Saturday, December 12, 2009

`I Wish It Were Impossible'

While the students wrote sentences using new vocabulary words, the Language Arts teacher played a CD of Classic Rock Hits from the nineteen-seventies. She’s about 30 and has no living memory of these songs when they were first inflicted on us. While the kids fumbled with “disposition” and “conjecture,” she swayed and hummed and said the music reminded her of riding in a convertible in Southern California. They reminded me of Watergate and public drunkenness. Among the tunes were “Stuck in the Middle with You” (its fey mellowness forever righteously violated by Reservoir Dogs), “Let Your Love Flow,” “Rocket Man” and “American Pie.” In Johnsonian Miscellanies, editor George Birkbeck Hill collects an anecdote reported by Johnson’s friend William Seward:

“Dr. Johnson was observed by a musical friend of his to be extremely inattentive at a concert, whilst a celebrated solo player was running up the divisions and subdivisions of notes upon his violin. His friend, to induce him to take greater notice of what was going on, told him how extremely difficult it was. `Difficult do you call it, Sir?’ replied the Doctor; `I wish it were impossible.’”


Jim Murdoch said...

What do you mean 'inflicted'? We must have had a very different nineteen-seventies you and I. That's the soundtrack of the best years of my life your stomping all over there. Of course that was a UK-based nineteen-seventies - the economy may have been crap but the music was solid.

Jonathan said...

Just wait until you have an eleven-year old run up to you and ask if you've ever heard of "You Give Love a Bad Name" by Bon Jovi. I never dreamed this would be the music I'd have to deal with.

Musically, I was prepared for some generational disconnect, but even the sound of a beloved child's voice does nothing for that song - over and over and over....

Hope all is well.