little project, you may recall that I said that music’s presence in my life predates even my earliest memories. You might wonder how I can say that for certain, given that I can’t remember that time period. Thanks to a story I’ve heard several times from my parents, I can relate this tale of which I have absolutely no personal recollection:
Back when I was two years old, I got sick. Really sick. I was running a fever and throwing up all over the place… for a week. At this point, I was awfully dehydrated and admitted to the hospital. For four days, the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with me to no avail. Long story short, I was in pretty bad shape. My folks were literally worried sick. People had to wear masks around me because nobody knew if I had some unknown contagion.
On the fifth day of my hospital stay, a doctor walked in to my room to find me singing “Punky’s Dilemma” and asking for pizza. That’s basically how people surmised that I was healthy again. We never found out what made me so incredibly sick, so that’s a mystery. I’m also not sure whether the doctor who found me singing and hungry was more amazed that I was suddenly in pretty good health or that the two year old kid he was treating was singing Simon & Garfunkel. The world may never know.
I don’t know how long I had been listening to Simon & Garfunkel at that point, but I must have heard a fair bit if I had committed the lyrics to memory already. I think it’s fair to say that they made a pretty big impression on me as a toddler. If only because of that, I had to put this song in the mix, even if it made me spurn other options that I had at the 2:19 mark… options that included “Run, Run, Run” by The Gestures; “Dance, Dance, Dance” by the Steve Miller Band and “Cha Cha Cha D’Amour” by Dean Martin (not to mention Gnarls Barkley’s “Go-Go Gadget Gospel.” I do like to think that those concepts are all rolled into one tune here though. One that made me go, run, dance and cha cha cha. Ultimately, that’s what some of the best music does.