Being a very shy child, I lived inside my own world. Creating adventures for myself from the music that surrounded me. From the time I was very young my father understood my passion for music, he pushed a little desk right up to our top of the line hi-fi stereo-system.
This was my best friend.
He gave me a set of these .
I can only guess at what I was listening to – based on my musical memory. I can promise you it wasn’t Wheels on the Bus.
Besides being a loner, I was also fairly defiant. You would be too if this was your mom.
I don’t want you to think I didn’t have ANY friends, but I think my best friend was music. Of course the largest influence on the music in my life was my father, his passion for music filtered down to me. I listened to what he listened to.
And when Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson covered “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboy’s” in 1978, I was an impressionable 8-year-old with headphones glued to my head. That song hit #1 on Billboard and spent 4 weeks there, it also won the Grammy in 1979 for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, not to mention the fact that “Miss Gauthier” my music teacher and idol – played the guitar and taught us EVERY WORD.
Did I mention, defiant and impressionable?
I came home one day and told my mother and father in no uncertain terms that I was going to be a Cowboy or a Truck Driver when I grew up. My mom, being the contrary mom she
is was said “You mean cowgirl honey.” Nope. I did not mean COWGIRL I meant COWBOY. Or truck-driver.
I know my dad knew the truth, he knew I had been listening to those words on the veritable repeat that was 70’s radio play. “Mama’s don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboy’s. Don’t let ’em pick guitars and drive them old trucks. Let ’em be doctor’s and lawyer’s and such.” What, you don’t want me to be a Cowboy or Truck-driver? Ok! I pick Cowboy or Truck-driver for $500 Alex!
I know this song spoke to a deeper part of me, even though I was only 8. And when, only a few months later, my dad came home with The Gambler, by Kenny Rogers, well me and that old LP spent hours together. I’d listen, watch that record spin, and dream of being a Cowboy. I was cooked. My heart began to ache for that train ride, sitting in a rail car, wind blowing in my face as we raced through darkened plains. I was pretty sure after memorizing that song, that I could take any gambler on. I certainly perfected my poker face, I still think it’s pretty good.
That year, the Dukes of Hazzard became a Friday night staple. And I was introduced to a Whole New Idea of Cowboy. Outlaw, southern boys, driving like maniacs all over the place? And just incase you are wondering how strongly that affected my world view, my dog’s names are Roscoe (P. Coltrane) and Daisy (Duke).
That show was on until I was 15. I was still determined. However, my loyalties were torn; Texas Cowboy or Southern good/bad boy Truck-driver. Sadly, I never got the opportunity to make up my mind. You see, my mom also listened to the song “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” and she had decided that I would be a Doctor or Lawyer or such. (The background on this is for another day, suffice it to say, that I had very little choice in the matter. My school, my major chosen for me, and the dreams of being a Cowboy tucked “under my hat”.) It snuck out quite often. OK, all the time. I wore a leather duster, cowboy boots and a leather Cowboy Hat. After seeing Young Guns with my college roommate, I was more determined than ever. She took to calling me “Tex.” I liked it.
And then…. I found him; the archetypical Cowboy. He embodified (personified/embodied) Cowboyness to me. The kind of Cowboy I wanted to be, the kind of Cowboy I wanted to know. Lyle Lovett. You might think after all of this jibber jabber that I am a Country Music fan, I am not. Actually far from it. I am a Music fan. You do not have to be part of a certain genre to be part of my world, you just have to be the best at what you do. And Lyle. He
was is my best. He is amazing at whatever he does. He is amazing at being a Cowboy. I have heard it all, trust me, I know you think he’s not much to look at. I don’t care what he looks like. Look at this expression. Look in this face. His heart is in his music. He had me at “Texas Wants You Anyway”, “She Ain’t No Lady She’s My Wife”, “You Can Have My Girl, But Don’t Touch My Hat”, “Redneckness Has Got To Be a Disease, You Catch it on Your Fingers and it Crawls Right Up Your Sleeve” What??!!(and then the dude marries her!), it goes on and on and on. His Cowboy Genius rekindled the longing in me to find my way to Texas one way or another.Not there yet. But there’s time, trust me.
Meanwhile, the best thing that ever happened to me came out of Texas, my son was born there. This is his theme song, he loves to hear it, I love to play it for him. He has no idea how much it means to his Mama – someday he’ll get it. Someday he’ll get it, and we’ll go there together. Maybe we’ll be lucky and see Lyle play, I’ll try real hard not to look like “someone from somewhere else” Lyle, I promise.
Can I release the music geek for one minute? Can you listen to this song? Listen to how it begins, listen to the beautiful melody of the guitar intro, it is so unexpected, almost a premonition of the harps playing in heaven when The Gambler finally arrives.
This post was brought to you by the Finish the Sentence Friday prompt: When I was young I wanted to….
Gotta love these fabulous ladies, for letting the music flow! Janine from Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyholic, Kate from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine With My Morning Quiet Time, Stephanie from Mommy, for Real, and Dawn from Dawn’s Disaster.
Come check them out and all of the other great bloggers too who hook up every Friday!
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