“it is is a good thing, he thought, to have magical hands.”

The above is the final line from one of my favorite children’s books ever, and it popped into my head just now, so I spewed it out to you. Lovely, eh? Look at it this way: I needed a title, and is was either that or “yo yo! Where all the fat girls at?” which has also been stuck in my head, so consider yourself fortunate. (Let’s ignore the fact that I did just share that unfortunately catchy bit of song anyway, so you’re pretty much doomed.)

So, yeah. Story that I wanted to share.

Last week sometime I answered my phone–it was a call from my Dad–and all I heard was “duke duke duke duke of earl duke duke duke of earl duke duke duke of earl. Duke of earrrrrrrrrrl” etc. I burst out laughing, of course, because, you see, that is my song.

If I had been a boy I would have been tragically called “Walter Ducalion.” (Pronounced doo-KAL-yun. I think it’s a family name.) Adding insult to injury, I was to be nicknamed “Duke.”

Duke. Like a dog. They were going to look at this poor, innocent, helpless baby and say “he looks like a ‘Duke’ to me.” (There are moments when I think they must have been smoking some very superior weed.)

Fortunately for my emotional well-being, I was not a boy, and so I was not christened with this wondrous moniker. I did, however, become familiar with the song “Duke of Earl” since it was sung to me by my father from a young age.

We didn’t really listen to oldies, so the first time I heard the real thing I was standing in a store and it came on over the loudspeaker system. All through my childhood, through the years of “no ungodly rock music, Christian or otherwise in the house” my dad sang it for me, and I love it for that reason.

So when dad called and played it for me last week? First I laughed, then I sighed a little, then I asked le husband if he had ever heard it, and he hadn’t. (Not really a shocker; his family was more protective on music than mine was.)

So when he and I and his brothers and a couple of friends were sitting in Waffle House last week, and I wanted to play a song on the jukebox and “Duke of Earl” was on there, guess what I chose? And then when he said he wasn’t really listening/couldn’t really hear it we got the staff to turn up the music and guess what song we played again? I’ll bet the other patrons hated us.

You know, sometimes you love a song completely without reason, and sometimes you hae a very good reason but the song doesn’t seem worth loving and loving it shoots your hipster cred all to pieces.

Ah, who are we kidding. I have no hipster cred.

And I love that song.

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~ by wildeyedwonder on January 27, 2007.

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